Blockchain Startup Sun Exchange, UN Agency Partner On Renewable Energy Pilot

News | May 2, 2018 By:

The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) has partnered with blockchain startup Sun Exchange to bring solar power to the Technical University of Moldova.

Sun Exchange provides members a unique opportunity to earn income while helping to bring solar power to developing global regions. Through its online platform, members can purchase solar photovoltaic (PV) cells for approximately $10 per cell and lease them to be installed in solar projects for businesses, hospitals, schools and other organizations in Southern Africa, the Middle East and other sunny developing regions. Solar cell owners receive lease rental payments, paid optionally in fiat currency or cryptocurrency, while off-takers enjoy the benefits of affordable clean energy.

In this partnership, the Technical University of Moldova would lease solar cells, which will be owned by individuals around the world, to allow the university to save on the costs of building the equipment. The university will continue to pay the same electricity bill as before, with the difference being that now the energy used will be 100 percent green.

Sun Exchange will also grant the SolarCoin cryptocurrency as a reward for the production of renewable energy. The generated cryptocurrency goes back to the solar cell owners during the reimbursement period, to recover the purchase price in about 8-13 years’ time and they will continue to receive rental income for a total of 20 years. All the SolarCoins that are produced after this period will remain on the university’s account and could be further invested into similar projects.

UNDP project manager Dumitru Vasilescu said that the decision to partner with Sun Exchange is based on their understanding of the replicability of their model. He said that if the project is successful, they will search for replication in countries where UNDP operates.

“We are currently preparing for the pilot and will be soon looking into potential [Engineering, Procurement and Construction] companies,” Vasilescu said.

Last month, Sun Exchange introduced SUNEX, a new digital network token built for the Sun Exchange platform. The SUNEX network token is utilized in the new Sun Exchange Solar Project Insurance Fund (SPIF), designed to minimize risk and unlock financing for previously financially under-served solar projects.