IOEN, Internet of Energy Network, is live, focusing on the future of solar energy

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Whether you are politically right or left, conservative or liberal, everyone understands that solar energy is the future now that fossil fuels are running out and man can no longer exhaust the earth. However, the current method of supplying energy by solar energy does bring its own problems.

The short story?

We need a better, more intelligent grid system to balance out the supply and demand of electricity to help more clean energy come into the grid, and people to benefit from it. Combining smart grid tech with new cryptocurrency models is one way to do it.

And that is where IOEN comes in..

Much like the internet of information transformed people’s lives, the Internet of Energy Network (IOEN) is aiming to bring the power of decentralised communication to the energy sector. Internet of Energy Network (IOEN) is a technology that enables homes anywhere to operate as an intelligent cooperative electricity system, where devices in the network adjust their behavior to suit local grid needs and the needs of individuals, based on economic incentives. IOEN recently raised and collected its private funds and has been live since today. More on that later, let’s look at the current state of affairs first.

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Solar Energy: Benefits and Challenges

Solar Energy is now the cheapest source of energy in the world. One in five houses inAustralia already has a solar power plant on its roof, and there could be an extra 20 GW to an already surging rooftop solar sector by 2025. Australia is leading the decentralised energy transition, but Europe and the US are not far behind, with emerging economies catching up quickly. Electricity markets are deregulating alongside policy shifts that are allowing increased renewable penetration and load shifting aggregation.

However, grid stability remains a key issue. Demand Response is growing and Solar Curtailment is becoming worse (in areas of high solar power, the grid is switching it off). Australia has slated $4 billion in upgrades in the next four years to cope with these challenges. These grids were never designed to absorb electricity running in reverse. In other words, transmission from households back into the grid, rather than from centralised fossil fuel generation assets (like coal fired power stations) to households. As such, network costs are going up as networks struggle to keep up with the growing use. Given these costs, grid providers in advanced economies like the US, UK, Germany, and Australia are starting to charge customers who export their solar energy back into the grid. Shutting off exports makes investments in clean energy unproductive, wasting clean energy capacity.

In 2021, it is estimated that 2 billion people live without access to reliable electricity. However, with emerging mini and microgrids worldwide, we will see dramatic changes to how people access affordable, clean energy. By 2040, 45% of the world’s energy generation will be renewable, and large, global institutions are supporting this transition. For example, the United Nations will increase renewable energy spending over the next 30 years.

Most of the grids in emerging economies also will find it hard to absorb the influx of distributed clean energy systems. This means that the opportunity for clean energy to provide the 1.1 billion people who have intermittent access to electricity will be missed. Areas of the world where grid electricity doesn’t exist, or where it is patchy, ephemeral, and unstable for large periods of time each day, face a different problem; the cost of the upgrades needed to secure them to provide constant useful electricity. The opportunity in this scenario is that local batteries and sharing of solar (and P2P solar systems) can lower the costs of energy for households, by up to 60%. There are large populations of people that could benefit both economically and productively from microgrids, with the World Bank estimating that 1.1 billion people will need to be living in microgrids by 2035. This coincides with the lowered cost of electricity in microgrids which will drop by 60% from 2020 to 2030.

What does IOEN want?

Combine these above issues with the opportunity for economic empowerment and decentralization from blockchain and cryptocurrency systems, and we have an opportunity to develop new economies of clean energy: IOEN.

IOEN is the next generation of digital energy management and optimization. The tech behind it enables an interconnected system of virtual microgrids that facilitate transactions within and between local energy ecosystems: from the appliance level to energy generation, storage, and consumption.

Adam Bumpus CEO IOEN: “Since the beginning of time, energy has been monopolized, those who had the biggest fire had the biggest following. But we are moving rapidly into a world where the monopoly of energy is over.”

The technology is built on Holochain, the Internet of Energy Network is built on two currency layers: IOEN itself (pronounced “ion”), which is used as a staking asset to unlock new microgrid economies, and a series of Internet of Energy Currency (IOEC) credit systems unique for each community transacting with energy in each microgrid. IOEN’s token model unlocks the capabilities of clean energy microgrids globally, building it from the ground up device by device. IOEN’s mission is to create and deliver digital infrastructure through blockchain and Holochain technologies that accelerate this transition for everyone.

How does IOEN work?

Nodes, which can be a simple internet enabled smart plug, smart meter, solar

system, electric vehicle etcetera., download and use the IOEN open-source software. This gives the device a private and secure but connected identity on the Internet of Energy.

Using Holochain technology, the node can then look for other nodes to trade with, they find each other and depending on the preferences of their owners, they can respond to signals to use more or less energy, charge or discharge batteries, etc. When a node connects to another node, they have the opportunity to communicate and share energy value. This is called “balancing”. “By smoothing out energy demand and production, we can have more renewables on the grid without large amounts of money being spent on infrastructure”, said Bumpus.

Balancing occurs when there a signal that asks another nodes to take action: for example, the grid needs more or less energy used and a node is willing to change how much electricity it uses, or one node requires more energy and another node is willing to reduce the amount it needs to compensate for it. It is the balancing of supply and demand of electricity in a specific place and time. Balancing can also happen over space, for example by donating energy value as a financial transaction from one node to another.

To bootstrap the network, the initial nodes that are formed and start using the IoE protocol will be rewarded in IOEN tokens to set up the node, and to then act as validators of “Proof of Balance” (PoB). Proof of Balance is the third-party action of understanding and recording that a balance has happened between two or more nodes. This can happen in real time, or at a specified time after the event. In Holochain this is called witnessing, and works on the same principle.

Owners of nodes that validate through PoB are rewarded in local IOEC given these are device-driven P2P networks, but fungible with IOEN within the reserve. Liquidity will initially come from IOEN tiered discounts to bootstrap the network, but as the full amount of IOEN is (limited to 1 billion tokens) is in circulation, IOEC (via the IOEN reserves) will be paid to validators as a percentage of the value associated with the energy use value used for balancing.

As the system moves from bootstrapping to ecosystem marketplace phases, developers developing IOEN Apps will also be paid in IOEC for enabling new software, hardware, or on/off ramp applications for IOEN protocol users to improve energy efficiency, optimisation, validation, and integration of new energy.

In this way, IOEN enables a bootstrapping of hardware and software innovations through a genuinely tokenised economy that maintains the network and enables the purchase energy as a service across the network, globally.

What applications are there, now, and in the very near future?

A very concrete example of how IOEN works in practice can be found at the Australian clean energy technology company RedGrid. It has already started implementing IOEN. RedGrid is building technology that will allow home appliances to easily connect to IOEN and begin participating in grid balancing actions. RedGrid delivers the intelligence needed to aggregate energy at scale, while using IOEN to account for energy actions taking place within the network. The result is intelligent cooperative microgrids that reward people for positive clean energy behavior.

RedGrid is a community-driven company. In 2018, it was the first energy company to conduct a crowd equity capital raise and meet its maximum funding target, raising $825,000 (AUD) from over 300 investors. RedGrid has since rolled out this technology to leading property developers and universities in Australia and is now opening it to the public.

Bumpus: “We believe that this has to be open to everyone, so that anyone in the world can build on this protocol, make it locally relevant and build those business models that make sense to them.”

 

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[ad_1] Whether you are politically right or left, conservative or liberal, everyone understands that solar energy is the future now that fossil fuels are running out and man can no longer exhaust the earth. However, the current method of supplying energy by solar energy does bring its own problems. The short story? We need a…

[ad_1] Whether you are politically right or left, conservative or liberal, everyone understands that solar energy is the future now that fossil fuels are running out and man can no longer exhaust the earth. However, the current method of supplying energy by solar energy does bring its own problems. The short story? We need a…

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