It looks like the age of digital currencies may be unfolding, with the popularity of Bitcoin and now the launch of SolarCoin.
People that produce solar energy will earn one Solarcoin for every megawatt-hour of electricity they produce, creating even more incentives for people to produce more clean energy.
This decentralized, international digital currency is an alternative to dollars, which can be spent or traded peer-to-peer. It’s based on the idea that a megawatt-hour of solar will be more valuable over time, driving demand for SolarCoins. They are available to all solar producers, whether you lease or own a system.
The SolarCoin Foundation has created 98 billion SolarCoins, equal to the amount of solar electricity that will be generated over the coming 40 years, based on International Energy Agency estimates. Almost all of that is reserved for solar generators, except for 500 million that will reward all the people who build and maintain the digital infrastructure.
Like other cryptocurrencies, SolarCoin will be protected by what’s called a blockchain, which automatically keeps track of transactions, preventing people from spending them twice and making sure they get allocated correctly.
On March 8, the first person received SolarCoins – 23.4 of them for the verified power the Arizona homeowner produced from 2011-2013.
Lisa Shock has a 5.64 kilowatt rooftop installation that she leases from SolarCity. She filed a claim form that links to her meter to verified the electricity produced.
By the end of March, SolarCoins had reached The Netherlands, Italy, Greece and Australia.