Back in May Power Ledger, the Australian-born startup which allows consumers to buy and sell renewable energy directly between one another using a blockchain platform, launched its first commercial deployment in the US. It’s now extending its mission to allow individuals and communities to share in the profits of renewable energy assets by trading in a crypto token it will launch. To achieve this Power Ledger is literally acquiring energy assets to make the token asset-backed.
This Asset Germination Event (AGE) token has, says the company, the potential to disrupt the traditionally centralized energy market and thus grow the renewable energy industry, because of course, ownership of the token will incentivize people to invest in renewable energy.
This might be of some relief to observers who have seen some nation states lately captured by populist politicians withdraw or reduce funding for renewable energy, as has happened in the UK.
The token will be attached to energy from assets like solar and wind farms and community-owned batteries.
Dr. Jemma Green, co-founder and chairman of Power Ledger, said: “We’ve developed a model that we believe will define the world’s best practice when it comes to fully regulated blockchain token offerings, while allowing people to actively help the environment by supporting renewable energy all over the world.” She believes it will also empower more small-scale investment in renewable energy resources.
Power Ledger’s AGE token aims to increase the amount of capital flowing towards renewable energy by allowing an investor class previously denied the opportunity to participate in many projects of this nature as they were not ‘sophisticated investors’. Most of these products are currently only available to ‘sophisticated investors’ who are able to invest in large-scale energy projects, not retail investors. For example, in Australia, which has plenty of sun, you need at an annual income of at least AUD250,000.
Power Ledger says the asset-backed token will pay out distributions from renewable energy generation, unlike a utility token whose value corresponds to its future use.
To ensure their token is asset-backed, Power Ledger says it is acquiring its first assets; a grid-connected battery and a commercial solar system, and will then issue tokens that pay distributions from the energy generated by those assets as part of an investment fund structure.
As Green says: “When everyday people can invest in and co-own commercial renewable energy assets, we will be closer to our goal of a decentralized and democratized energy ecosystem.”
Power Ledger also provides several other blockchain-based energy trading platforms, including xGrid, which enables Peer-to-Peer electricity trading across the grid, and μGrid, designed for microgrid energy management, electricity metering and secure blockchain transactions.
Energy has increasingly become attractive to the Blockchain world which sees the ability to create a transparent, auditable and automated record of energy generation and consumption.
Last year UK startup DOVU launched to become “the global marketplace for transport data” powered by the “DOV” token, and received seed funding from InMotion Ventures, Jaguar Land Rover’s investment arm.