It has been suggested that a global, low-energy digital currency could act as a vital instrument in humanity’s “climate change prevention toolbox," while at the same time helping in incentivising a transition to a clean energy future. Many believe SolarCoin is such a tool.Bringing about such an energy transition would be a hollow victory, however, if its benefits are not distributed equitably across all inhabitants of our planet.
One organisation that is doing outstanding work to bring clean, solar powered lighting to people in Africa is the SolarAid organisation. The work they undertake in replacing harmful kerosene lamps is nothing but inspirational - but they need a lot of support. You can read all about their ongoing mission in Jeremy Leggett's free online book 'The Test'.
A force for good?
As solar enthusiasts and technologists interested in supporting the SolarCoin project, can we demonstrate that digital-currencies could - and should - be a force for good in the world? Many of us have registered our solar PV systems with the SolarCoin Foundation and are happy to receive our SLR rewards every year. Some of us also receive a small FIT payment from our governments for the excess generated electricity we export to the grid.
What if we could use this excess solar energy to support progressive initiatives like SolarAid directly? We could, of course, individually send a proportion of the FIT payment each month via direct debit ... but as (forgive me) a networked group of techno-enthused SolarPunks hanging out on the blockchain, surely, we can put that excess energy to better use and try something shiny and new?
“Solar-powered [insert coin of choice] mining!” you say? As anyone who has ever tried to use a modest domestic solar PV system to try to 'mine' a significant amount of BTC or ETH will soon realise, the insatiable energy-hog required will devour every spare kWh of your daytime generation and gleefully drain any available battery storage at night to boot.
So. Back to SolarCoin.
Members of the SolarCoin-Slack group will be aware that the Foundation has been working on a policy document to raise awareness among governments, institutions and NGOs alike as to how they could be encouraged to make free SLR claims for their organisations. It’s just a short hop from there to realise that SolarCoin could potentially be a great fundraising resource for charities too. Of course, established, reputable charities may be wary of jumping off on crazy, untried fundraising ideas – and rightly so.
But since when has not jumping off on crazy, untried things been at all interesting?
It was during a couple of Slack chats in early December between community members @Scalextrix, @Sunnyboy and @Bernard (hi!) that it occurred that in SolarCoin we had the perfect vehicle to test out the idea that digital-currencies can indeed be a force for good in the world. We can literally … er… put our coins where our mouths are!
Encouraged by the group, the #christmas appeal Slack channel has now been set up and a digital wallet created to receive SLR donations. The focus of the appeal is to exclusively raise funds for SolarAid and it will run until midnight on Christmas Eve 2017.
The response so far by community members has been fantastic and word has spread into the Twittersphere, including Tweets of support from Will Cottrell of the Brighton Energy Co-op and from Jeremy Leggett, among others. If we can reach 1000 SLR by Christmas Eve that would mean SolarAid could provide approximately 500 non-polluting solar lamps for people in some of the most remote regions of Malawi, Uganda and Zambia.
As all donations are recorded transparently on the SolarCoin blockchain you can watch the donation progress here https://chainz.cryptoid.info/slr/address.dws?8PY8H21bpYUXjSPw9BNMMugSuPBb8Wy5q3.htm
Please consider donating - even 1 SLR - to the Christmas Appeal.
The wallet address is: 8PY8H21bpYUXjSPw9BNMMugSuPBb8Wy5q3 and the appeal will be open until midnight on Christmas Eve. Remember, if you do not have a SolarCoin wallet (and why not???) you can always donate directly to SolarAid the "old fashioned" way via https://solar-aid.org/donate/
At this dark time of year, the SolarCoin community is showing - as they say over at SolarAid - "light really does change everything".
Happy Christmas everyone!
Bernard McCarty, December 2017 - SolarCoin Community Member
Note - This is an independent community effort from the SolarCoin Community. The SolarCoin Foundation is not directly associated with the project.