Power Ledger: Harvesting Nature’s Energy-Rich Fruits
Besides money, energy is the second most crucial pillar to building an optimal society and industries. Twenty years ago, trading energy for power would have been a myth, but today, energy seems to be the talk of the town, and everyone’s in on it! While the debate whether to use energy as a natural market resource or not was raging on, Jemma Green had already developed a solution that puts energy in the spotlight and gives it a whole new purpose!
Power Ledger makes energy trading a palpable reality. The platform, Jemma’s firstborn, allows the trading of electricity between markets and households using blockchain tokens called ‘POWR’. The company uses solar panels that
turn sunlight into electricity and makes the fittest candidate for the upcoming Smart Cities and Suburbs initiative. Jemma Green, assisted by John Bulich, built Power Ledger as a leading sustainability project with a futuristic mission to fulfill, and achieved respectable greatness which exceeded the market’s, crowd’s, and global industries’ expectations!
Jemma Green grew up in the steep hills of Perth, Australia. Her early life was nothing compared to what she had yet to become. Just a normal girl waiting to meet her life-long calling, Jemma always knew she would attend college, so it was no wonder when she enrolled at Murdoch University in Perth, to study finances.
After completing her studies and earning her finance degree, Jemma moved to London where she would live for the next eleven years. London gave Jemma the opportunity to work in investment banking, yet she spent nine of her eleven years working at JP Morgan.
Jemma’s career revolved around mainstream finance. Halfway through her time at JP Morgan, Jemma noticed that there were no recycling facilities she had come across, which urged her to do some digging in the field. All facts gathered, Jemma immediately concluded introducing recycling as a practice on the market will help save industries
£500,000 a year. Jemma then pitched the idea to her chief officer, who immediately agreed to help. Three months later, the two rolled out recycling bins across all offices spread over six buildings and 9,000 employees.
During a bin-related argument with some of her colleagues, Jemma realized she enjoyed the recycling part more than she did her job, which led her down a different path. Instead of managing finances, Jemma was determined to give recycling the time of day, which is why she enrolled at Cambridge College, where she eventually earned a postgraduate diploma in sustainability and business.
The Right Course of Action
Before partaking in the Power Ledger project, Jemma’s collaborator, John Bulich, had earned stellar professional experience in quite a few companies. Despite his branching out tactic, John never felt like he had reached the top of his potential.
From 1988 to 1990, John was Project Manager in Software Management Pty LTD before he moved to WA Property Investments, where he held a Director’s position. At that time, John was working on investments, property development, portfolio management, and security trading.
He left the company in 2014 and moved on to becoming co-founder and Director at Ledger Assets – Blockchain Business Architect. Two years before the company got shut down, in early 2016, John had already developed Power Ledger. With the change of pace, so did the roles, with Bulich becoming the company’s technical director whilst confounding it alongside Jemma Green.
During this time, Jemma Green had been working at J.P. Morgan, where she remained until 2013. She then repatriated to Australia, where she started working at Curtin University. Her desire to improve her skills and level up her career led Jemma to simultaneously start working on NGO-based research in London. Among other accomplishments, Jemma also runs a consultancy named after herself.
Moreover, the city of Perth elected her as an independent back in October 2015 and in 2016, the Western Australian Business News made Jemma a winner.
Ideas Inspired by Nature
After working tirelessly and upgrading herself constantly, Jemma decided she needed a sabbatical and went hiking around the world. While visiting Camino de Santiago and Nepal doing the Annapurna Circuit, Jemma got tons of ideas regarding her new business. Being pressure-free, Jemma first thought of building an eco-lodge.
Shortly after she shared the idea with Professor Peter Newman from Curtin University, Jemma was granted some funding. The funds along with the support of those around her inspired Jemma to ultimately obtain a Ph.D. in disruptive innovation.
What was the real trigger for Jemma in initiating Power Ledger was the notion that almost 20% of the houses in Australia had rooftop solar systems, whereas apartment buildings - which made up 30% of the housing - had hardly any. Then, Jemma looked into the legislation that governs apartment buildings, called Strata, which was a corporate body to potentially become an electricity retailer, although it didn’t hold a valid retail electricity license.
Jemma was inspired enough and soon pitched the idea for building a solar battery microgrid within an apartment building to John. Finding software that would allocate electricity to each apartment was a real challenge for Jemma. The main idea of Power Ledger was: if someone wasn’t home to consume their allocation, they could trade it with their neighbors.
This was the biggest turning point for Jemma, as in 2016, she was also introduced to blockchain developers. The blockchain mechanics aimed to fix every problem they had with the allocation. This solution came from one of Jemma’s friends who, in using a blockchain, saw that one could maintain the utilization off the grid by reimagining it as a trading platform.
Once everything was settled for the project, in 2017, Power Ledger was born.
Professional Ideas to Turn the Tables
As Jemma explained it herself, she wasn’t certain how the rise of Power Ledger really took off, as she had a newborn one month prior to the blockchain solution came into the picture. However, what essentially happened was that the team set up the company, developed its peer-to-peer trading across all networks, and did a trial in New Zealand with a company called Vector.
This company, which held 2/3 of the Auckland market, helped Jemma and her team install the peer-to-peer project in two buildings at White Gum Valley in Fremantle. After a few ups and downs, due to competition from China and South Korea, Finance and Bittrex took interest in Power Ledger’s token, called POWR. Mainly, these two listed the token on the secondary market, which led to increased interest for investment. After putting POWR on the map, the ball of success rolled in Power Ledger’s court.
What the Future Holds for Power Ledger
Power Ledger currently has 50 employees, six of which are management. It also has assets worth $34 million. The management consists of Jemma Green who is the co-founder since 2016, along with John Bullich and the company’s technical director, and David Martin, its non-executive and managing director. The headquarters of Power Ledger is in Perth, Australia.
Recently, the Federal Government, through the Prime Minister’s office, had set up what’s called ‘A Smart Cities and Suburbs Program.’ This turned out to be a really competitive grant because each grant needs to include a local government and/or universities in the private sector. After learning about it, Power Ledger rolled up its sleeves and started a partnership with Curtin University and Murdoch University, the City of Fremantle, and Land Court. Besides these, the aspiring company collaborated with other partners as well, in order to put up a project bid on Fremantle, a 20-hectare site desperate for urban infill.
Power Ledger plans to use the blockchain to manage the entire ecosystem and fractionalize ownership of renewable energy assets. This will additionally lead to effectively tokenizing them, and allowing investors to purchase those assets. The whole project is worth about $8.5 million and the government will back Power Ledger with $1.2 million of the cost. The project will be finished once the money is collected.
Moving at this pace, we can undoubtedly expect more trading technology down the line. Considering the industry and humankind are both in favor of high-tech solutions as well as sustainability, solar energy will pose the ultimate asset in optimizing our existence.
In the fullness of time, groundbreaking innovations, such as Power Ledger, will most certainly drive society two steps ahead into the future and allow industries and households worldwide to thrive under the touch of 100% green energy!