Spectral and Alliander launch blockchain based energy token at De Ceuvel

Spectral and Alliander have launched a new blockchain-based energy sharing token at De Ceuvel in Amsterdam. Named the ‘Jouliette’, the new token aims to empower individuals and communities to easily manage and share their locally produced renewable energy.

The Jouliette – named after the Joule unit of measurement for energy – is the first such initiative of its kind in the Netherlands. The project aims to become a landmark example of how to harness the capabilities of blockchain technology to create greater social value and to support a bottom-up transition towards a more distributed, robust, and transparent economy, underpinned by 100% renewable energy.

Currently, the energy market works in such a way that energy suppliers receive data from a (smart) meter, a bill is issued to the customer, and then the bill is paid via a monetary transaction from one bank to another. With the Jouliette token, the De Ceuvel community members are able to make secure (peer- to- peer) transactions directly between their own virtual currency ‘wallets’. The blockchain, the technology behind Bitcoin, ensures that these transactions are secure and decentralized, with the history of all transactions being shared with all the community members, so they can be (automatically) verified without needing the intervention of a “trusted” bank.

Caption: A screenshot of the real-time power-flow map of the De Ceuvel microgrid, which is one of the features of the Jouliette platform. The energy data of each building is visualized in real-time, with the green lines representing renewable energy feed-in, and red lines signifying that the building is consuming from the grid.

What makes this unique ecosystem possible at De Ceuvel is the fact that the site features a private (renewable energy-based) smart-grid. This enables the community to exchange renewable energy (independent of the national electricity grid) produced by their photovoltaic (PV) panels, without any restrictions, and therefore avoid existing market barriers. With the Jouliette platform, the De Ceuvel community can easily manage their own micro-economy, and unlike purely speculative currencies, the Jouliette tokens are backed up by physical energy production. Beyond just enabling energy exchange, the community will be exploring further applications for the Jouliette, such as using it to trade for goods at the De Ceuvel Cafe, to facilitate a local time-banking system, and to integrate other intra-community services, such as a car-sharing program.

The Jouliette platform was developed by Spectral, a smart energy services company (and spin-off of sustainability consultancy Metabolic), in collaboration with Alliander, one of the Netherland’s largest distribution system operators and creator of the Jouliette concept. Besides the peer-to-peer blockchain trading system, the Jouliette platform is equipped with a number of additional features, such as a real-time power-flow map of the community, high-resolution data visualizations, and machine-learning forecasting systems, which provide users with greater insights into their (real-time) energy use and projected production / consumption. 

Caption: A birds-eye view image of the De Ceuvel which consists of 16 office buildings, a greenhouse, a restaurant, and a bed and breakfast – all connected to a private, behind-the-meter smart-grid.

MORE ABOUT SPECTRAL

Spectral is an end-to-end system integrator, specializing in software development, smart grids and deployment of smart energy services. Spectral develops technological solutions that unlock the value of energy storage, demand flexibility, and locally produced renewable energy, propelling the evolution of smart energy networks. Based in Amsterdam, Spectral is actively working towards realizing the vision for “Circular Buiksloterham,” a project which aims to set a new global standard for the development of circular cities. By closely collaborating with key stakeholders, such as the Amsterdam municipality, local water and energy utilities, and area developers, Spectral aims to accelerate the transition towards 100% renewable, clean energy supply, and to lay the foundations for a resilient, smart society of the future.

MORE ABOUT DE CEUVEL

De Ceuvel is one of the most sustainable and unique urban developments in Europe, also known as “the Cleantech Playground” in Amsterdam. Since the start of the initiative in 2012, the former industrial plot has become a circular economy hotspot and thriving community of entrepreneurs, artists and citizens from Amsterdam and all around the world. The plot hosts creative workspaces, a podium, greenhouse, sustainable café, spaces to rent and, a floating bed & breakfast and, in the near future, an organic waste digester for local production of biogas. As a thriving hub for innovation and experimentation, De Ceuvel has become a veritable living lab, where new concepts and technologies can be validated before scaling up for wider implementation.

SPECTRAL SMART BUILDING PLATFORM

MORE ABOUT ALLIANDER

As a network company, Alliander is responsible for the distribution of energy such as electricity, (bio)gas and heat to consumers, businesses and institutions in the Netherlands. The network operator Liander makes this possible by keeping the energy distribution through all of Alliander’s networks in good condition, supplying more than three million consumers and businesses daily as efficiently as possible. Alliander has several subsidiaries which are active in the areas of smart metering, energy management, sustainable technology engineering, and electric charging infrastructure, among others. Alliander stands for an energy supply that gives everyone equal access to reliable, affordable and sustainable energy – that is what they work on every day.