Energi Mine: A New Energy Market on the Blockchain

21 Nov 2017

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The origin of the electricity that consumers purchase to use on a daily basis can come from many different sources. Some electric companies generate all their electricity using just the power plants they own. Other companies acquire electricity from other utilities, power marketers or independent power producers, to re-sell it to the final customer. Nonetheless, consumers want to have control over how their energy is generated and distributed. Many regular households are now both producers and consumers of electricity, opting for rooftop solar panels, wind turbines or others. Consumers are motivated by environmental and financial concerns, as well as low levels of trust in the large energy Suppliers.

The future could see more consumers move away from the traditional utility model and adopt community schemes or peer-to-peer trading arrangements, since the existing model in the energy marketplace still has several issues that need to be addressed. For starters, the market is centralized, which means that a small number of big energy companies supply millions of customers, creating a monopolized environment. Additionally, the electricity is traded OTC (over-the-counter) between energy companies or banks and therefore there is no transparency for the regular consumer.

Besides the centralization problem, energy companies make money from selling more energy, so they are not incentivising the consumer to change his behaviour and to consume less energy. There is a direct correlation between an individual’s energy usage and their impact on the environment. Basically, when a person consumes less energy, they reduce the number of toxic fumes that need to be produced by power plants in the first place to create that energy.

What is Energi Mine

The small number of blockchain energy projects to date have focused on incentivising renewable energy generation. While this is a good application for blockchain technology, the model does not really resolve the key issues present in the energy market.

In order to solve these inefficiencies, Energi Mine, a fully functioning energy commercial entity, is building a new energy market using blockchain technology. The company will implement two different platforms: a peer-to-peer marketplace that aims to connect generators and consumers, discarding all the brokers in the industry and giving more transparency to the market; and a reward platform, where users will be compensated by their energy-saving behaviours with Energi Tokens (ETK), incentivizing users to consume less energy.

How it Works

MarketPlace

The Energi Mine marketplace wants to bring the generators and consumers together on a common platform, giving transparency to the market. Members will be able to connect directly with each other, without an energy company/broker in between.

The platform will ensure prices are always truly market-reflective, as opposed to being kept artificially high by the current monopolies all over the world. This will give rise to greater competition in the electricity market. For instance, with the Energi Mine model, consumers will be able to “auto-switch” their energy supplier every 30 days. The system will tender their contracts every 30 days in a frictionless manner for the consumer. This will ensure a more competitive marketplace and truly market-reflective prices.

Reward Mechanism

To generate electricity, most power plants burn coal, crude oil or other fossil fuels. This process of creating energy is relatively cheap, however, carbon dioxide, sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides are just a few of the by-products that originate from these conventional methods of power generation. Reducing the energy consumption diminishes the amount of electricity that a power plant needs to make, subsequently decreasing the amount of fossil fuels that are burned each day.

With this in mind, a reward mechanism that incentivizes energy-saving behaviour with Energi Tokens (ETK) will be created. Actions such as buying energy-efficient appliances, taking public transportation and using less energy at home will be rewarded with ETK. The tokens can, therefore, be exchanged for fiat currencies or held to pay future energy bills or electric vehicle charging. The white paper explains:

“For example, a consumer uses 50,000 kWh per annum, the next year the consumer uses only 40,000 kWh per annum due to energy efficiency measures. The consumer will be awarded a number of Energi Tokens (ETK) which can then be sold and ultimately rewarded in fiat currencies.”

Smart Meters

Smart meters are a valuable tool for helping people understand and quantify energy use by providing accurate energy use data in real-time. This can be shown on an in-home display and read remotely by the energy supplier.

Historical information on energy use and cost will allow consumers to compare current and past use. The aim is for smart meters to help make energy consumption more visible to consumers and help Energi Mine understand how much energy it's actually being used.

Artificial Intelligence

The rapid increase of energy suppliers, energy consumers, intermittent renewable energy sources, smart meters and IoT will mean that an exponential amount of energy usage data will be produced. In order to analyse and optimize this high volume dynamic environment, Energi Mine will use automation and machine learning (ML).

Regulatory Compliance

It is Energi Mine’s intention to work very closely with energy regulators across the globe in order to reduce any regulatory risk in individual markets. Some territories require licensing to operate, however this is usually only if the entity is considered an energy supplier. Energi Mine’s team has direct experience of the regulatory processes involved in becoming licensed in multiple territories.

Token/ICO

In order to fund the development and marketing of the Energi Mine platform, the company is going to run an ICO campaign. Approximately 62% of the funds will likely be used in the development of the platforms, with 24% going towards sales and marketing activities. The remainder will be used for operational and legal costs. Wherever possible, partners and developers will be paid in ETH.

The tokens will be based on the Ethereum ERC-20 standard and can be bought on exchanges for a number of purposes, examples of which include the running of individual incentive schemes or to use as a payment for an energy bill. Click here to learn more about Energi Mine ICO.

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