MIT Cryptocurrency Incentivising Solar Energy
More people are going solar as cost of panels fall and photovoltaic efficiencies increase (photo: greednplanetethics.com)
Thankful to Bitcoin
MIT has developed a crypto currency called SolarCoin, which rewards individuals for producing energy. The story goes back to 2011 when (the now SolarCoin Foundation spokesman) Nick Gogerty and a colleague envisaged an energy-backed asset but couldn’t make the idea work without a central bank. Gogerty told “We’re very thankful for Bitcoin leading the change”, said Gogerty in an interview with the New Scientist magazine.
What is a SolarCoin?
- §1 SolarCoin represents 1 MWh of solar electricity generation.
- Maximum issuance will be §98.34 billion
- Producers get SolarCoins as a free reward.
- 99% of SolarCoins will be given to producers of 97,500 TWh over 40 yrs.
- Source code is forked from LiteCoin & Vericoin
Leaner & Greener
It's probably time we moved beyond our addiction to fossil fuels (photo: newuniversedaily.com)
According to their website, "SolarCoin works like Air-miles for to incentivise generation of global solar electricity. Solar power is an abundant, renewable energy source that avoids the pollution from coal and nuclear plants. Every megawatt-hour of electricity generated through a solar PV panel avoids more than 1,500 lbs of carbon dioxide (CO2), more than 5 lbs of sulfur dioxide (SO2), and almost 2 lbs of nitrogen oxide (NOx), and it also avoids producing radioactive nuclear wastes". Another benefit mentioned is that solar production increases on warmer days, matching the significant increase in demand from air conditioners when it is needed.
This economy has a much smaller carbon footprint than Bitcoin (image source: SolarCoin.org)
Bitcoin gets criticised for the computing power it takes to mine coins, but Nick Gogerty, Spokesman for the SolarCoin Foundation, says that SolarCoin is 50 times more energy-efficient because its algorithm allows the total number of coins to be mined faster – and that’s before factoring in the energy boost from new solar panels.
If SolarCoin takes off, this model could even be applied to developing countries where this could give communities a non-destructive source of income which could, for example, benefit the conservation of habitats and endangered species. “If someone can come up with the mechanism and the approach, it would be a great thing,” says Gogerty.
A Bright Future
SolarCoin is the world’s largest community solar electricity reward program worth over $3 billion USD*. SolarCoins are now given in 23 countries around the world. To find out more about SolarCoin, visit SolarCoin.org