SunContract – Disrupting The Energy Sector with P2P Blockchain-based Applications
SunContract is a blockchain based company that is pioneering the decentralisation of the energy sector – tailoring it to maximise the welfare of the common man, rather than utilities. The company’s business model directly connects peers in an open energy marketplace, eliminating the middleman company, for P2P electricity trading to occur efficiently between the two parties, without the need for an intermediary.
Before, the producer would sell his energy at a less than optimal price to a middleman company who would then make a profit by selling this energy to an end consumer. With SunContract, the producer and consumer directly agree on the price. The result of the agreement is a lower price for the consumer and also a higher price for the producer than if he sold it to a middleman company. This way the consumer incurs electricity cost savings while the producer becomes more profitable and can break even much faster on the costs of his production assets.
Electricity traded on the SunContract platform is renewable and there is also an array of energy self-sufficiency products which users on the platform can purchase. The SunContract team prides itself in working towards sustainable development and energy self-sufficiency – a vision it shares with both the United Nations as well as the European Commission.
The SunContract project is already commercially deployed in Slovenia where adoption of the platform has been greeted with a lot of enthusiasm. Before the launch of the platform in April 2018, the waitlist to become a customer on the platform had already been filled up by nearly 1,000 supporters that were eager to play an active role in redefining the energy sector as we know it.
In October 2018, SunContract announced a partnership with Italian energy company Tecnoapp, and penetration of the Italian market is slated for the year 2019. Italy represents immense potential for acquiring new users on the SunContract platform as the number of already installed solar power plants in Italy is more than 770.000.
While the World Energy Council states that blockchain is “perceived by energy leaders globally to be an issue of both relatively high impact and uncertainty,” the SunContract team has proven that paired with the right technology provider, blockchain is in fact reliable and has many credible use cases.
The SunContract platform is gaining a lot of trust from its customers due to the tamper-proof audit trail of data they have constant access to on the platform. Users on the platform have instant access to consumption and production insights which are immutable thanks to blockchain technology. Transparency of the platform breeds credibility among users and in this instance removes the need for intermediaries whose role has often been to create trust in a chain of transactions or in the exchange of information. This offers huge productivity and efficiency savings, as well as ridding SunContract and its customers of unnecessary paper trails. Basically, never again do any two related sets of data need to be reconciled separately because it is all listed and peer reviewed on the distributed blockchain ledger.
The European Commission is working towards sustainable development through reliance on renewable energy. Policies are beginning to be implemented that allow for different business models in the energy sector, such as SunContract, to exist. This is encouraging news for all stakeholders at SunContract: producers, consumers, supporters and partners.
Despite the fact that the EU supports projects such as SunContract, amendments to existing legislation are still necessary for companies in blockchain to maximise their technological potential. Expansion into foreign countries also dictates that SunContract obliges with the regulatory framework in the respective jurisdictions that it expands into. This makes Europe a more conducive environment for SunContract’s expansion due to its liberalised energy market. However, the SunContract team is not discouraged, and has plans to introduce a new P2P Production Capacities Marketplace (on a global scale) in the first half of 2019. P2P trading of energy will be focused on Europe, Asia and South America.
The SunContract platform is supported by the Renewable EU Directive for self-sufficiency. The positively disruptive potential of the platform has also been recognized by the United Nations where SunContract was presented in New York, as a use case for blockchain technology addressing sustainable development goals.
On May 23rd, SunContract entered a partnership with Microsoft. The strategic cooperation between SunContract and Microsoft aims to leverage the Azure Blockchain Workbench, a platform that is being developed by Microsoft that will host and run the SunContract platform. The Blockchain Workbench can reduce app development time from months to days and it will automate the process of infrastructure development so that developers can focus on application logic and business owners can focus on defining and validating their use cases.
SunContract platform – facts:
The platform is a product of an international team of industry experts, spearheaded by CEO Gregor Novak. The project ran a one-month ICO in June/July 2018 where they raised2 million USD for P2P development of the platform. The initial concept of the project was supported by approximately 3.000 supporters (early adopters). Later on, many of them went on to either buy their own solar power plant or become consumers of electricity though the SunContract platform.
The reasoning behind the SunContract business idea is that there is an ongoing technological revolution known as digitisation. Digitisation has made it possible for what was once a big world, to become a global village. With an increase in electricity consumption, an inefficient energy system and a rise in electricity prices, it became apparent to the team that the energy sector needed a solution that afforded its users trust, energy independence, as well as autonomy through decentralisation.
- A unique P2P energy marketplace
- Focus on renewables
- It enables direct trading of electricity without intermediaries
- Producers can use, sell or donate to others/family and friends through the platform.
- Consumers, can also list additional meters that they can pay electricity for
- Platform development is an ongoing process for better customer experience.
The services on the SunContract platform enable households to:
- Become self-sufficient in energy
- Reduce costs
- Relieve the environment.
- Take control of energy consumption.
- Those who buy energy can support local production.
- Those who are producing energy can create their own circle of customers.
Winfred K. Mandela
Chief Marketing Officer