SolarCoin: Accelerating the Energy Transition


SolarCoin: Accelerating the Energy Transition

During this year’s highly successful Intersolar Europe, SolarCoin founder and self-confessed “recreational central banker” Nick Gogerty found time to sit down with Impact4All to discuss how “the first digital currency that rewards solar electricity generators” is helping accelerate the unstoppable transition to renewables. During the interview, Nick covers a wide range of topics detailing the philosophy behind the coin and its potential for impact in the energy transition.

The interview kicks off with recent developments in the continuing adoption of SolarCoin by the solar industry, in particular the recently announced partnership with SMA Solar Energy Ag. SMA’s SunnyPortal covers around 5% of global solar production, potentially opening the way to distribute SolarCoin to an enormous number of new users.

Later in the piece, an as-yet unnamed tie-in with one of the world’s largest concentrated solar power (CSP) plants is teased. To date SolarCoin have been granted exclusively to solar photovoltaic systems, so this is an important development and new direction for the Foundation. Although the operator of the plant is not mentioned by name, we do know the plant is a 100MW giant.

Nick is then asked what these developments could mean for the solar industry and sets his sights on no lesser ambition than the potential of SolarCoin to become the de facto currency for the industry itself!

Other topics discussed are how SolarCoin derives its value and how users can exchange and trade SolarCoin. We also get a clear description behind the vision and rationale of the granting program — representing 40 years’ worth of future solar electricity generation.

When asked what the ultimate objective for the digital currency is, we are asked to imagine a future where a developer installing PV panels would “put a few more on there” just to earn SolarCoin rewards and accelerate the oncoming energy transition.

There is a lot more to unpack in the short 5-minute video but it is clear from watching that Nick and the SolarCoin Foundation team have a determined vision for the future of the digital currency. Growing the network is currently the key focus for the Foundation while the value of the currency is expected to grow as the number of participants in the program increase. The aim for the next two years is to multiply the number of participants — from residential all the way up to commercial — by a factor of 50–100.