Blockchain to power new P2P renewable energy trading platform in Melbourne
Energy consumers in Melbourne will be able to buy and sell renewable power through a new blockchain platform set up by Power Ledger and Greenwood Solutions.
The goal of the project is to supply residents with clean renewable energy while also creating increased awareness around the benefit of renewables, like solar.
Greenwood Solutions Director, Eddie Greco, said: “The current model of how people buy and sell electricity is outdated and cumbersome. Being able to experience our customers first hand frustration on the complexity of electrical billing, quickly made us realise that change was needed.”
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The deployment will see Greenwood Solutions install solar across strata units using the Power Ledger platform to distribute solar energy efficiently behind the meter.
This is the one of many consumer-based solar projects occurring throughout the country. For example, in South Australia Tesla is installing a virtual solar farm by placing panels on 50,000 homes for no charge.
Power Ledger’s platform will enable those who generate their own renewable power to sell to their neighbours cheaply on the blockchain network.
The company’s Managing Director David Martin commented: “Coupling on-site renewable energy generation with peer-to-peer trading will allow residents to maximise the value of their renewable energy investments, while sharing the low-carbon benefits with their neighbours.”
David Fulton, Greenwood Solutions Project Engineer, added: “The lagging effect of our energy infrastructure when compared to other sectors, especially telecommunications, has puzzled me for many years.
“After reading the Power Ledger white paper I was pleased to see I wasn’t alone and that an Australian company had a world class solution. After meeting with Power Ledger at their headquarters in Perth earlier this year, working together seemed like the next logical step.”
Beyond Limits: Cognitive AI in APAC
Courtesy of current estimates, it looks like Asia-Pacific AI will be worth US$136bn by 2025. Its governments and corporations invest more money than the rest of the world in AI tech, the data of its citizens is considered fair game, and its pilots are small-scale and, as a result, ruthlessly effective. This is why, according to Jeff Olson, Cognizant’s Associate Vice President for Projects, AI and Analytics, Digital Business and Technology, the APAC region ‘is right on the edge of an AI explosion’.
Now, startup Beyond Limits is pushing the boundaries of what AI can do, mirroring humans in its ability to find solutions with even limited information. As of this July, it’s partnered up with Mitsui, a global trading and investment company, to expand its impact in APAC.
How Does Beyond Limits Work?
Most AI companies claim that they can help businesses make better decisions. But many need astoundingly large stores of data to feed their information-hungry algorithms. Beyond Limits, in contrast, takes a different tack. Perfect data, after all, is largely a pipe dream kept alive by PhD students. In reality, systems must often make decisions from small, incomplete sets of intel.
But Beyond Limits’ AI is no black box. ‘When little to no data is available, Beyond Limits symbolic technologies rely on deductive, inductive, and abductive reasoning capabilities’, explained Clare Walker, Industry Analyst at Frost & Sullivan. While making these leaps in logic, however, the system also keeps track, ensuring that humans can review the AI’s ‘thought process’.
Why Partner With Mitsui?
Beyond Limits is built for specific applications such as energy, utilities, and healthcare—but lacks the extensive industry network of Mitsui. Partnering allows Beyond Limits to access a portfolio of firms specialising in minerals and metals, energy, infrastructure, and chemicals. ‘We’ve been working on this deal for several years’, said Mitsui’s Deputy General Manager Hiroki Tanabe. ‘Mitsui’s global portfolio and Beyond Limits’ AI technology will...deliver impact’.
In the first test of that dramatic statement, Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) will soon deploy Beyond Limits’ new system. If everything goes according to plan, LNG will optimise how it extracts and refines energy, making money for both itself and investors—including Mitsui. This, in fact, is Mitsui’s strategy: go digital and don’t look back.
Why Does This Matter?
Forty-five percent of Asia-Pacific companies surveyed in Cognizant’s thought leadership ebook consider themselves AI leaders. Positivity bias, that oh-so-common tendency of humans to position themselves as above average as compared to others, strikes again. (Most small companies fail to launch successful AI projects on their own.) And partly, this is because firms fail to integrate AI with industry expertise.
‘A large part of the focus on talent for AI today has been getting the people who are strong in mathematics, AI, and technologies’, said Olson. ‘But where you make your money out of AI projects is when you apply them to your business’. In short: APAC nations looking for ways to bridge the gap might follow Beyond Limits and Mitsui’s playbook—coupling startup AI with a corporate network.