Most people are aware of the importance of sustainable energy, especially solar power, but there are those that still need a little bit of incentive. SolarCoin, a new type of crypto-currency that you can earn in the same way as Bitcoins, could be that incentive as it could be given out in exchange for the amount of solar power you generate from your home or business.
People with solar panels on their house already receive renewable energy certificates from their energy company in return for feeding a megawatt-hour of electricity back into the grid. While homeowners still have the option of exchanging them for cash, they will soon be able to exchange them for SolarCoin as well.
Unlike Bitcoin, which has attracted negative press for the amount of energy required to mine for coins, SolarCoin would be 50 times more energy-efficient because its algorithm allows the total number of coins to be mined faster, according to SolarCoin Foundation spokesman Nick Gogerty.
If SolarCoin proves to be a success, the model could quite easily be applied to other environmental projects, such as conserving the rainforest or endangered species. “If someone can come up with the mechanism and the approach, it would be a great thing,” says Gogerty.