Blockchain renewables marketplace for vulnerable countries announced

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The Peace Renewable Energy Credit (P-REC) digital marketplace platform is planned to accelerate renewables development in fragile, energy-poor countries.

The project, an initiative of the Energy Web blockchain consortium and the NGO Energy Peace Partners, builds on the latter’s newly developed Peace Renewable Energy Credit (P-REC) scheme with the development of a digital purchase option for renewable energy buyers to support the development of projects for communities where the projects are installed.

The P-REC was developed as an energy attribute certificate following the international I-REC standard, i.e. that a P-REC represents 1MWh of renewable energy generated, to certify the social co-benefits of renewable energy in addition to its traditional environmental benefits.

The digital marketplace will leverage the Energy Web Origin open source software development toolkit, harmonising with the I-REC standard and integrating the Energy Web Zero application, which finds and digitally verifies emissions free renewable energy globally.

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“Together we’re bringing a cutting edge, digital solution that will contribute to scaling up the market for P-RECs and, in doing so, unlock more renewable energy investment in high-impact projects around the world,” says Sherwin Das, Managing Director of Energy Peace Partners.

To date, Energy Peace Partners has been authorised as the country issuer of P-RECs and I-RECs in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where the first P-REC transaction occurred in December 2020, and South Sudan.

The platform is expected to help Energy Peace Partners market P-REC projects, increase demand among a wider set of corporate and individual buyers, scale up the global P-REC market and facilitate P-REC transactions in a streamlined way.

For Energy Web, the partnership should generate new open source functionality for EW Origin to support digitised energy attribute certificates ‘forward agreements’ that enable buyers to easily commit to supporting additional renewable energy facilities, which in turn helps reduce the upfront costs of new facilities and improve financing terms.

Doug Miller, global markets lead for Energy Web, adds that the partnership represents the organisation’s first engagement with projects in Africa and an opportunity to introduce digital tools that make it easy for local communities to attract renewable energy buyers.

“This partnership will also result in a new standardized digital approach to renewable energy forward agreements that we think will serve as an attractive product for renewable energy buyers that want to support additional products outside of Africa, yet are simpler to implement than power purchase agreements, especially in regulated markets like most I-REC markets.”

An initial proof of concept is expected to be completed by the end of 2021.