Proceedings of ICT for Sustainability 2016

Boosting the Renewable Energy Economy with NRGcoin

Mihail Mihaylov, Ivan Razo-Zapata, Roxana Radulescu, Ann Nowe
Corresponding Author
Mihail Mihaylov
Available Online August 2016.
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Renewable Energy, Smart Grids, Bitcoin, Energy trading, Digital currency, Blockchain technology
Recent work introduced the concept of NRGcoin [1] - a decentralized digital currency for renewable energy, based on Blockchain technology. In this abstract we summarize the con-cept and outline how this currency benefits each stakeholder in the smart grid and the renewable energy economy as a whole. The NRGcoin concept is visualized in Figure 1. When a prosumer generates energy and injects it in the grid (1), she receives information from the grid operator (2) on the balance of supply and demand in the micro-grid (or district). This in-formation is then used by the smart meter at that agent's home to securely create (3) (also issue, or "mint"), new digital units (or NRGcoins) for that prosumer. For every 1kWh of renewa-ble energy that the prosumer injects in the grid, her smart meter creates 1 NRGcoin. At any time, the prosumer can offer to sell her coins (4) on the NRGcoin currency market - a FOREX-type currency exchange. Consumers join the NRGcoin market and buy NRGcoins (5) using fiat currency, e.g. Euro, Dollar, Pound, etc. When consumers use green energy from the grid (6), their smart meter automatically pays for that consumption using NRGcoins (7), instead of traditional currency. 1 kWh green energy consumption from the grid costs 1 NRGcoin, regardless of the current retail cost of energy. Nevertheless, since NRGcoin is linked to energy, which in turn is linked to money, NRGcoin is indirectly linked to the monetary value of energy, unlike other digital currencies, such as Bitcoin, which are not linked to any particular value. Thus it is expected that NRGcoin will always fluctuate closely around the retail value of electricity. All digital transactions of NRGcoins, including their creation, are governed by the decentralized NRGcoin pro-tocol - a piece of software running on the peer-to-peer network of smart meters. This protocol is based on the Blockchain tech-nology . Thus the NRGcoin concept offers a number of benefits to each stakeholder in the smart grid. It serves as:a subsidy scheme for renewable installations with lower risk against policy change for prosumers. The issuance of the currency is governed by a decentralized protocol that can only be changed by a majority vote and thus not by in-dividual market actors. a currency that offers consumers an alternative payment choice and cheaper green energy. High NRGcoin supply on the currency exchange market will drive NRGcoin price down, resulting in lower cost of green energy.- a financial tool offering faster cash flow and profit to re-tailers and grid operators. As a peer-to-peer currency, NRGcoin can process micro-payments, e.g. payments for energy every 15 minutes, at virtually zero overhead costs. a mechanism that reduces the need for government support schemes, since prosumers are generating their own money, thus saving on budget. an asset from which investors profit when electricity prices increase. Buying the currency at the current retail price of energy and selling at a later po
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ICT for Sustainability 2016
Part of series
Advances in Computer Science Research
Publication Date
August 2016
DOI to use a DOI?
Open Access
This is an open access article distributed under the CC BY-NC license.

Cite this article

AU  - Mihail Mihaylov
AU  - Ivan Razo-Zapata
AU  - Roxana Radulescu
AU  - Ann Nowe
PY  - 2016/08
DA  - 2016/08
TI  - Boosting the Renewable Energy Economy with NRGcoin
BT  - ICT for Sustainability 2016
PB  - Atlantis Press
SN  - 2352-538X
UR  -
DO  -
ID  - Mihaylov2016/08
ER  -