AMPnet is a software suite being built for the next generation of energy supply. Here we detail what it is and why we are building it!
Most of us take the incredibly powerful and complex machinery powering our daily lives for granted. The power plants tirelessly fuelling the grid and pushing electrons into our computers, TVs, fridges, lights — go mostly unnoticed.
And why shouldn’t they?
The power grid hasn’t changed much in the last fifty years. We still have the same companies running the same power plants and feeding the same grid systems. We still pay the same kind of bills. Details change, but our energy delivery systems remain static and omnipotent — working day-in and day-out — without us giving them as much a second thought.
But if we dig deeper, we can see scientists, activists, engineers and even regular citizens conspiring to build a better, more efficient, energy system. They speak in cryptic terms, chattering amongst themselves about EVs, microgrids, photovoltaics, net billing and carbon footprints. And every day, there is more and more of them. And every day, their technology gets better and cheaper.
The future of energy is democratic
These people are part of the biggest revolution in a whole generation. They tile their roofs with solar panels, they drive weird cars without exhaust pipes and build power plants with nothing more than some spare change and a free afternoon.
The shift towards decentralised energy will fundamentally change the way we power our lives. With current trends extrapolated — it will be no more than twenty years until all the roofs in the developed world are tiled with solar panels. The energy of the future will no longer be a mysterious force, produced by nameless engineers in faraway plants and governed by scientists and bureaucrats alike.
Beyond that, more and more of our lives will depend on electricity. When the full scale of the revolution comes — not only will your TV and fridge be powered by electricity — your car and your heating will be as well.
Tools for the job
This future is coming quickly — but the current tools and technologies aren’t ready for it. This is why we built AMPnet — a turnkey solution for running renewable energy cooperatives.
In order to understand the product more thoroughly — first we need to understand what an energy cooperative is, or at a more basic level, what a cooperative is.
A cooperative is an association of people and companies working on a common goal which benefits all participants. They differ from companies in that they have a more democratic approach toward decision making. Where companies are owned by their shareholders, the cooperatives are owned by the people who use their services.
An energy cooperative then is an energy utility company owned by the people who buy energy from it. It’s an electricity company co-owned by all the producers of electricity — from the smallest rooftop solar owner, to the investors of large billion dollar wind farms.
While the concept of a cooperative, coop for short, might be strange to a lot of people — coops have existed since the dawn of modern business and are the dominant entity in certain fields — such as agriculture.
The energy cooperatives aren’t too shabby either. With REScoop in the EU being a federation of more than a thousand coops representing over a million citizens and Americas Electric Cooperatives having almost $400 billion in annual turnover — the energy coops are serious business. And with the proliferation of cheap solar — their number are rising faster than ever.
AMPnet crowdfunding platform enables energy cooperatives to crowdfund community energy projects. The electricity trading platforms enables them to sell electricity to their customers while the Guarantee of Origin feature guarantees that the source of energy is 100% renewable by leveraging the Aeternity blockchain technology.
It enables customers to open a crowdfunding campaign to finance everything from a small solar plant to a large wind farm. It enables investors to invest into those plants, earning some of the most stable returns on investment possible. AMPnet incentivises regular people to participate in this energy revolution by simplifying and democratising access to an emerging market.
It does all of this while preserving the core values of coops — transparency and democracy.
For end users, AMPnet provides an iOS and Android application through which they can pay their electricity bills, check the current consumption and choose their electricity supply company/cooperative.
For supply companies it sets a clear way to implement demand side management by providing programmable monetary awards for customer behaviour which benefits the supply company (e.g. spending and storing electricity when the supply is large and returning it into the system when the supply drops or demand surges).
By providing all of these features — AMPnet strives to be a one-stop-shop solution for any group of citizens who want to start their own energy cooperative and a drastic improvement for existing coops.
AMPnet is still in development and we are listening carefully to what our customers pain points are. We are hard at work developing all of the features and are aiming for a Q1/2019 release of the platform. If you are interested in working with us, please let us know at [email protected]