The Jouliette is a blockchain-based community energy token that seeks to create greater social value and to support a bottom-up transition towards a more distributed, robust, and transparent economy, underpinned by 100% renewable energy.
Launched in September 2017 at De Ceuvel, a sustainable urban community in Amsterdam, the Jouliette is an example of how a new and developing technological innovation like blockchain can be used by communities to manage and share their own energy production and consumption. The initiative aims to investigate how community energy tokens can enable greater self-sufficiency in communities. The Jouliette can be used as a means to trade goods at the De Ceuvel Cafe, to facilitate a local time-banking system, and to integrate other intra-community services, such as a car-sharing program.
Bird’s eye view of the De Ceuvel community in Amsterdam.
In order to implement the Jouliette initiative, a smart electricity micro-grid was installed in the community, connecting the 16 office buildings, greenhouse, restaurant, and B&B to each other. This grid allows the buildings to exchange electricity amongst each other entirely independently from the national grid. Moreover, the electricity production and consumption of the buildings is tracked and visualized in real-time on an online interface (see the map below). Green lines indicate that a building is producing renewable electricity and feeding it into the micro-grid, while red lines show that a building is consuming electricity.
Screenshot of the Jouliette online interface, showing real-time electricity production and consumption of buildings at De Ceuvel.
Community members have their own ‘wallet’ that is filled with Jouliettes when they produce renewable energy through, for example, the solar PV panels they have installed on their buildings’ roofs (see image below). With these Jouliettes, members are then able to make peer-to-peer transactions between their wallets. The blockchain technology ensures that these transactions are secure and decentralized, with the history of all transactions being shared with all the community members, so they can be (automatically) verified without needing a bank.
Virtual currency ‘wallet’ depicting the transactions of Jouliettes made within the community.
The energy token initiative is a collaboration between Dutch energy network company Alliander and Spectral, a company developing technological solutions that accelerate the transition to a renewable and clean energy supply. Besides the peer-to-peer blockchain trading system and the real-time power-flow map of the community, the Jouliette platform is also equipped with a number of other features, such as high-resolution data visualizations and machine-learning forecasting systems, which provide users with greater insights into their energy use and projected production/ consumption.
Case study date: June 2018