HPQ Silicon Resources Inc. (TSX-V: HPQ, OTCPink: URAGF) has announced that its subsidiary, Solar Blockchain Energies Inc. (“SBEI”), has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) with an Undisclosed Blockchain Company (“UBC”) to advise, develop and implement a new set of blockchain solutions for the monetization of solar and renewable energy carbon credits through a marketplace, which will also serve to complete the company’s vertical integration plans from quartz to solar cells.
The UBC is one of the world’s first developers of a hybrid permission-based blockchain protocol with big data capability. The UBC will develop a marketplace for the monetization of solar based carbon credits generated in the near future by HPQ PUREVAP process by both the company and its customers in the solar and renewable energy industries.
Solar Carbon Footprint Lifecycle
While the end result of traditional solar energy solutions is often referred to as “low carbon” or “carbon neutral” because it does not emit CO2 during its operation, it is anything but a carbon-free form of energy generation due to significant CO2 emissions that arise in earlier phases of its life cycle. Specifically, production of silicon wafers from quartz can contribute to over 70% of the Solar Carbon Footprint Lifecycle (SCFL).
The Economist, in an article titled “How Clean Is Solar Power?” stated
“Silicon is melted in electric furnaces where most electricity is produced by burning fossil fuels [….]. So, when a new solar panel is put to work it starts with a ‘carbon debt’ that has to be paid back before it can become part of the solution. A panel made in China, for example, costs nearly double the greenhouse-gas emissions of one made in Europe.”
Since production processes and the geographical location of the plants play an important role in the extreme variability of each silicon wafer SCFL, it is almost impossible to accurately and transparently monetize the carbon credit that should be generated by solar energy over its lifecycle without a universal ledger that can track the actual carbon footprint at both the production stage, as well as, the actual green energy produced by each silicon wafer.
By combining HPQ’s vertically integrated low carbon foot print PUREVAP production process to produce Solar Grade Silicon Metal with the UBC proprietary blockchain capacity, HPQ’s SBEI subsidiary will seek to create an open solar energy blockchain ecosystem that invites and allows other actors in the field to participate. HPQ’s SBEI subsidiary will also collaborate with the parent company of the UBC in order to monetize the carbon credit ledgers on a commercial marketplace, which should consolidate the Company’s leadership position in the low carbon foot print solar space. Though final data is not yet available, HPQ and its partners believe the PUREVAP process can reduce the carbon footprint of a silicon wafer at production by 75%. If so, this blockchain and marketplace initiative will help drive our global business by providing customers with significant carbon credit monetization opportunities.
Blockchain for carbon credit monetization
Carbon credits, which puts a price on carbon reductions, is a clear way in which companies and individuals can be empowered to reduce or offset the negative or unavoidable impact of their business and choices on the environment.
However, since its inception, the market is beset by a lack of visibility, which prevents people from trusting the carbon credit as an asset. Differing standards and regulations in different jurisdictions and the potential for double counting have resulted in a lack of confidence from potential market participants.
Without a universal ledger it isn’t easy to track how much carbon you’ve used or – if you offset it – what the impact of your reduction has been on a tangible level. As an individual, it is hard to incorporate carbon credits into your daily life.
Carbon credits are the perfect candidate for a digital currency as they are data-driven, rely on multiple approval steps and exist separately from the physical impacts to which they correlate. Put simply, blockchain is the name for a digital ledger in which transactions – often made with “tokens” or a cryptocurrency – are recorded chronologically and publicly.
By placing a value on the ecosystems that support our planet, carbon credits internalize the invisible costs of everyday choices and allow a sustainable marketplace to emerge. The ultimate goal of the HPQ SBEI subsidiary and UBC partnership is to create an ecosystem, (Solar Blockchain Energies) and a “carbon currency” in order to consolidate the solar generated carbon market.
Bernard Tourillon, Chairman and CEO of HPQ Silicon stated,
“Our entry into the solar and carbon credit blockchain space is a logical extension of our business model, and consistent with our proven approach of working with industry leaders in their specific fields. The Company has been considering this for some time, but we waited until the right partnership project presented itself before moving forward. This transaction was done in such a way that both our PUREVAP project and our blockchain project will be independent from each other, but will also benefit significantly from their respective strengths.”
About HPQ Silicon
HPQ Silicon Resources Inc. is a TSX-V listed resource company planning to become a vertically integrated High Purity, Solar Grade Silicon Metal (SoG Si) producer and a manufacturer of multi and monocrystalline solar cells of the P and N types, required for high performance photovoltaic conversion.
HPQ’s first goal is to develop, in collaboration with industry leaders Pyrogenesis (PYR.T) and Apollon Solar the innovative metallurgical PUREVAP “Quartz Reduction Reactors (QRR)” process (patent pending), which will permit it to produce SoG Si in one step. The start of the pilot plant that will validate the commercial potential of the process is planned for the second half of 2018.