SHANGHAI, Oct. 12, 2017 /PRNewswire
Shanghai-based start-up Energo Labs is combining blockchain technology with microgrids to decentralize energy production and consumption, which can help rural electrification as well as grid resilience. Decentralized ecosystems also minimize the problems caused by large infrastructure, while allowing users to choose where their energy comes from.
Despite the extensive role of technology in daily life, approximately 17% of Filipinos today have no access to electricity. Moreover, given the frequency of natural disasters in the country, the three main public grids in the Philippines are prone to damage and thus unstable supply of electricity. Another problem with the current grid is that majority of the generation sites are far from the load centers, leading to long-distance transmission lines that can often be damaged and are risky and costly to operate. One way to ensure energy security in such a location is by decentralizing the generation and creating a Decentralized Autonomous Energy (DAE) community, so that energy can be produced anywhere and shared between consumers around the neighborhood.
Photo: Decentralized Autonomous Energy (DAE) Community. Credit: Energo Labs
Energo Labs uses microgrids with a storage system so that energy producers, such as those with solar panels, can sell their energy to their neighbors for money. This type of peer-to-peer (P2P) energy trading, based on infrastructure that will be operated and maintained by the local community, opens up the energy market and allows areas to meet their base load electricity demand using clean energy.
Currently, less than 1.5% of all electricity generated in the Philippines comes from renewable sources like wind and solar. Moreover, the Filipino government approved feed-in-tariff (FiT), payments for electricity exported into the grid, in 2012 but the rate was lower than that asked for by renewable energy developers and investors, leading to minimal impact. Energo's decentralized solution encourages communities to first use the renewable energy generated in the microgrid, thus decarbonizing the energy sector, and also provides solar PV cell owners a new source of income.
The energy produced and consumed by each house in the microgrid, as well as the amount bought and solar between houses, is quantified by Energo smart meters, and blockchain technology is used to eliminate the need for a third party to carry out energy transactions while ensuring all data is still secure and transparent. Energy can be bought and sold via the Energo phone app.
The start-up already has projects underway in the Philippines, which has ignited interest in the potential of blockchain in the country while highlighting how different types of microgrids can be implemented across islands. Energo will also be launching projects in South East Asia, Netherlands, and Korea, and has a strong community for their cryptocurrency TSL, whose exchange will soon be launched in international platforms in Korea, Thailand, and other countries.
Source: Energo Labs