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The International Energy Agency (IEA) has been very vocal about the need for energy transition, warning of the risks of an imminent energy crisis and urging governments to take action before it gets worse. The organization has intensively advocated for more renewable energy to meet the growing electricity demand and mitigate climate change.

The energy crisis is a global phenomenon that has been going on for decades. It is not just an issue in the US or China but a global challenge. The world needs to arrive at a solution to this problem to ensure that we are not running out of energy.

And this is where energy efficiency comes into play. Energy efficiency is the use of energy resources in the most efficient manner to reduce consumption, costs, and overall environmental impact. The world needs energy efficiency because it can help the environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions while saving money, which is good for both the environment and the economy.

For instance, if a building owner can lower their energy consumption by 15%, they can save a significant amount on their energy bills. Now imagine this happening on a large scale, where hundreds of organizations and companies start cutting down on their energy consumption. Not only will it help save billions of dollars, but it will also lower carbon and greenhouse gas emissions significantly.

According to WWF Global Energy Efficiency Lead, Richard Scotney, "Reducing our energy demand is the fastest and most direct way to increase our energy security, lower our energy bills, and help the world meet its climate change targets."

However, the energy efficiency market is a complex financial ecosystem. The scarcity of funds for transitioning to energy-efficient models hinders the sector's development. Existing models such as the Energy Service Companies (E.S.Co) aren't well-equipped to bridge the gap between financing partners and those needing funds to improve their businesses' energy efficiency.

Tokenizing Energy Savings

To address the limitations of the centralized energy efficiency market, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak recently launched Efforce - a company that introduces tokenization in the energy efficiency sector.

Speaking about efficiency, Wozniak stresses, "My entire professional life has been dedicated to finding ways to do things using fewer resources than others. It is necessary to try to achieve even more, simply by using less energy."

According to Wozniak, the Efforce platform provides an open, inclusive, and transparent platform for connecting the savers and the contributors. As the first blockchain platform that allows anyone to participate in and benefit from global energy efficiency projects, Efforce connects individuals and entities who want to implement energy-efficient models with others who wish to invest (fund) these models. In exchange, fund providers (consumers or contributors) receive their returns in tokens representing the energy savings achieved.

Steve Wozniak’s Energy Saving Venture Is Bringing
Steve Wozniak’s Energy Saving Venture Is Bringing Pixabay

There are several entry barriers in the traditional energy efficiency market. For instance, the initial costs of replacing existing energy sources with a complex energy efficiency system require a significant upfront investment. Moreover, the lack of trust between those parties who desire savings and those who want to invest and earn, as well as the uncertainty of the payback period, are among the factors negatively influencing all stakeholders and, in turn, the environment.

Even the World Bank has stressed that addressing the problems of high initial costs, lack of technical and fundamental knowledge, lack of trust and transparency, and repayment uncertainty, among others, are critical for global economic development.

With this in mind, companies around the globe are seeking to implement green-energy and carbon efficient structures into their daily practices. For example, blockchain user-experience platform Klever initially set out with two main goals, focusing on increasing the efficiency of user-experience on blockchain while also boosting the security this system offers.

Yet, as the company has grown, it has aligned with Efforce's main idea of putting energy-efficient practices first. In recent news, they announced that they have received an official Carbon Neutral Certified status from Moss Earth, with this partnership demonstrating how blockchain products are making the move to environmentally conscious decision making.

Where Blockchain Meets Energy Efficiency

Efforce is the only blockchain-based platform connecting energy efficiency investments' demand and supply. For those unfamiliar with the backdrop, the total value of the energy efficiency market has reached $241 billion over the last ten years, registering growth of 10% per annum. To that extent, Efforce not only unlocks a new investment opportunity for millions of users, but also contributes toward doubling global energy efficiency rates by 2030.

Highlighting the central idea behind Efforce, Wozniak explains, "I don't know the messiness of the world, it bothers a lot of us, but the long term impact on species and people, that means some small thing today in the climate can have such huge impacts of species going extinct."

"It's hard to see what the effects sometimes will be so people ignore it. But we all are interested in better health, and obviously the environment. Better the environment, the better health is," he adds.

The eco-consciousness at the heart of his conversation rings true in many spheres of blockchain. After leading networks like Bitcoin and Ethereum revealed how inefficient and demanding their energy consumption was, there has been a general movement away from the more energy-consumptive proof of work consensus mechanism.

Most notably, Ethereum has recently announced their merge with its test network, which will mean that from mid-September, they will be running with proof-of-stake, decreasing their energy consumption by 99.95%. Although blockchain networks are making strides to reduce their energy consumption and create less emissions, companies like Efforce are pushing the industry forward, demanding energy-efficiency to be a core factor when considering investments.

Efforce isn't alone in this approach, with WakeUp Labs, which is built on the Rootstock (RSK) chain, creating water neutrality NFTs, by partnering with KILIMO.. Their goal is to improve water consumption within the agricultural industry, extending the minting of NFTs to companies wanting to offset their water footprint. Much like Efforce's approach, this united both environmental and economic approaches, allowing farmers and companies to provide evidence of their water-efficiency in the form of NFTs.

It seems that Efforce has started a wave in the community, with their focus on energy-efficient investments triggering a range of other partnerships within blockchain that hold environmentalism at their core.

How Does Efforce Work To Solve Energy Issues?

The Efforce ecosystem consists of three main components: the contributors (those that invest in energy efficiency projects), the savers (businesses, company owners, etc. who want to upgrade to energy-efficient alternatives), and the consumers (those that buy the energy savings generated by others to offset their energy consumption).

By registering their application on Efforce, anyone who wants to improve the energy efficiency of their buildings or industrial processes can quickly access investments to achieve their goal. The Efforce team will check the request and work with the company to devise a plan to improve energy efficiency. Additionally, the team will also assess the amount of investment required, the annual internal rate of return (IRR), and other factors before deploying an Energy Performance Contract (EPC) on the blockchain.

The underlying blockchain is secure and decentralized, facilitating an open and transparent communication channel between all parties involved. The blockchain's distributed ledger technology (DLT) ensures that each unit of energy saved is validated for authenticity and added to the on-chain record, guaranteeing immutability. The data is stored across decentralized nodes, meaning it is publicly accessible. Besides, the smart contracts ensure that each unit saved is tokenized and duly distributed among contributors.

Energy efficiency and conservation are among the most impactful weapons to battle the rising energy crisis. To achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, there has to be at least 4% annual growth in energy efficiency, yet, the average only reached roughly 1.3% per annum between 2015-2020.

The energy crisis is not a western or eastern problem but a challenge of global proportions. As platforms like Efforce endeavor to change the outlook by enabling more people to connect and contribute toward a greener future, it's time to recognize the gravity of the situation and pay heed to Wozniack's conclusions, "Look at your home...Do you make it beautiful and clean? Well, wait a minute. The earth is our home."