1.2 billion people across the planet do not have access to electricity. This is a huge problem. Without electricity, medicine can’t be stored properly, education becomes difficult and food goes bad — amongst a myriad of issues. In countries where people don’t have access to larger grids, energy companies either charge huge amounts of money that impoverished peoples cannot afford, deny groups access to the grid for selfish reasons or lack the funding for infrastructure.
And when grids are older or poorly maintained, hurricanes and other natural disasters prove to be especially devastating, leaving people, hospitals and schools without power for months.
Scores of affluent investors and philanthropists have committed to helping out in places like Puerto Rico, which was devastated by last year’s hurricane season. They’ve donated money, resources, and in the case of Elon Musk, committed to building solar-powered microgrids for impoverished areas.
In what’s been the longest blackout in US history, Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello stated, “I am 100 percent backing renewables. This is an opportunity to make microgrids in Puerto Rico so they can be sustained in different areas.”
Microgrids usually involve linking solar panels on homes to a smaller, decentralized grid that is then connected to a generator, which can continue to power the village, neighborhood, or city. Oftentimes, this system produces excess energy, like in Germany or Brooklyn where it can go wasted or sold for profit. A simple microgrid is helpful, but a blockchain-backed, community-driven, shared ecosystem is a better option.
How can blockchain backup a microgrid?
One solution, KWHCoin, is tokenizing excess energy by converting each kilowatt into its KWH token. “KWHCoing adds a layer to incentivize solar deployments in Puerto Rico. More deployable solar, energy storage provides more sources for generation,” said Girard Newkirk, CEO of KWHCoin, who has been tirelessly working in Puerto Rico.
Placing all KWHCoin transactions on the blockchain ensures security and creates a model where the traditional energy company is bypassed. People then have access to a grid that is totally their own, fully equipped with power generation and storage. These grids would be less susceptible to power failure and could be put back on line more easily than traditional fossil fuel powered grids. Community members are rewarded for generating renewable energy through conversion of excess power into KWH tokens, which can be traded for more energy.
The new model is gaining support and backing. With scores of partnerships developing around the world the future looks bright for blockchain-backed, renewable microgrids. To learn more about KWHCoin in Puerto Rico visit here.