What is SolarCoin?
SolarCoin is a reward for solar energy producers. The SolarCoin Foundation grants blockchain-based digital tokens at the rate of one SolarCoin (SLR) per one Megawatt Hour (MWh) of solar energy produced.
SolarCoin is granted freely to solar energy producers of any size. It does not replace other incentives such as government subsidies, renewable energy credits or carbon credits.
Whoever produces solar power may receive SolarCoin.
SolarCoin is a digital asset using a low carbon blockchain to encourage solar energy production globally. This drives the transition from a fossil-fuel economy to a solar-backed economy.
Think of SolarCoin like air-miles for Solar electricity generation – only better because it is an open economic ecosystem. You are not tied to one company for spending or redeeming your solarcoin. You can use SolarCoin like any currency for any transaction you wish.
SolarCoin’s vision is to incentivize a solar-powered planet. SolarCoin is designed as a reward for solar energy producers, who help to drive this vision. SolarCoin has deliberately chosen this design as rewards drive action. SolarCoin offsets the cost of electricity, enabling solar installations to be paid off more quickly. We are on a mission to accelerate the global energy transition by rewarding solar producers with the first energy-referenced currency.
Why Solar energy?
Solar energy, unlike fossil fuels, does not place excess heat or carbon into the atmosphere. Solar energy is the largest and most democratic renewable energy source. Wind, hydro, geothermal and biomass energy sources combined don’t add up to the amount of solar energy landing on Earth’s surface every day.
These other energy sources often require industrial-implementations to be cost-effective. With solar, even small groups or individuals can use solar panels for energy production. Solar energy costs are decreasing rapidly as more solar energy systems get deployed. This 40 yr trend is called Swanson’s law. Solar Energy is already cheaper than any Fossil Fuel in over 30 countries without subsidy. (IRENA)
Why would I use SolarCoins?
SolarCoin is spendable and tradeable for goods or services, bitcoin or major currencies. SolarCoin incentivizes real-world economic and environmental activity: verifiably produced solar energy.
By using SolarCoin, you actively contribute to providing an incentive for solar energy production. At the same time, SolarCoin is fully usable to make payments for other digital or foreign currencies.
SolarCoin is global, decentralized, and independent of any government. As such you are not depending on a government making decisions on your receipt or use of the reward.
SolarCoin puts protecting natural capital at its foundation. The concept of “natural capital” aims to value the world’s stocks of natural assets (geology, soil, air, water and living things). SolarCoin is the first sustainable currency. Usage as a currency, bring users environmental concerns to the very foundation of economic activity.
This is reflected in our choice of technology: SolarCoin’s blockchain uses a low energy proof of stake algorithm designed to use less than 0.001% of the power of Bitcoin when deployed on similar scales.
Where does SolarCoin get its value from?
SolarCoin is a reward token based on low carbon blockchain technology.
Like any currency protocol, price is a function of supply and demand on an open market. Supply is created as new SolarCoin are issued into circulation. SolarCoin’s value is believed like most currencies to be emergent from network effects. Like fiat currency, there is no “backing” or guarantee by any party of a redemption utility for the SolarCoin currency protocol.
According to the Network Theory of currency created by one of the founders of SolarCoin, demand is a function of the participants willing to hold, use or accept SolarCoin. Demand seems to have a value range and be measured for various currency protocols. This is a working theory only.
A research paper discussing 50 Fiat currencies, Gold, Bitcoin and SolarCoin in the context of Network Capital theory is available for download here. This research paper and any comments associated with it are not a recommendation to buy or sell SolarCoin.
Who funds SolarCoin tech development?
The SolarCoin Foundation (SCF) now funds and leads SolarCoin tech development. It does this through the Network Development Fund and via the Genesis pool as lender of last resort. The SolarCoin Foundation is a Mission maximizing vs. Return maximizing organization. It seeks to accelerate the transition to Solar energy. Once the resources and flows from the NDF mature, it may engage in charitable grants for R&D or incentives for rural development in LDCs (lesser developed countries.)
The scale and scope of the NDF SLR inflows may allow for the NDF 10% assessment to be reduced at a point in the future.
What is the Network Development Fund?
A 10% Network Development Fee (NDF) is charged at the time of grant distribution by the SolarCoin Foundation on installations greater than 20 KW Nameplate Capacity to support technology, marketing, governance, market development and infrastructure maintenance for the community and solar-related projects. The fund is administered by the SolarCoin Council and used to develop tools and materials associated with growing and maintaining the SolarCoin network. The network development fund is visible in the blockchain explorer.
The SolarCoin affiliate network grows the network of participants incentivized by SLR bounties from the NDF.
It is assumed that at a point in the future, the Network Development fund may be large enough to distribute to rural solar energy projects and charitable activities agreed to by the SolarCoin Council.
The Network Development Fund inflows and outflows are all visible in the Blockchain explorer. The Current NDF primary balance can be seen at this address. https://chainz.cryptoid.info/slr/address.dws?8YHNSsVVMj6TMJaPuvVEshjejkNJh76yB7.htm
In the event of an NDF short-fall in operating funds, the SCF may borrow SLR interest free from the available circulating Genesis pool SLR.
Is SolarCoin available everywhere in the World?
To be in full regulatory and legal compliance, the SolarCoin Foundation continuously maintains and updates our operating list of suspended regions and countries. The SolarCoin Foundation always seeks to comply with all local, regional and national laws and regulations.
The blockchain token regulatory and operating environment is a rapidly changing one. As rules and regulations change we update or restrict our activities and compliance policies accordingly.
Regions and actors may become unable to receive grants for regulatory or legal reasons. When this occurs, the SolarCoin Foundation suspends grants to a region or specific actors.
Should regulatory changes occur in a suspended region allowing for the SolarCoin operation to operate, the grants to solar energy producers may be re-initiated retroactively to Jan 2010 or the date of last grant received.
The SolarCoin foundation is a US based organization and as such complies with all US laws and regulations including sanctions issued by the US Treasury OFAC.
The list of SolarCoin Foundation suspended regions includes:
Central African Republic
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Sudan and Darfur
Ukraine (Russia related sanctions)
Should you believe your facility or place of generation / ownership is exempt please submit a ticket at email@example.com stating the reason believed for the exemption.
The SolarCoin foundation does not share, resell or in any way redistribute PII (personal identifiable information) unless requested to do so be recognized tax or legal authorities.
The filing of a claiming to SolarCoin using false data on behalf of a facility not owned by the claimant may constitute a fraudulent act in some countries.
Who can claim SolarCoins?
Every owner of a solar installation can claim SolarCoins subject to legal and regulatory restrictions such as those listed in the prior question.
An exception to this rule are rooftop installations smaller than 20kW in size. For these installations the owner of the building can claim SolarCoins. Why this exception to the rule? Many smaller systems are leased or financed. The SolarCoin mission is to incentivize solar electricity generation.
Grants to large generators are important, but so is growing the economically engaged community of SolarCoin participants and holders. Residents of homes with residential generating solar facilities are often the primary consumers of that electricity. The SolarCoin Foundation believes that incentivizing the residential consumer directly creates a larger participating economic network of SolarCoin users and incentivizes Solar electricity generation.
SolarCoin are currently granted in 63 countries – with more countries joining all the time.
To receive a SolarCoin grant, installation owners register their installation and claim their SolarCoin with the SolarCoin Foundation, at the Foundation website or with a registered SolarCoin affiliate.
Once registered, the Foundation issues SolarCoins on a semi-annual basis directly to the owner’s digital SolarCoin wallet address.
SolarCoins can be granted retroactive to January 1st, 2010.
SolarCoins are received and collected in a digital wallet. They can be used as currency, or stored long-term in an offline (paper) wallet. SolarCoin can be used for payments with a growing number of businesses or traded for other currencies on global cryptocurrency exchanges. Find an overview of SolarCoin Wallets here.
Note: The SolarCoin Foundation does not operate, endorse or advocate any specific software, service or exchange. Users of such services do so at their own risk. Please research your local and personal operational risks, tax implications and regulatory implications of any software or service before using it.
How many SolarCoins can I expect to receive annually?
Currently, SolarCoins are granted based on estimated solar production. SolarCoin grants are made at the rate of 15% of Nameplate Capacity:
This annual calculation is 365 days X 24 hrs X 15% X Your KW Nameplate Capacity/1000, or roughly 1.314 X of your installed KW Nameplate Capacity. Various international groups recommend or accept this methodology as a proxy for solar electricity generation.
The initial SolarCoin grant is retroactive to the installation date of your facility or Jan 1, 2010; whichever is more recent. Ongoing SLR grants are then made every 6 months.
As SolarCoin develops its technology further, grants will be made based on actual power produced. Follow our announcements to hear when this is happening.
Note: A 10% Network Development fee is charged at the time of grant distribution by the SolarCoin Foundation on facilities greater than 20KW Nameplate Capacity to support hard and soft infrastructure development maintenance, and solar-related projects.
What documents do I need to register a claim?
Proof of Ownership (PoO) of the installation
As SolarCoins are granted to the owners of solar installations, false claims need to be avoided and claimants musts provide PoO documentation as part of the process.
Know-your-Device (KYD) documentation,
SolarCoin needs to ensure that solar installations can only be registered once to avoid double counting and granting. For this reason, a unique registration of every solar installation is needed
power production data or Know-your-Energy (KYE)
The SLF needs to know that energy is produced from a solar installation. Relevant documentation is needed for the registration process.
Know-your-Customer (KYC) compliance documentation.
The SLF needs to be able to identify claimants. For this reason, claimants must undergo KYC procedures to be eligible to receive SLR.
The Affiliates can guide you through the registration process. It is not as difficult as it may seem.
How many SolarCoins are available? Where are they held?
SolarCoins representing 97,500 TeraWatt hours of solar energy generation are held in reserve publicly visible wallets:
§33.7 Million SolarCoins (0.1%) have been mined using Proof of Work before the shift to Proof of Stake. All mined SolarCoins are deemed to represent historically generated and unclaimed solar electricity prior to 2010.
§97.5 Billion SolarCoins (99.4%) are stored in the SolarCoin trust, a non-circulating generator pool account. These are exchanged for ongoing claimed solar electricity generation. The intention is to have these managed in by 3rd party independent trustees.
§500 Million SolarCoins (0.5%) less initial development costs are stored in the SolarCoin trust genesis pool account for founders. The Genesis pool is also used as lender of last resort and resource to insure the SolarCoin Foundation delivers its mission. To prevent hyper-inflationary spikes, the Genesis pool circulation is restricted to never being more than 5% of total SolarCoin in circulation.
Current SolarCoin in circulation and in the reserve wallets can be observed with a SolarCoin Blockchain Explorer.