The Jean Jaurès elementary school in the town of Rueil-Malmaison outside of Paris is full of French charm. Light streams into a room on the second floor through colored glass casting playful reflections on the floor. Like all schools, the place is an incubator for young brains but also for a piece of cutting-edge technology: the world’s first “green” blockchain.
The system, which was developed by the energy tech startup Evolution Energie, enables users to track renewable power as it moves through the electrical grid and mixes with energy from other sources. “Using blockchain, you can sell energy from your renewable sources to your neighbor without the help of a utility managing the process,” says Fabien Imbault, Evolution Energie’s managing director. “You could share your energy with neighbors or even sell it to a parked electric car on your street and get paid securely.”
Evolution Energie started by building an interface that was simple enough for students at the school to purchase “green” energy from renewable energy sources. They’ve since rolled the system out to the town’s municipal buildings. Up next: businesses and homes.
Blockchain is the distributed ledger technology best known as the underpinning of the virtual currency bitcoin. As people minted and then traded bitcoins, the blockchain recorded every transaction on a digital ledger that was shared by thousands of different computers. This innovation created a permanent, accurate, searchable, and anonymous record that can be quickly updated. Unless otherwise compromised, its decentralized nature also makes it extra secure.