Renewing Energy Together!
Verv is an ICO with a revolutionary vision of the future of energy and many products that they think can get us there. Verv’s goal is to change the grid from the centralized and inefficient current system to a more peer-to-peer system that is more fitting to the future of energy that is based in renewable energy sources.
Going Off the Grid
The current “grid” for transferring of electricity has served our nation since the 1880’s, and we are used to the problems associated with it. Verv is reimagining how energy can serve the consumer and the earth at the same time.
The clearest problem with the current grid is the possibility of blackouts. If one part of the system fails, then we could experience a blackout, costing businesses and consumers lost time and revenue. No power equals no internet access, making work and even fun difficult. Due to the centralization of our power sources, that means one problem can leave many people and businesses without electricity.
Another issue with our current system is the significant amount of eight to fifteen percent of energy that is lost in the transport of the electricity from centralized energy sources. Due to the long distances from centralized energy producers and their users, energy gets lost.
Energy producers are placed long distances from consumers because of the negative impacts that stem from energy production or because of the unique infrastructure required to produce energy. Examples of energy production that negatively impacts the environment include coal burning factories or a nuclear power plant.
Hydroelectric plants require a waterfall or dam, which as we all know isn’t found in every city. Transporting energy involves the Joule effect, which is a term used to describe how when electricity passes through a transfer wire, some of it is lost due to resistance and changed into heat.
Finally, there is a group of people who actually produce more energy than they use. They are referred to as “prosumers,” and they can currently sell excess energy back to the grid for a lower price than they would get if they were able to directly sell their energy to other households. This could disincentivize people in investing in renewable energy sources, thereby increasing the amount of nonrenewable energy used. This works against the very idea behind prosumers and reducing the amount of energy used from non-renewable power sources.
The Way Forward
In spite of these looming issues, Verv has developed a promising vision that will solve these problems. By creating an energy future where electricity is transferred peer-to-peer, they create a form for selling power at a fair price on a decentralized exchange.
They are starting this vision with a product that will allow the consumer to have easy access to data regarding his or her personal energy consumption and production. This product is called the Verv Home Hub (VHH). It will gather all of the data regarding energy consumption, including how much energy your refrigerator used each day, or how many times the toaster was used in the past two weeks.
If you have an energy producer at your house, such as a solar panel or a heat pump, it will also have data on that too, including energy produced and peak usage times. The VHH will then take this information and give it to neural networks that will then learn patterns about your energy usage and production.
These neural networks will create a predictive model to inform your energy usage and guide you in understanding when your producers of energy will produce energy. Although it has the potential to feel invasive, Verv Home Hub will help consumers understand their own habits along with the products they use to support those habits so that they can make informed choices that will change their energy consumption.
Verv then uses the information collected in the homes to move out of the home and into an exchange where people will sell their excess energy at a fair price. The exchange will be on the Ethereum blockchain and will be completely decentralized. The vast majority of the transaction on this exchange will be run by the VHH’s of the people who have the energy and those who want it. Because of the predictive modeling done by the VHH’s, it will use the information collected from individual households to predict how much energy the household will produce or need and use this information to guide their buying or selling of the energy.
A typical transaction on the network would proceed like this: Jack the consumer has a solar panel, and he always has 5 extra kilowatts of energy each day at 12 o’clock. His VHH knows that, so at 10 o’clock, it puts out a sell order on the trading platform for five kW’s for 5 dollars each, available at twelve o’clock, predicting that there will be five extra at twelve. Now Jill the consumer, who lives very close to Jack and is on the same grid, always needs five extra kWs at 12 o’clock. Now the VHH has a choice to make; it could simply pull the energy from the grid at twelve, or it could bid on Jack’s energy. Energy in their area costs six dollars per kilowatt, so five would be considered a good price. Once the VHH decides which path to take, the money is transferred over the Ethereum network to an escrow; after the escrow confirms they have the money, the electricity is transferred to Jill. This way, Jack sold off his excess electricity, and Jill bought energy at a bargain price. This required almost no work at all from humans because the work was done by the VHH’s.This makes the whole energy system more efficient and completely automated.
This Paradigm Shift Could Benefit the World
Although Verv may have problems actually implementing their products because the grid is so very rigid and regulated, if they are able to implement VHH’s in the manner in which they envision, they will make renewable energy sources profitable and a source of income for consumers. Raising people’s awareness of their energy consumption will not only give them a source of income, it will encourage more responsible energy use. Over time, this could result in our nation’s reliance on non-renewable energy sources and a healthier and sustainable planet that we can all enjoy.