Dr Jemma Green answers all the latest questions from the Powerledger community.
1) Thailand recently announced a 100MW solar trading plan on 24/5/19. Are Powerledger in talks to be involved in that?
Jemma: Thailand presently has about 5GW of renewables in the system growing at 10 percent per annum. We are in talks with a number of developers about using our platform in Thailand, as a part of our partnership with BCPG.
2) As for AGE, when POWR tokens are transferred to buy AGE, could there be some plan to escrow those POWR tokens for a certain period? in order to support the price, otherwise all those POWR tokens sold could cause a collapse in the price.
Jemma: We have not done any market making or price support for POWR and it is not in our plans to do that in general, or for AGE. The intention is that POWR can be used to purchase AGE in a particular asset. For the asset itself, they will need a certain amount of POWR in escrow to use the platform.
3) How are talks in India going further to the signed MOU?
Jemma: Actually we have three projects in India that we are scoping and expect to be able to share details of these in the very near future.
4) What are risks utilities simply copy the PL platform & create their own trading blockchain?
Jemma: Copying IP is of course a risk. But Powerledger’s point of difference isn’t just our technology, it is importantly our relationships with the energy and carbon industry and also our technical know how from a blockchain energy and carbon POV. This can’t be easily copied and is why we are the market leader in terms of projects to date.
5) Are AGEs still on track for 2019?
Jemma: Yes it is! The platform is 90 percent built and we are just finalising the information to share with the market.
6) Can you share any specifics yet about who will be able to participate in the first event(s) using POWR tokens. Is it only ICO holders, long term holders of POWR tokens, everyone who holds POWR tokens?
Jemma: Anyone will be able to participate
7) How will you balance people with large amounts of POWR tokens vs smaller amounts of tokens. Large holders might be disappointed they can’t buy a bigger share and smaller holders might be disappointed if large token holders “scoop it up” first.
Jemma: We are working out the details of this to ensure that the market as a whole has the potential to participate. We expect to have more assets on the platform asap to cope with strong demand.
8) Can you share anything about potential partnerships in:
- Puerto Rico / India and Tech Mahindra /Lisd and Europe
Jemma: I answered the India question already. Europe we have two new projects there we will provide details soon which will be our first deployments in Europe, which we are super excited about. In Puerto Rico we are still scoping out potential first projects.
9) In general, how do you think current trials are going
Jemma: From a technology perspective really great. Our technology has integrated very well into all deployments. Some of the trials are to understand the impacts of the technology on client’s existing portfolios and depending on their exposures, it varies as to how attractive the technology is to use. We see big opportunities though in all the markets we are deployed, which include the US, Australia, Japan, Thailand and the ones we are about to go live in as well, ie Europe, India, Malaysia.
10) Any interest in expanding to other regions (for example Malaysia, Dubai, Philippines, Africa, South America)?
Jemma: Yes, James is visiting South America this month. We have a project in Malaysia we will provide details on soon. We don’t yet have projects in the other countries you mention.
11) What physical hardware is required for the everyday household with a standard metering installation to join and transact on the Powerledger network?
Jemma: A smart meter is required.
12) With the trials so far showing that the PL platform works as expected, is there going to be a bigger push to educate and on board existing retailers domestically? As a PV owner I am really keen to join, however, retailers seem very reluctant to discuss.
Jemma: Retailers in Australia (or elsewhere) who do not have a lot of generation assets, and who are exposed to the price volatility in the spot market, could benefit from using our VPP platform and we are seeing a lot of interest on this right now. I wrote about this here.
13) Is the smart meter expected to be able to host and run the Powerledger platform internally? Or does Powerledger provide a separate device?
Jemma: No separate device is needed. Meter reading services read the meters and we write that to the blockchain which forms the basis of transactions and associated payments.
14) In the Perth trials, what models of smart meter have been used successfully so far?
Jemma: The platform is meter agnostic, so long as the meter data can be provided to Powerledger in regular intervals. There are two types of meters being used in the Western Australian trials. They are from Landis + Gyr and EnergyOS
14–1) Could you define “regular interval” i.e. 1 second data?
Jemma: Every thirty minutes. Obviously it can be more frequent but it will be a while before the market is there.
15) Would the everyday household need to hold POWR tokens to join and transact on the Powerledger network, or would the average consumer need to only buy/sell Sparkz with fiat and the application host who hosts the network be the one who needs to hold the POWR tokens?
Jemma: Utilities need POWR to spin up a P2P trading marketplace for their customers. Customers do not need POWR or any crypto. They convert dollars to Sparkz and Sparkz back to dollars and this is fixed.
16) Would this mean that the meter reading services would need to be Application Hosts? Or will Powerledger be obtaining meter read data from the provider as part of a service contract with them?
Jemma: Application Hosts will make arrangements with suppliers and push the data to us via an API.
17) You have spoken in the past about working with regulators to bring about change. What regulations have you faced that need changing?
Jemma: It’s more that regulators want to change and are interested to understand how to write the regulations to enable distributed digital energy markets. Case in point is Thailand. They are running sandboxes which we are a part of that will be using to inform the writing of the new rules.
18) When could we expect new Carbon trading projects? Also have the relevant carbon agency approved & accepting the certificates generated by the C6 platforms?
Jemma: We will be providing details in the next fortnight of an exciting partnership with our C6 and C6+ technology — for RECs trading in the US.
19) What are the biggest challenges you face currently for mass adoption of your platform?
Jemma: Honestly there are so many! Getting people to understand the technology, explaining it simply enough so people understand and are willing to try. De-risking technical integration for POCs fast, so we can scale. Language barriers, cultural differences, regulatory. It’s all there!
20) Is it now currently possible to share between neighbours in West Australia if both have the required meter? Can I put panels on another residence and through the platform & PPA trade right now?
Jemma: In Fremantle, yes, but not more broadly at this time.
21) What new doors have open after winning XTC?
Jemma: So many. Our next wave of projects that I have mentioned briefly here, and will provide details of in the next few weeks show that we are in scale up. The recognition of the XTC win has helped in building awareness around what we are doing and moving things along faster.
22) Are retailers showing interest or are they still wary due to new technologies?
Jemma: They are interested where we can help manage their risk and portfolio position as alluded to in a previous question. Our VPP product can help in this regard. I am excited for the opportunities with retailers in Australia that do not have a big generation portfolio, ie the tier 2 retailers.
22) Is the project with Japan Sharing Energy going well & on track to take on the 55,000 homes trading later this year? That would be a huge MW amount.
Jemma: We are progressing the on-boarding of Sharing Energy. It will be a smaller number to start with and they intend to scale up to those numbers after they get their retail energy license.
23) Any at all interest from the eastern states of Australia?
Jemma: Yes, we are actively working on large opportunities over east and optimistic about projects there.
24) For Queensland customers, there is no incentive for customers to switch to smart meters and no push to do so from retailers. Is there a view for Powerledger to promote/advertise its advantages for consumers to incentivise them to upgrade their meters? At the moment the only time a smart meter is installed typically is when an existing (electromechanical) meter fails and needs to be replaced.
Jemma: I think smart meters will be rolled out across Australia in the next few years. Strata developments are putting them in as standard as they are constructed and our uGrid platform can be used for trading within the development.
25) What licences if any are required for using uGrid? Depends on system size I’d guess similar to a single home install? <100kw not required.
Jemma: Within strata developments, strata rules allow the body corporate to charge residents for utilities without the need for an energy license.
26) With regards to AGEs / Microgrids, do you see an opportunity for Powerledger to electrify remote communities which currently have little or no access to (clean) energy?
Jemma: Absolutely! We are actively working on opportunities in this regard.
27) In the strata development who is the application host hosting the uGrid?
Jemma: The body corporate.
28) How do you expect to handle other competitors like WePower and their expansion in to regions PL are also entering?
Jemma: We welcome other players that are good operators. Energy is a $3 trillion market. The more players that are building awareness in the space the easier it will be for everyone.
29) For asset germination events, will POWR tokens be required to obtain AGE tokens, or will AGE tokens be directly obtainable with fiat?
Jemma: To start with, crypto only.
30) What is the capable throughput of the Powerledger blockchain in terms of transactions per second?
Jemma: We’ve just been testing the trading engine for scale and the blockchain and its actually got a lot of upside in it.
31) A number of large energy companies are currently showing interested in acquiring assets and perhaps offering similar P2P services. A lot of these still seem to be in the early stages of trials. Do you feel your current state of trials gives Powerledger a first mover advantage? How important would you say it is for consumers to own their own generation assets to maximally reap the benefits?
Jemma: With new technologies, typically the glide path for commercialisation is desktop trials, proof of concepts, commercial trials and commercialisation. We have projects in all buckets which is to be expected. There are about 15 other players right now so I am not sure we are the first mover but certainly we believe those that secure the POCs and commercial trials will be best positioned for commercialisation. Consumers that don’t own their own assets can buy P2P from their neighbours but owning assets means you can get a return so it really depends on what the objective is.
32) What other blockchain/crypto projects look interesting to you?
Jemma: The other sectors where there is the most progress are financial services, gaming and gambling.