15 October, 2021 Member article

ARE Member Hivos to deploy Crowd-grid Distributed Energy Solution in Kenya

8 October 2021 – BitHub Africa, in collaboration with Hivos East Africa, has deployed its first blockchain-backed sustainable energy solution called the Melanin Smart Box (MSBX) in a Maasai village known as Singiraine in Kajiado, Kenya.

Deployed after five years of research and development by BitHub Africa in partnership with the County Government of Kajiado, Melanin Solar, uses blockchain technology, leveraging both Bitcoin Lightning Network (BLN) and Whive Protocol to help communities can share energy amongst themselves over the BLN as well as store excess energy in the form of Whive digital tokens.

BLN is a second layer network built on Bitcoin blockchain that enables transactions to be automated by the MSBX in real-time while decreasing the costs associated with using Bitcoin’s layer 1 blockchain.

“If you look at rural areas where you have somebody who has a solar system and maybe they do not use it over the weekend or certain hours during the day, that electricity could benefit somebody else. That person can buy electricity from them and it not only gives this person extra income but also increased and versatile access to energy without a large capital cost upfront,” said Wangari Muchiri, Innovation Lead, Voices for Climate Action at Hivos.

Spurred by a sense of urgency towards decarbonisation efforts for the sake of the planet, the use of open-source, decentralised technology can expedite progress, creating transformational levels of innovation and transparency. Blockchain has the ability to accelerate a shared vision and provide market-led solutions in relation to decarbonisation. It is a community effort to ensure that the industry does not further aggravate the onslaught of climate change.