According statements released on Monday, the South African peer-to-peer platform for renewable energy – Sun Exchange, closed the Series A investment round of $ 4 million. Arch Emerging Markets Partners has contributed to this and has invested $ 3 million in the project.
Sun Exchange – solar panel exchange
Sun Exchange allows international customers to buy remotely located solar panels via Bitcoin (BTC) or South African Randa. Then customers can rent them to energy companies and organizations in emerging markets.
“Solar panel owners make money from electricity, while schools, businesses, clinics and other organizations gain access to clean energy at affordable prices, reducing electricity costs and carbon emissions.”
– said Abe Cambridge, founder and CEO of the start-up
With the new investment, Sun Exchange is to allow customers to “diversify the portfolio of solar panels in various regions and industries.” The company also explores many different markets in sub-Saharan Africa, including Namibia, Zimbabwe and Nigeria.
The problem of energy consumption
The Bitcoin consensus model, proof-of-work, is known to consume huge amounts of energy around the world. According to the latest data Digiconomist, the total annual amount of electricity consumed by this cryptocurrency is 58.78 terawatt hours, which is comparable to energy consumption throughout Israel.
When asked if the company is concerned about Bitcoin’s electricity consumption, Cambridge said:
“Although mining Bitcoin is energy intensive, it is more efficient than the alternative banking system. Companies compete who will extract Bitcoin in the most efficient way, using the cheapest ways to obtain energy. Currently, the most efficient method for obtaining it is solar energy in places with high sunlight. We hope that bitcoin mining can be solar powered. “
The energy produced by photovoltaic panels over their entire lifetime “is much greater than the energy needed to extract Bitcoin, which we will pay for the cells. This creates a positive energy balance, “added the president.
Other peer-to-peer initiatives in the renewable energy industry
In May, Australian company Power Ledger announced a partnership with Thai Digital Energy Development to create a digital energy platform based on blockchain. The project is to enable ecological trade in goods and energy in the peer-to-peer system in order to accelerate the adoption of renewable energy sources.
However, you do not have to look for innovative renewable energy projects abroad. Copernic, an innovative project combining photovoltaics with blockchain, is developing dynamically in Poland, which aims to build 100 PV farms with a minimum capacity of 1 MW each.