Tech

Erik Gibbs

Softbank looks to reduce carbon emissions through blockchain

Blockchains continue to impress. The technology is being used in a number of important applications around the world, and there doesn’t seem to be an end to its versatility. This will be a strong component of the future success of both blockchains and cryptocurrencies, and eventually there will be a time that blockchains are an integral part of everyday business.

The latest example of blockchain’s adaptability comes by way of Japan. An energy trading startup, Power Sharing, is joining forces with Tokyo Electric Power Company and the financial house Softbank to launch a blockchain-based pilot program that will increase renewable energy usage in the rural areas of the country. The program is backed by the Ministry of the Environment, and could be a strong competitor to traditional energy buy-back programs which are cumbersome to manage and more difficult to implement.

The project will be led by Power Sharing, with Softbank providing authentication oversight. The bank will provide analysis on the critical components, like “who, what, when, where, how much.”  That information will then be submitted to the blockchain where it will be transacted and recorded.

The idea is to push awareness of renewable energy in the country, especially to the rural areas. It will incentivize residents to make the switch away from traditional sources, and to sell back any excess capacity to the system. The program doesn’t yet have an official launch date, but it is expected to be ready sometime in June.

Power Sharing was founded in June 2017 for the sole purpose of giving individuals and businesses the ability to buy and sell excess energy. The company hopes to drastically reduce Japan’s carbon footprint and increase usage of renewable energy around the country. According to the company’s website, “For those people who act imaginatively and actively without being constrained by established concepts, we want to design a future power environment.”

The concept is a great one, but Power Sharing isn’t the first to offer an energy buy-back solution. IBM is exploring the use of blockchain in China to help energy-intensive corporations reduce their emissions and trade their CO2 quotas to combat the high levels of air pollution in the country.

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