WePower ICO – Fintech solution for green energy.

Disclaimer: As of the date of publishing nobody at Saving with Solar currently has any investment in WePower but we are planning on joining the ICO.

At Saving with Solar we are extremely interested in the blockchain and how it can help solve issues for those generating solar power. Previously we’ve taken a look at Power Ledger (POWR) and today we’ll look at the upcoming ICO for WePower, which is a “blockchain-based green energy trading platform”. 

WePower ICO

The project allows producers of renewable energy to raise capital by issuing ERC20 energy tokens, which represent energy they commit to produce and deliver. They have support from state power regulators in Lithiuania and electric power companies and will target Europe – Spain, Italy, Germany, Estonia, and others. Numerous solar power plants which produce over 1000MW have joined the project: Conquista Solar, Civitas Project and Novocorex.

Development of the project is divided into three stages:

  1. WePower Breeze – market entrance – “challenging the way how energy investments and purchase are done today by creating the necessary technological layer for the change to happen’. 
  2. WePower Storm – growing the services and usability, and using smart contracts to aggregate and manage flows of renewable energy. 
  3. WePower Hurricane – the final step – a completely new decentralized energy utility.

ICO Start: 1 Feb 2018

ICO End: 15 Feb 2018

Hard cap: $35,000,000

Soft Cap: $5,000,000

Token: WPR, ERC20 standard

ICO Price: 1 ETH = 4000 WPR

Minimum investment: $200

Bonuses: 15% discount for early investors: before reaching the soft cap ($5 million) 4600 WPR will be deposited for 1 ETH.

Accepted currencies: ETH

If you’re interested in investing, click here to read the whitepaper they’re prepared ahead of the ICO. Although we believe in this project we in no way recommend investing in anything like this without doing your due diligence first. One negative, for example, is that there are already a number of projects in the sphere offering fintech solutions for green energy (e.g. Power Ledger). Another is that it hinges entirely on the progress of renewable energy. Obviously we’re bullish on that situation, to say the least, but many countries have a strong oil lobby and prices of oil have decreased recently. And, who knows, maybe a perpetual motion machine is just around the corner. 

Kaspar Kaarlep, the CTO of WePower, has a video below where he discusses their vision for energy transformation in Europe and across the world:

ICORating have assigned a “Positive” rating to the project and recommend it for both short and long term investors – saying the WPR tokens can be “considered both as investments for long-term portfolios, and for the purpose of speculative earnings on the expectations of a successful platform launch and demand for tokens from the initial customers for tokenized energy”. 

WePower ICO Whitepaper Rating
ICOrating.com gives WePower the
highest rate (source: WePower Newsletter)

View an introduction to the system by watching this video!

View a platform demo below:

 

If you have any questions, comments, or insight into this project we’d love to hear about it – please sound off in the comments and we can start a conversation about this exciting new technology. 

Inkjet Printed Solar Cells using Cyanobacteria

Inkjet printed solar cells could become a reality after researchers at Imperial College London, the University of Cambridge and Central Saint Martins used an inkjet printer to create tiny bio solar panels using cyanobacteria.

Inkjet Printed Solar Cells

As solar panel technology gets better and better, scientists have figured out a way to create a living ink which they then print on paper and use as bio-solar panels. Cyanobacteria, tiny creatures which use photosynthesis to turn solar light into energy (nature’s solar panels!) managed to survive a process where they’re printed onto electrically conductive carbon nanotubes, according to Futurism.com

Inkjet Printed Solar Cells
Inkjet Printed Solar Cells using Cyanobacteria (source: imperial.ac.uk)

Dr Marin Sawa from the Department of Chemical Engineering at the Imperial College of London noted that although the inkjet printed solar cells may not be able to generate enough power to run an air conditioner, for example, there are myriad ways their low power production could improve quality of life:

“Imagine a paper-based, disposable environmental sensor disguised as wallpaper, which could monitor air quality in the home. When it has done its job it could be removed and left to biodegrade in the garden without any impact on the environment” Dr. Sawa told the Imperial College website

This new type of renewable energy technology is called microbial biophotoltaics (BPV) and is being worked on by scientists across the globe.

Other things able to be powered by a panel approximately the size of an iPad could power a small LED light bulb or a digital clock. The low power output means they’re suitable for things that require small amounts of energy, such as biosensors or environmental sensors. Dr Andrea Fantuzzi noted that the BPV solution is very cost effective and could have some great implementations for healthcare:

“Paper-based BPVs integrated with printed electronics and biosensor technology could usher in an age of disposable paper-based sensors that monitor health indicators such as blood glucose levels in patients with diabetes. Once a measurement is taken, the device could be easily disposed of with low environmental impact”

One of the best things about this is that these panels are completely biodegradable – which solves a long running problem of what to do with solar panels / storage after they’re past their ‘use-by date’. Very exciting tech (similar in a way to smart solar windows research) to ring in the new year which we’ll be sure to follow closely! 

Sun Exchange raises $1.6m for blockchain/bitcoin

Peer-to-peer solar equipment leasing marketplace Sun Exchange has raised $1.6 million USD  in seed financing from a group of strategic partners, which includes the New York company Network Society Ventures and three other American technology accelerators to “accelerate global access” to solar power. Sun Exchange’s model works by p2p equipment leasing through a combination of blockchain technology and cryptocurrency (e.g. Bitcoin) with solar leases.

About Sun Exchange

Sun Exchange - Africa Solar Power Investment through Bitcoin/Blockchain Technology
Sun Exchange – Africa Solar Power Investment through Bitcoin/Blockchain Technology (source: thesunexchange.com)

Based in South Africa, Sun Exchange allows anyone to buy solar cells throughout the world and earn rental income from them. They have been in the African energy market since 2014 and have expanded rapidly with a headquarters in California and another operating office in Dubai. The company won Best Bitcoin and Blockchain Business in Africa for consecutive years (2016 and 2017) at the Africa Fintech Awards.

The blockchain records the solar assets and payouts are in crypto-currency. According to Forbes this is known as “streaming monetized sunshine” and Sun Exchange are calling this part of the “save the world tool-kit”. Investors are seeing their solar cells installed and rented to places like Africa and the Middle East, and places like factories, schools, rural communities and hospitals are benefiting from this innovative technology.

Given the fact that there are countries like Germany and Australia with massive amounts of solar power installed compared to places like South Africa and Namibia, it’s sensible to see the choice to invest in the latter developed countries where they have a large amount of daily sunshine and limited amounts of solar PV. This works both from an economical and a philanthropic viewpoint.

The Sun Exchange network pays its investors using utility ERC20 tokens known as GREEN which rewards users for installing and using renewable energy. This is part of the Greeneum Network which uses smart contracts and machine learning to run its current test projects in Europe, Cyprus, Israel, Africa and the United States. Greeneum are hoping to have the MVP (Minimum Viable Product) for the project completed by mid-next year. 

According to Sun Exchange this is the first marketplace of this kind where investors are able to help emerging markets that are “solar-rich but power-poor”. For example, there are currently ~600m Africans living without access to electricity. Estimates say that it’d cost $350b to provide them all with electricity so using distributed investors and solar energy are a great way to try and solve this problem. We’re excited to see how this project progresses and will update you as soon as there’s further news on their venture! In the meantime, if you’re interested in investing please click here to learn more about Sun Exchange and how you can get involved.