Mainstreaming Low Carbon Housing


The CRC for Low Carbon Living and its spin-out company, Power Ledger, received a 2019 Excellence in Innovation Award from the CRC Association in recognition of their innovative energy sharing technology that is enabling the world-wide secure and efficient capture and trade of renewable energy.

00:00 (Jemma Green, Co-founder and Chairman) Many houses in Australia have rooftop solar, but there were hardly any apartment buildings, and there's a few reasons for that. One is that they're often tenanted and landlords don't want to put in solar because the tenant will get the benefit. The other reason is that the roof space is owned in common, so you can't just put solar panels on the roof.

00:19 We really need to create the market mechanisms and the commercial incentives for people to install them.

00:25 [Power Ledger logo] The idea of Power Leger came about as a result of my doctoral research which was funded by the Cooperative Research Centre for Low Carbon Living.

[Low Carbon Living CRC logo]

00:32 And they really backed me with this zany idea to build an ecovillage as an applied research project. And it was really through the support that I got there, that this project came to life.

00:44 I designed the solar and battery system for an apartment building but I couldn't find software that would effectively allocate units of electricity to each apartment.

00:54 I was introduced to a couple of people working in the blockchain and saw that it could actually facilitate that trading environment within the apartment building.

[computer screen shows graph with trading transactions over time]

01:02 In a similar way to what happens when you go to a restaurant with your mates and there's that tedious moment where you have to split the bill, but this handles the allocation splitting of energy very elegantly.

01:13 [residential area shown with caption “White Gum Valley, Perth. One of CRCLCL’s 17 Living Labs]

01:15 (Anna Evangelisti, Design Manager – Landcorp) We wanted to have a building on this site that would really showcase some of these sustainability initiatives. What's really interesting about the project is that it started in a small building of 3 units and has been replicated now through all of the multi-unit developments on the site.

[various buildings shown with solar panels on roof]

01:31 You know it's a huge benefit for our development, but it's also a benefit for others who can come along see what we've done and learn from the process.

01:40 (Jemma Green) In 2018 Power Ledger was awarded the crown for the extreme tech challenge by Sir Richard Branson on Necker Island. And since forming the company we now have projects in Thailand, Japan, the United States and of course Australia.

01:55 The International Renewable Energy Agency has said that investment in renewables needs to be scaled up 6 times faster for the world to meet the Paris climate goals.

02:04 [power flow chart shown from solar arrays through to different apartment meters] So I think that it's absolutely crucial for humanity that we solve these problems, and I hope that Power Ledger’s technology can make a meaningful contribution to solving that problem

02:14 [Music, logos show for Power Ledger, Australian Government Department of Industry, Innovation and Science – Business Cooperative Research Centres Programme, Low Carbon Living CRC and Landcorp]