UNDP seeks to test a new business model that entails partnering with blockchain based solar startups. In the model, the humanitarian organization will work with the Technical University of Moldova, Sun Exchange and ElectriCChain. Technical University seeks to install solar panels within their university. Sun exchange is a platform that enables people to fund solar initiatives and get paid for it. On the other hand, ElectriCChain empowers people who have installed solar panels by enabling them earn Solar Coins from the solar energy produced.
Moldova as a country has over 2400 sunshine hours on an annual basis. Ironically, even with this abundant sunshine, the country imports over 70% of their energy needs. Additionally, rising energy costs have made it imperative for novel solutions to be sought.
Structure of the Solar Partnership
In this partnership, the technical University will work with the two startups to provide funding for solar panels. Additionally, it will also enable the university to earn SolarCoins from the solar energy produced. This agreement will ensure that the project pays for itself. The payment should be done within a maximum period of 13 years. After this period, the university will continue generating rental income from the solar panels. This will go for about seven more years as the shelf life of the panels is 20 years. This may act as a viable income stream for the university as all the SolarCoins produced after the payment period is over go directly to the university kitty.
UNDP acted as a strategic partner by connecting the university with the solar startups. The success of specifically this project will see the humanitarian organization replicate this model across the region. In June this year, the organization will set up a solar fund- a pilot fund that seeks to help countries leverage on Solar Technology. The fund will allow for institutions and individuals set up solar panels in their households and institutions. By doing this, they will have a chance to earn Solar Coins.
Sunshine Powered Startups
The Sun Exchange is an entity that leases solar cells to schools and businesses across the sunny parts of the World. It then organizes for the lenders monthly rental contribution that can be paid in Bitcoin. At the same time , the lenders can get paid in local fiat currencies.
SolarCoin is a reward program started by ElectricChain. The program rewards Solar Electricity producers by giving them SolarCoins for free. For instance,if you produce 1 MWH of Solar Electricity, you get to earn 1 SolarCoin. In spite of strong resistance from government entities, private corporations and humanitarian agencies are adopting blockchain technology. On the contrary, governments across the world are yet to understand the benefits of such projects and adopt them