The Dutch startup helping accelerate Lebanon’s energy transition


One of the co-founders of a Dutch software start-up which is using blockchain technology to verify the production and tracking of clean energy has spoken to pv magazine about the central role played by trustworthy green certificate programs in driving the energy transition.

Amsterdam-based FlexiDAO claims to already tokenize and track 3 TWh of clean energy per year in nine markets in Europe and South America and co-founder Joan Collell has spoken of the transformative role the company’s RESpring software might have now a tenth nation has been added to that list – Lebanon.

“In Lebanon, there’s a big problem with the availability and liquidity of the market in [green energy] certificates,” said Collell. “[Certificate trading] is over-the-counter so there is no central place I can go to where I can see prices and availability, I have to go and talk to different brokers without transparent information about where the clean energy was generated and at what time of day and where it is being traded.”

Collell said FlexiDAO’s RESpring software enables the automatic generation of certificates at the point each kilowatt-hour of green power is produced and this ‘time-stamping’ also sees the unit of power become an individual, ‘tokenized’ unit of energy which can be tracked on an hourly basis.

Double counting

Stamping each unit of energy in such fashion prevents ‘double counting,’ which occurs when clean energy generators sell certificates related to the same units of clean energy to multiple electricity consumers, who buy them to boost their renewables credentials or to hit mandatory clean energy consumption requirements.

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There is no requirement for renewable energy generators to be part of the International Renewable Energy Certificate (I-REC) scheme which is applied on a voluntary basis by some clean energy consumers in Lebanon. The hope is, the additional revenue stream offered generators able to sell green energy certificates will encourage more clean power facilities to sign up, either to the standard I-REC program or to the RESpring solution which Collell said offers more sophistication.

“We are not trying to replace I-REC,” said the FlexiDAO co-founder, “we are integrated within that system but we make the process much more digital, transparent and granular. We also remove the need for a third-party broker to trade the certificates by putting generators directly in touch with the purchaser, which of course also makes the business case more attractive and frees up more liquidity for clean energy investment.”

FlexiDAO has debuted in Lebanon in conjunction with the UN Development Program’s CEDRO project – the Community Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Demonstration Project for the Recovery of Lebanon.

The collaboration will see FlexiDAO – which charges commercial and industrial users a subscription fee plus transaction charges by the megawatt-hour – demonstrate its RESpring software on units of energy generated by four solar projects in the nation.

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