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Potential blockchain application aiming to decentralize energy consumption

Potential blockchain application aiming to decentralize energy consumption

A new blockchain application has arisen in a relatively unlikely field. While cryptocurrency has lead the way with blockchain, it has largely been financial transactions and high value, high status goods such as diamonds and real estate that have been first to dip their toe. Now, however, in the Netherlands, one company is pioneering the use of blockchain sharing tokens for peer-to-peer energy exchange.

There are lots of businesses joining forces to try to make this a success, including Spectral, Alliander and De Ceuval, all Dutch companies committed to innovations in renewable energy. De Ceuval is an urban community space specifically for businesses and groups devoted to sustainable innovation and creativity. The Spectral / Alliander collaboration has chosen this space as a test bed not least because it is already off-grid when it comes to energy but because of its global reputation for ‘sustainable urban development.’

How will it work?

As Solarplaza reports, their plan is for a new type of token. Not quite a currency but a method by which to exchange energy in a decentralised space, safely and securely. The token, named a ‘Jouliette’ – inspired by joules of energy – will enable people who are generating specific types of renewable energy to sell the energy on the blockchain.

Philip Gladek, CEO of Spectral, says: “The Jouliette… represents an important step forward towards realizing a local, circular, resource-based economy. We’re excited to launch it at De Ceuvel, which has become a globally visible showcase for sustainable urban development and a hub for cleantech innovation.”

He explains also that the aim is not only to use it in energy exchange but to use the roll out in De Ceuval as a testbase for future uses: “In the coming months, the De Ceuvel community will be experimenting with the Jouliette in practice, and engaging in a number of user experience design sessions to take the platform to the next level, together with the system developers. We are looking forward to taking this idea forward and helping it scale up across the wider Buiksloterham community and beyond, to realise its full potential.”

Why is this important?

A key difference between the Jouliette and what we may now call ‘traditional’ cryptocurrencies is that the value behind the token is energy itself. Bitcoin, Ethereum and most other cryptocurrencies come under fire time and time again for not harbouring any tangible value.

It certainly is a very niche proposition but with enormous transformation taking place globally for energy generation and reuse, a blockchain application may be another step for the industry as a whole.