The blockchain-based green energy trading platform WePower has officially launched a preview of its service.
WePower Alpha V1 is open to the public thanks to a partnership with one of Spain’s leading renewable energy developers, Conquista Solar. 6 solar projects developed by the company are available on the platform, producing a total of 300MW of power.
Alpha V1 represents WePower’s first big step toward decentralizing renewable energy. After a successful $40 million ICO that closed in Q1 2018, the team is gearing up for a productive year.
Blockchain and Green Energy
Major utilities have been slow to recognize the value of blockchain technology. Despite this, several projects have appeared in the last year aiming to change that, including Australia’s Power Ledger, the “Airbnb of energy trading,” and Energitoken, which incentivizes energy conservation.
One thing many of these projects have in common is a focus on peer-to-peer (P2P) energy trading. In this model, everyone connected to a grid through a blockchain platform has a 2-way relationship with electricity. They can consume it and pay with tokens, but they can also sell and trade excess energy with neighbors, making overall consumption more efficient and less expensive.
Of course, this is only a rough idea of the P2P energy trading model. Projects like WePower are taking this to a much wider scale by combining green energy producers with a decentralized marketplace of investors.
Nikolaj Martyniuk, CEO and founder of WePower, believes that “centralized dirty energy” is a relic of the past. Green energy is needed more than ever, and WePower could be one of the players bringing that to fruition.
WePower Alpha v1
WePower’s goal is to tokenize the buying and selling of green energy. It connects existing and upcoming renewable energy producers with end users who want to invest in the projects or even buy energy for their own needs.
The WPR token provides value storage and liquidity for the platform. Energy producers donate part of their created energy to WPR holders. Tokens constantly accrue energy from this process, creating passive income for invested parties.
Preview of WePower Alpha V1 auctions dashboard.
The preview version of WePower is largely just for informational purposes, as most of the crucial functionality is unavailable. Users can view green energy auctions, express interest in participating in auctions, see the donated green energy pool, and tour the entire interface. Actual token functionality was not implemented at the time of writing.
Profiles of each of the green energy projects are available to browse. These show a timeline of the company’s onboarding to WePower along with energy auction numbers, bid prices, and other relevant information.
Once WePower expands to include more green energy producers from more countries, users will be able to browse a map of projects, bid, buy, and sell energy, regardless of their location.
While the platform undergoes testing, WePower will leave the Marketplace, Dashboard, and Portfolio pages locked. A gradual roll-out of features is expected in the near future, with optional notifications available for signed-up users.
The functionality may be limited at the moment, but Alpha v1 does show off WePower’s dedication to creating a warm and friendly interface, one that could attract a wide user base once it goes mainstream.
Alpha v1 is only the first step in WePower’s multi-year plan.
The roadmap spells out growth milestones for the rest of 2018, including country-wide tokenization tests in Estonia and expanded operations in Spain and Australia. Early 2019 will see further expansion, along with platform balancing and virtual power plant structures appearing on the platform.
Diamandis has connections to the likes of Larry Page and Elon Musk, the latter of whom has a well-known interest in renewable energies via SolarCity. No formal collaboration has been announced, but it does illustrate just how widespread and profitable green technology is becoming.
Renewable energies are a $242 billion global industry, and those numbers are only going to rise as time goes by. WePower is positioning itself in a lucrative market ripe for blockchain innovations. If the team can expand the platform’s offerings and keep page with new producers, it could be an easy-in for cryptocurrency investors with an interest in alternative energy.