Saudi Arabia's ACWA Power has announced it is adopting the cryptocurrency SolarCoin, a move that will reward the Riyadh-based utility company for producing solar energy.
SolarCoin is a blockchain-based digital currency that’s designed to accelerate the transition to clean energy technology by incentivizing global solar energy production. Through a rewards system, verified solar electricity producers can earn SolarCoins for free by simply producing solar energy. The digital coins are disbursed at a rate of 1 SolarCoin (SLR) per 1 megawatt hour of solar energy produced.
Like other cryptocurrencies, SolarCoin is decentralized and independent of any government. Founded in 2014, SolarCoin is an open community project run by volunteers working together as the SolarCoin Foundation, according to its website.
“We are always looking for ways to adopt new technologies to add value and reduce cost in all that we do and blockchain technology in our view offers a yet untapped opportunity for the power generation sector,” said Paddy Padmanathan, President and CEO of ACWA Power. “Now through SolarCoin, we are able to utilize blockchain technology in one way to create value to renewable energy generation. Being early utility-scale adopters of SolarCoin, ACWA Power is proud to leverage our rapidly growing solar energy generation capacity to accelerate the utilization of SolarCoins to in time further reduce the cost of solar energy through the supplementary value being created.”
According to CoinMarketCap.com, one SolarCoin was trading at $2.23 at the time of press, and the cryptocurrency had a market cap of $86,060,829.
As more users agree to accept SolarCoin for value representation and transactions, its value will theoretically appreciate. Therefore, according to a press release, “claiming SolarCoins can become an additional and relevant revenue stream for solar power producers, resulting in an incentive for solar energy investors to install more generation capacity.” ACWA Power claims to be the first utility scale generator to adopt SolarCoin.
“Awarding coins to solar energy producers such as ACWA Power provides an incentive to continue to invest in solar capacity. We hope to see further adoption of SolarCoin in the region, with the aim of building a strong community and spurring a global market for renewable energy investment,” said Nicholas Gogerty, founder of the SolarCoin Foundation.