The end of the first week of February seems to add some items to the overall list of existing alternative currencies. Earlier the Cointelegraph was wondering about the perspectives of the MaxCoin designed by broadcaster Max Keiser, now we are proud to present the first coin that aims to minimize its impact on the nature and to reduce its carbon footprint. Please, welcome, the Solarcoin!

The virtual currency is very young as it has not been fully launched. It is not unique as it is based on the Bitcoin protocol with some alterations that provide fairer and greener conditions of gaining the values. Of course, to obtain the coins one can mine or gain advantage during daily trading on exchange. But the main distinguishing aspect of the currency is an additional possibility to acquire the units – to produce lots of solar energy and share it with other users. The people, who will run the process of exchange are not interested in pure electricity gained from solar batteries, they are not going to establish an enterprise selling the power to consumers. The desired object of reward is renewable energy certificates.

Let us have a small excursus on non-standard energy sources and the power generation science and policy (engineering graduates and experts can omit this paragraph while reading the article without any regret to miss something new out). The renewable energy certificates are documents that serve as prove that particular amount of electrical energy have been produced by solar batteries – silicon wafer panels, where photons hitting on the surface create electrons forming a flow - the current. Transformation process allows to use the power at home or to submit the surplus into the existing network. Users, who have installed the mentioned equipment, receive from the authorities these documents. They can be sold to those, who would like to be sure they use the part of electricity from the network produced by green means of modern technology. The main global drawback is very simple – the system of encouragement exists only in the USA. Similar activates are launched or planned in other countries, but cannot be considered as a pervasive tendency. Returning to the basic principles of the most cryptocurrencies, including and leaded by Bitcoin, equality and liberty are most important advantages of decentralized money. In case of energy certificates the area is limited to the countries issuing such documents, nevertheless energy is produced by alternative methods in the most countries of the world having an appropriate climate.

The press release of the developers of the Solarcoin says that renewable energy certificates are already sold and purchased, but now can be exchanges by 1 to 1 ratio towards the new coins. It would be interesting to find out what will be done afterwards with these documents – also traded to third-parties, used to cover the demand of electricity for mining or maintenance of the network, recognized as long-term investments and disappear from the market for an undetermined term. The emission of coins is going to start in some weeks, so the initial aim cannot be followed.

Nick Gogerty the spokesman SolarCoin Foundation's insists:

“The initiative is aiming for $20 to $30 per SolarCoin and would also support the green initiative.”

Several experts believe that this activity might lead to particular advantages for the producers of electricity by alternative methods. The owners of the solar equipment will receive a crowd funded feed-in tariff. More people might join the network due to this attraction.

Mr. Gogerty continues:

“Bitcoin has been wasting energy in the past because of mining coins. SolarCoin is 50 times more energy-efficient because its algorithm allows the total number of coins to be mined faster – and that's before factoring in the energy boost from new solar panels.”

From the technical point of view, the minimization of the exploited energy hardly can be lowered, as it is preset due to the consumption values of the required hardware. The energy efficiency rules and standards aim to reduce the required power values by implementing the latest inventions, but the new developments will affect all possible machines of the world, not only mining hardware. The process has a more accurate name – displacement of energy. It means that the relatively green energy is covering the consumption for mining, not the electric teapot or desk lamp I am using while preparing this article.

Other assumptions provided by the spokesperson of the Solarcoin team seem to be even more science fictional than the previous ones:

“If SolarCoin succeeds, it could be applied to other environmental projects, such as conserving measures of our planet.”

First of all to draw such prospects one should prepare a reliable background for the currency. The merit of success will be the stability, price and amount of users, recognition from services, retailers and, mostly important, official institutions that Bitcoin strives for already 5 years. Secondly, what kind of projects might and will be considered by the Solarcoin group in the future. An important task is the evaluation of the sustainability of projects that should be linked to the currency. Who will perform it? What kind of problems will have a long-time scale? What kind of alternatives exists to the renewable energy certificates of the USA? Observing the current environmental policy of the EU can be stated that the most questions on efficiency and alternative and renewable energy is considered on the level of a country or region. Single players does not contribute to the balance as bigger legal entities do – the main success corresponds to district heating plants, industrial objects and the power supply networks. This aspect might be an advantage and disadvantage at the same time. The Solarcoins will be obtained by countries that will lead to a positive interest, but to a negative control.

Considering the current situation two other points deserve to be undelined. On the one hand big companies, who run equipment subsided by the government can earn extra money without any additional expenditures. On the other, the weather conditions, climate, placement and technological features of the solar panels are not taken in account by the exchange system of the currency.

While the amount of alternative currencies is closing on a hundred, the Solarcoin is an interesting knowhow to follow. Cointelegraph is going to report on more news on the matter, but now we offer You to return to one of our previous articles featuring a group of developers, who has already been concerned with the footprint left by enthusiastic miners.