Catalonia continues to test the boundaries of the centralized government of Spain, this time with the decentralized technology of the blockchain.
Despite the fact that an unsuccessful attempt to obtain the region of independence ended in a police crackdown on protesters in October of last year, the government of Catalonia plans to conduct airdrop (free distribution) energy token to the people living in the region. The plan is to stimulate the production of solar energy, avoiding Madrid adopted a rule prohibiting its distribution.
P2P energy trading limited in Spain rules prohibiting producing solar energy users to sell excess energy to the national network or to share it with other users.
However, this discussion goes beyond the hot political climate of Spain. Height adjustable energy markets around the world, apparently getting ready to let the industry revolution that it brings renewable energy and innovation, but major players continue to prevent
the democratization of energy production.
Restricting the sale of excess electricity back to any national grid makes solar energy less attractive, although it can reduce the cost of the people and contribute to improve the environmental situation.
Luisa Marsal (Lluïsa Marsal), head of technological innovations in the Catalan Institute of energy under the government of Catalonia, oversees a creative project that will allow you to get around the legal and economic restrictions on exchange and trade surpluses of energy.
The solution includes cryptographic token «ION» to start micro-networks that are managed by communities (groups, producing distributed energy resources with solar generators on the roofs of which may connect to core network or to work in «isolated mode»).
Marsal said that the token was not created in order to cast doubt on the authority of Madrid, and with the goal of making trade in energy more attractive to consumers.
But in order for these microsphere was free from legal and economic restrictions that reduce their attractiveness, they must be isolated from the national network of Spain.
«Thus, trade is not with the utility company, and between the nodes of these communities of users of solar energy. The ION token manages all transactions within the micro-networks,» said Marsal.
Electricity for people
Marsal said the ION token and wallet will be fully accessible and is based on the standard ERC-20 Ethereum.
The token will not be sold to raise funds via the ICO, and will be distributed free of charge method of airdrop, when users will be included in the project and set wallet ION. Every user will get from 100 to 5 000 ION, depending on their involvement in the project.
The purse is still in development, and the code is not yet published. The plan Marsal, project to be launched in test mode in two months in five municipalities of Catalonia. Will ultimately be distributed on 8 418 million tokens ION is comparable to the number of kWh per year that produce all the nuclear power plants of Catalonia.
As a token will work when you get to the users? The system will measure the average number of consumed kWh produced with solar energy. When someone uses more they will pay over tokens; if they use less – on the contrary, will receive extra tokens as a reward.
This approach to energy metering is intended to provide greater flexibility. Groups of users can coordinate schedules energy consumption (for example, to use appliances at different times of day or different days of the week). Smart contracts can help to control the size of the allowable power for each user in these graphs.
Winners and losers
The purpose of ION is to circumvent the rules and obstacles that stifle any free market in the sale or exchange of energy.
James Johnson, CEO of Open Utility P2P of the electricity market in the UK, said tokens an interesting replacement tariff rates and subsidies, which will help to accelerate the spread of renewable energy.
«In the UK we have allowed subsidies paid to the electricity bill, which then get early users,» he said. «The token can also be seen in this context, if there are enough people willing to buy it, as it gives them more power.»
Johnson noted that not all will benefit from the dissemination of the new system. Overboard will remain the suppliers, generating companies and many brokers, as will appear more eco-friendly micro-networks.
In addition to energy, the blockchain is also beginning to be introduced in other areas, for example, to control a system of identification in Catalonia.
Trade solar power on the blockchain is becoming more popular in different parts of the world. In April it became known that in one of the Australian States is planned
use solar power for mining, and at the end of last year, Siemens invested
in electricity trading on the blockchain.