\r\n \tThis article by\u00a0DAVID HAMILTON\u00a0was originally published at CoinCentral.com\r\n\r\nSolar power and blockchain technology share an intertwined destiny. Both technologies are experiencing rapid adoption, and both are far more efficient than their predecessors. Solar power provides millions of homes and businesses with access to clean renewable energy. You probably know someone who has solar panels on their home, or you may have driven by homes in your neighborhood with solar panels installed. Many of these homes are making a decent profit off of selling their unused electricity back to the electrical company. This profit is on top of the fact that these homes are already getting their electricity from the panels.\r\n\r\nNow, imagine if that person could sell you their unused electricity directly. You would probably get a better deal. Especially when you consider the fact that you have no negotiating power with energy providers as a single homeowner. This is the new reality thanks to blockchain-based platforms like\u00a0Power Ledger, a platform that allows participants to directly share their unused electricity between\u00a0users.\r\n\r\nThe tokenization of renewable energy is major step forward for both industries. Blockchain technology would allow for the decentralization of the energy economy. In the very near future, you may see a scenario like this:\r\n\r\n\u201cMorning Steve, could we trouble you for a cup of sugar and 20,000 Watts to run our AntMinerS9?\u201d\r\nShared Solar\r\nThere are some serious advantages for major energy providers who implement a blockchain-based protocol. For instance, energy providers could use a blockchain-based system to monitor the electrical grid more precisely. Grid Singularity is a company that is a pioneer in this field. This integration could also help push major energy providers into the solar field.\r\n\r\nEnergy providers have already formed the\u00a0Energy Web Foundation\u00a0to promote blockchain activity in the sector. The Foundation\u2019s members come from nine nations and include major energy providers such as\u00a0Duke Energy\u00a0and Electron. In May 2018, this non-profit succeeded in securing $2.5 million in private funding to further their ventures.\r\nCommunity Solar Grids\r\nBlockchain-based community solar grids have also seen growing adoption. Local governments want to get on the solar train, and one team in particular, the\u00a0Brooklyn Microgrid Project, is pioneering the new era of shared urban solar grid technology.\r\n\r\nThe Brooklyn-based project features an interconnected solar grid that supplies energy to five buildings. Any unused energy is then sold to neighboring buildings in a direct peer-to-peer transaction. Everything is tracked on the blockchain, and the results have been inspiring. This project is paving the way for the green economy, and you can bet other cities are already thinking about how to start their own initiatives.\r\n\r\nStudies have shown how quickly renewable energy is spreading. It\u2019s estimated that half of the homes in the EU will have\u00a0solar panels installed by 2025. Community solar grid technology could speed that timeline up considerably.\r\n\r\nAlthough Power Ledger dominates the headlines, it isn\u2019t alone in the industry by any means. In October 2017, the South African startup Sun Exchange made international headlines when they successfully raised $1.6 million during their ICO. Blockchain-based solar power platforms worth checking out include:\r\nConjoule\r\nTokyo-based Conjoule was founded at the 2015 Innogy\u2019s Innovation Hub. This peer-to-peer solar platform succeeded in securing $5.3 million in funding. Investors included the Tokyo Electric Power Company. There is a real need for this technology when you consider the amount of non-renewable energy Tokyo uses.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nNon Solar Power Electricity Production in Japan\r\n\r\n\r\nGrid+\r\nThe Grid+ platform is the brainchild of the New York-based blockchain group ConsenSys. Grid+ is providing Texas with a cleaner and more cost-effective energy alternative. This platform uses the Ethereum blockchain and has already secured $29 million in seed funding.\r\nGrid Singularity\r\nGrid Singularity is creating an internet-based decentralized energy exchange that utilizes a blockchain protocol. This Australian-based energy monitoring platform is designed to help providers and market professionals utilize smart contracts to increase efficiency.\r\nSun Exchange\r\nThe Sun Exchange takes a different approach to the market by providing a platform where people can invest in the creation of new solar stations. To date, the project has seen great success. They have already succeeded in building four solar plants. The Sun Exchange is also well funded; they have raised $1.6 million in seed funding from various investment groups to further their endeavors.\r\nSolarCoin:\r\nImagine getting paid in crypto for your unused energy. This is exactly how the SolarCoin platform works. Users are able to transform their unused solar energy into SolarCoin. One SolarCoin is equal to 1MWh of solar energy generation.\r\nSolar Powered-Mining\r\nMiners have also been eyeing the advantages of free renewable solar energy. As you are already aware, mining cryptocurrencies is a power intensive task. According to a\u00a0study\u00a0conducted in 2017, BTC mining accounted for more energy usage than all of New Zealand.\r\n\r\nSolar powered mining rigs are not a new concept, and a quick YouTube search will\u00a0reveal\u00a0miners showing off their solar rigs as far back as 2015. This was long before the crypto craze had transformed BTC into a household name. Today, solar powered mining rigs are gaining support in a major way. Many\u00a0Reddit\u00a0users are expressing interests in creating their own solar-powered mining rigs.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nReddit Users Discussing Solar Power BTC Mining\r\n\r\n\r\nSolar Mining Rig Costs\r\nThe average solar-powered mining rig can get expensive and this has slowed down adoption considerably. Currently,\u00a0you are looking at around $6000 for a decent solar setup.\u00a0\u00a0Once you start to\u00a0add another $2,000 \u2013 $5,000 per mining rig,\u00a0it becomes easy to see where the holdup in mass scale adoption lies.\r\nSolar Power and Blockchain Technology \u2013 Peanut Butter n\u2019 Jelly\r\nThe time is quickly approaching when the bulk of your energy will be provided from the sun rather than a centralized source. Decentralizing the market will help to spur further research, innovation, and investment. Blockchain technology can provide the market with a better way to operate and hopefully, the market will continue to see new projects emerge in the future.