Since the first blockchain was created, the community has strived to find new uses to impact industrial and daily life processes. Over the last decade, thousands of possible uses have appeared. Some of them have been ill-conceived, but plenty more have actually held some weight by attempting to solve or simplify systems that are rather complicated. One area of focus by researchers is distributed energy. Our societies and cities have grown around the idea of having a single, centralized source for electric power. Thus creating organizations that hold in their grasp, a monopoly of the power grid and supply. With recent technological advances, however, it has become commonplace for people to own houses that can power themselves. Homes that produce enough electricity not just for immediate use, but also to accumulate reserves. In this respect, the question of what to do with that spare energy – and how to distribute it – gave rise to a new concept.


Power Ledger


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What is Powerledger?

Powerledger is one of several proposed blockchain solutions to the problem of having different energy sources in a city and how to commercialize them. It is a way of democratizing the energy supply by allowing people to both add to and access the supply grid using the blockchain. The transactions here are settled with tokens. The specific way it works is simple: First, the local authorities in a city has to allow its inhabitants to provide the power grid with their spare power in exchange for local currency. If this is possible – and only if this is possible – then, Powerledger can work as an added layer allowing people to sell or give each other energy at their chosen price. Usually, power companies that allow you to inject power into the network pay for it at a cost – that is, they pay you for the power you inject at the same amount you’d pay if you were to take that much power from the network.  Powerledger allows users to provide energy to the local grid, and this is logged into the blockchain, enabling them to create contracts with others for energy consumption. In other words, POWR acts as a middleman. When you inject power into the network, and when someone accesses it, a ledger is created. Then, with its smart contract, the blockchain calculates how much anyone owes or receives and enforces the transaction.

Who created Powerledger?

Powerledger was created by Jemma Green, David Martin, and John Bulich. It is headquartered in Perth, Australia. Green is a sustainability advocate with a Ph.D. in Disruptive Innovations. Martin has worked with the electricity industry for over two decades and has held executive positions in leading firms. Bulich, on the other hand, is one of the Australian pioneers in blockchain technology.  The diverse field of the founders makes the team not only varied, but widely experienced in all parts of the business. 

What are Powerledger’s pros and cons?

This is one of those blockchains that has a specific goal, and its implementation appears so transparent that the pros heavily outweigh the cons when evaluated. The upside is simple: Powerledger facilitates the growing market of home energy suppliers by giving them a control over what happens with their surplus energy. Since it serves as a middleman between the user and the electric company (or the state,) the legal side and paperwork is auto processed, allowing the users to buy and sell energy with relative simplicity. It’s difficult to find cons to Powerledger, although it is noteworthy that this kind of operation might not be legal everywhere. Energy is a closely regulated service in some areas, to the point where people who self-generate have to pay extra taxes and have no window to sell the excess.

The future of Powerledger

Powerledger’s has a bright outlook since it has a well-defined (and growing) market that justify its uses.  Many projects have no clear-cut purpose for their blockchains. In the case of energy distribution, and the nascent peer-to-peer energy market, it’s difficult to think of a better option than POWR blockchain and its smart contract. In view of the above, Powerledger should have a bright future ahead. This is a project that should catch the attention of many analysts and policymakers in the energy industry.

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