Blockchain-tech launches to help corporates transition to renewables without greenwashing

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Global technology company WePower has today announced the launch of its ‘Incite’ software developed to support corporates making the transition to renewable energy. By providing businesses with an overview of the true state of their current energy impact, the company says it’s developed a springboard to help businesses to engage with greener alternatives. “You can’t measure or model what you can’t track,”  WePower’s Chief Customer Officer Huda Olsson told pv magazine Australia.

The enterprise-facing platform is designed to inform, guide and report on corporates’ sustainability strategies by providing an interface to track green energy use while also allowing users to contract additional renewably-sourced power.

Olsson said the company chose to launch the platform in Australia first since it’s a leader “in terms of companies wanting to green.”

While the platform is only visible to the companies using it, the blockchain-based system means the data can be easily shared and transparently certified by auditors, customers or other interested parties, should the company choose.

The blockchain technology, Olsson added, also enables complex bilateral and trilateral commercial engagements to be easily accounted for, making accurate oversight possible.

The dashboard of the Incite platform.

How it works

WePower’s software basically integrates directly with data from users’ smart meters. This gives the company access to live and dynamic data which is then translated onto the Incite dashboard, effectively tracking what portion of operation’s energy was renewably sourced 24/7.

This allows for far more granularity, especially compared to the analogue method of bill validation. “WePower is actually taking it straight from the source,” Olsson said.

The company then uses this data to model and forecast the operation’s consumption, helping them calculate how much additional renewable energy is still to be sourced to meet targets.

This additional renewable energy can then be contract directly through Incite. “It’s a real end to end system,” Olsson said.

PPAs no longer cut it

Olsson describes the days of companies being able to simply use a power purchasing agreement (PPA) as proof of sustainability as “gone”. With increasing scrutiny is being placed on corporates making sustainability pledges and setting renewable energy targets, companies need transparent sustainability reporting methods to prove their words have translated into actions and are more than just greenwashing.

“With the launch of Incite we’re enabling businesses to put substance behind their sustainability pledges by helping them to know precisely where they are on that journey and where they need to invest to improve. It’s only by having this complete picture that realistic KPIs can be set and genuine sustainability progress can be made,” WePower’s Chief Technical Officer, Kaspar Kaarlep, said.

Through the platform, it’s also possible for businesses to map, integrate and ultimately verify their supply chains, though this would require the supplier businesses to also use the software.

From tracking to tokenisation

The platform has five different “modules” (the name WePower has given for levels of services), which begin with a tracking dashboard and advance to the more sophisticated feature of being able to “tokenise” company’s individual assets or products based on how much green energy was used in its creation.

For a fashion brand, for example, Olsson says the platform could track how much electricity was used to make 100 shirts, and how much green electricity the company purchased over that period, enabling it to issue a token verifying the individual garment had been made using 100% renewable energy.

As Olsson put it, the feature means companies can show and prove their green coverage based on 24/7 green matching. Since the platform takes its data directly from the smart meter to its platform, that token can be viewed by auditors on the blockchain through a report.

Pricing

Like most software as a service enterprises, WePower charges users a connection or setup fee as well as a monthly fee.

Exactly how expensive the ‘Incite’ suite is depends how many of WePower’s five “modules” (services level) a business wants to access. It is also dependent on the business’ size and how many enterprises it’s looking to connect. As a rough ballpark, Olsson said plans start at around $50,000.

Rollout

WePower has opted to first launch the Incite product suite here in Australia, where it also has a research and development team. It plans to take the package overseas shortly to countries it deems to have the most opportunity.

To this end, Olsson described the platform for “regulation agnostic,” allowing it to be integrated to a range of different countries’ systems.

While it is too early for secured customers, Olsson said WePower is already in discussions with companies from the transport, fashion, beauty, and aluminium manufacturing industries.

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