Grid+ describes itself as “the future of energy”. Find out how this company plans to use the Ethereum blockchain to improve energy markets today in our review.
What Is Grid+?
Grid+ is a platform that uses the Ethereum blockchain to give consumers direct access to wholesale energy markets. The overall goal of Grid+ is to improve efficiency in energy markets by allowing customers to respond intelligently. This decreases the costs of energy “and helps move us all to a cleaner future”, explains the official Grid+ website.
Grid+ relies on a smart device called a Smart Energy Agent. That device is placed in your home and is always on. The device lets you pay for your electricity in real time and always find the best price available. The device helps balance loads on the grid by controlling your smart devices. It can also leverage in-home energy storage solutions – like a Tesla Powerwall – to purchase energy when it’s cheap, then sell it when prices peak.
Grid+ is being proposed as an efficient solution for the energy industry. Some of the key benefits include:
Promotes The Use Of Green Energy:
Grid+ creates economic incentives through market-based energy pricing while encouraging the adoption of clean energy solutions – including distributed energy generation devices (like solar panels) and distributed energy storage systems (like batteries).
Grid+ encourages the adoption of distributed energy resources, or DERs. This allows a more efficient utilization of existing power grid infrastructure.
Grid+ removes administrative and financial overhead, leading to lower prices for consumers. It disincentives parties who offer little value to the electricity supply chain, which means only the most efficient and cost-effective producers continue to contribute.
How Does Grid+ Work?
Grid+ relies on a smart device called the Smart Energy Agent. That always-on device pays for your electricity in real-time and always finds the cheapest energy source available.
The smart device processes payments using BOLT tokens, which you can purchase with US dollars. The price of 1 BOLT will always be 1 USD. BOLTs are fully backed by deposits.
In order to join the Grid+ ecosystem, you’ll need to register your Smart Energy Agent and then purchase BOLT tokens using a credit card or bank transfer. After payment settles, BOLT tokens are transferred to your Smart Energy Agent. As long as your Smart Energy Agent holds BOLT tokens, it may read from the household smart meter and pay for electricity usage in real time.
You can purchase BOLT tokens through the Grid+ web console. After your Smart Energy Agent holds BOLT tokens, you don’t need to do anything else until the agent runs out of BOLT. The developers also plan to implement an automatic payment option – so theoretically, using Grid+ will be as simple as paying your utility bills every month.
Some of the key features of Grid+’s Smart Energy Agent include:
Responds To Demand
The smart device balances loads on the grid by controlling smart devices – like your NEST thermostat or Tesla Powerwall – to generate extra revenue.
Your Grid+ Smart Energy Agent can leverage energy storage, like the Tesla Powerwall, to purchase energy when it’s cheap, then sell it when prices peak.
Efficiently Predict Usage
Privately share encrypted information about your schedule with your agent, so you can purchase electricity in the most cost-effective markets to meet future demand.
Store Energy And Cryptocurrency
The Smart Energy Agent lets Grid+ customers store cryptocurrency and energy in the same device. The agent uses state of the art hardware-based secure enclaving combined with multi-signature wallets, so customers can access their cryptocurrency while also safely storing large amounts of cryptocurrency at home.
Stable Fiat Token
Grid+ customers will prepay with US dollars. US dollars are converted into BOLT tokens at a rate of 1 USD = 1 BOLT. All deposits are backed fully by reserves. The value of 1 BOLT is always going to be 1 USD.
Liquid State Channels
Grid+ transactions take place within state-channels between the users and Grid+. Consumers can use BOLT liquidity in the Grid+ to send money to anyone via the Raiden network. It’s a decentralized, peer to peer marketplace.
Who Made Grid+?
Grid+ has been in development by a company called ConsensSys for over two years. the project launched in 2015 with the creation of a tokenized energy system called the TransactiveGrid, which demonstrated that it was possible to transfer energy between users with tokens. The prototype was tested on a microgrid in Brooklyn.
By 2016, ConsensSys had created another project called Co-Tricity that explored energy trading between residential and commercial customers. The prototype was developed with European partners. Today, ConsenSys has engagements with multiple Fortune 50 energy companies, with several engagements still ongoing.
The company also claims to have a small network of Ethereum-aware smart batteries deployed in Europe, where they’re currently trading energy with one another successfully.
In Q2 2017, ConsensSys created Grid+ has a branch off of the company’s enterprise services. GRID tokens (which are separate from BOLT tokens, and represent shares in the company) are scheduled to go on sale in Q3 2017.
By Q3 2017, Grid+ hopes to establish its first utility in targeted regents. Agent production is also scheduled to begin in Q3 2017, with the first agents shipped to customers in Q1 2018.
By the middle of 2018, Grid+ plans to have a full-fledged energy sharing platform, complete with hardware agents, the Raiden hub, payment channels, and utilities around the world.
Key members of Grid+ include Alex Miller (Co-Founder and Technical Lead), Karl Kreder (Co-Founder and Energy Guru), Mark D’Agostino (Co-Founder and Strategy Lead), and Claudia Pop (Researcher).
Ethereum Co-Founder (and ConsensSys Founder) Joseph Lubin is also listed as an advisor.
Grid+ plans to use Ethereum blockchain technology to implement a sharing economy into the energy industry. Using existing electrical grids and an always-on smart device, Grid+ allows customers to access lower energy costs, earn money through energy sales, and take part in an energy marketplace.
To learn more about Grid+ and the unique energy sharing ecosystem, visit the project online at GridPlus.io.