Australian Retirees To Cash In On Solar Power

Power Ledger - Solar Energy

A group of retirees in Western Australia will soon be reaping in more than double the current standard feed-in tariff payment for their surplus rooftop-generated solar electricity.

The ABC reports a trial about to get under way at a National Lifestyle Villages complex in Busselton will enable the group to sell surplus energy from their solar panels direct to their neighbours.

The trial is being run by Power Ledger, a trading platform non-solar households and solar owners can use to negotiate directly with each other depending on their supply and demand.

The Power Ledger platform utilises encryption and blockchain technology to provide the service, which identifies ownership of energy as it is generated and then manages trading agreements. Power Ledger teamed up with Ledger Assets, Australia’s largest blockchain company, to develop the platform.

“Power Ledger puts the power to manage the energy economy into the hands of consumers, while maintaining the value of existing distribution networks,” says the company.

In the Western Australian trial, electricity will be sold for 20 cents a kilowatt per hour, with the retirees receiving 15 cents and the remainder divided between Western Power and Power Ledger. Western Power receives a slice as it provides and maintains the “poles and wires” the electricity is transmitted via.

Currently the standard solar feed in tariff in Western Australia is just over 7 cents per kilowatt hour. While solar can provide an excellent investment opportunity for retirees even without Power Ledger, the platform could make it even more so.

A New Zealand trial of Power Ledger is expected to get under way early next year across up to 500 sites across Auckland, including schools, community groups and households

Chair and co-founder of Power Ledger is Jemma Green; a name that would be familiar to many in Australia’s renewable energy sector. Ms. Green is also a research fellow at Curtin University Sustainability Policy Institute; with a special focus on research relating to solar and energy, battery storage, modular construction and mass transit.


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