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Excellence in Innovation Award recognises blockchain research and commercialisation

Posted 31 May 2019 - 2:17pm

The Cooperative Research Centre for Low Carbon Living (CRCLCL)  has won an Excellence in Innovation Award at the CRC Association’s (CRCA) annual conference this week, thanks to Curtin University Dr Jemma Green’s PhD research into blockchain technology, from which the commercial venture Power Ledger was born.

Power Ledger is an international energy sharing company helping to enable the world-wide secure and efficient capture and trade of renewable energy. Dr Green’s formative research was funded by the CRCLCL.

In her research, Dr Green used blockchain technology to monitor how residents in Perth could share and trade electricity from shared solar power and battery storage technology. Power Ledger’s founding goal is to decentralise and democratise power.

Her research – conducted at a residential development in White Gum Valley, Freemantle and one of the CRCLCL’s 17 Living Laboratories – ultimately disrupted the old fashioned and dominant way of thinking by advancing a model of shared ownership of renewable energy assets between developers, owners, tenants, strata bodies and utilities. This model enables greater uptake of solar PV and energy storage within medium density housing establishments across Australia, reducing energy costs and carbon emissions.

On accepting the award at the CRCA awards dinner, Dr Green thanked all her colleagues at Curtin University, particularly her supervisor Professor Peter Newman AO, who is famous for his contributions to urban design and sustainable transport.

She also expressed her heartfelt gratitude to the CRCLCL and its CEO Professor Deo Prasad AO and its support for Power Ledger.

“The CRCLCL really backed me with this zany idea to build an ecovillage in an applied research project and its really through this support that this project came to life,” she said.

“I’m enormously grateful for the risk the CRCLCL took by investing in me. At Power Ledger we’re a group of passionate experts in blockchain and technology and with the scaling and commercialisation, we hope to make a big difference to achieving the Paris climate goals.”

Current partnerships include the Thai Government backed renewable energy company BCPG, Japan’s largest privately-owned retailer Kansai Electric Power Co (KEPCO), as well as Curtin University, Western Power and Synergy as part of a government-funded Smart Cities and Suburbs project in the city of Fremantle.

In addition, Power Ledger and Silicon Valley Power in the United States - the City of Santa Clara’s Municipal Electric Utility – successfully completed a trial of a blockchain-based solution for measuring and monetising renewable electricity discharged to electric vehicles.  They are now in further discussions about future commercialisation.

Watch the video shown at the awards that tells the full story of Dr Green’s work and the birth of Power Ledger.