Small silhouette of Doug Wolkon WELCOME TO PLURANOMICS, THE ECONOMICS OF MANY.

Solar Currency

“Businesses Barter For Renewable Energy”

A New Local Investment and Credit System designed to grow renewable energy and strengthen local economies.


How Does the Solar Currency Work? Investors within the community fund the purchase of solar panels or windmills for Stores like farms and coffee shops to use, and in return receive goods and services from the Stores in the amount of their solar electricity used.

The Stores issue their Store credit, like a gift certificate, to be redeemed for goods and services. The Store credit is converted and transferred via a currency, Solar Currency.

So in essence, the Stores have bartered their goods and services, in the form of Store credit, in direct exchange for electricity savings. The Stores’ credit is pooled into a Community Investment Fund (The Fund) with other Stores. The Fund then converts the diversified pool of Store credit into a currency and issues it to the Community.

How Does the Solar Currency Circulate? The Solar Currency is circulated to Investors within the community through their return on investment, sold to Patrons in exchange for cash dollars, and Tradesman by trading for their services with Patrons and Investors. The Solar Currency may be redeemed at the Store during regular business hours.

* Click on image to enlarge

What If I Don’t Have Any Money to Invest or Exchange? As circulation increases, Tradesman may trade their individual labor skills with Patrons and Investors within the community in exchange for the Solar Currency.

How Does the Solar Currency Grow? Once the Solar Currency is redeemed for purchase at the Store, the Solar Currency is retired. However, an equal amount is always being produced by the solar power and used by the Stores, increasing the Solar Currency in circulation.

In addition, The Community Investment Fund reinvests all cash dollars from the sale of Solar Currency to Patrons in more renewable energy; and may always remain open to future Investors within the community.

What Is the Purpose Of The Community Investment Fund? The Fund pools the diversified Store credit and issues a common community currency to more easily trade goods and services in a diverse marketplace.

What Is the Investment Strategy? The Solar Currency initially seeks to invest in the renewable energy for a diverse group of local food producers (i.e. farms and fisheries) and complimentary retail Stores (i.e. farmers’ markets and fruit stands). This strategy is the most bang for the Solar Currency.

What Is the Initial Investment? On this island, a minimum of $500,000 of initial investment is estimated to get the Solar Currency into circulation. This assumes an average investment of $25,000 across 20 Stores. The $500,000 investment should produce approximately $40,000 in annual Solar Currency, $3,300 of monthly or $110 of daily Solar Currency (that’s a lot of lettuce!).

That being said, the more renewable energy the better. So all Investors, big and small are welcome, which will take advantage of the power in numbers. The Investors within the community will be attracted to the diversified and locally-backed credit, long-term dividends, and collateral of the renewable energy assets.

Why Will the Community Use the Solar Currency? The Stores that receive the generous gift of solar power in exchange for their retail priced goods are those that offer the greatest value to the Solar Currency Community. As a result, Stores are likely to offer creative discounts and sales to the Solar Currency Community (think Kamaaina rates and then some).

The Community Investment Fund is also naturally motivated to provide value to the Solar Currency Community in any way it can (i.e. information, education), since such value-added increases the value of the Solar Currency. The possibilities are endless as it is a win-win-win situation across the community. The Solar Currency Community, including Patrons, Investors, Tradesman and Stores are in essence working together to increase the value of the Solar Currency by generating more and more renewable energy to produce valuable Store Credit.

What If the Price Of Electricity Goes Up? Then the amount of credit the Store pays will also rise. However, Stores may negotiate fixed retail prices in exchange for fixed electricity costs. In other words, because price increases for electricity often inflate prices for retail goods and services, a fixed exchange rate could be mutually beneficial. Such stable pricing agreements will eventually stabilize inflation for the entire Community.

Why Is the Solar Currency Valuable? The Solar Currency is secured by valuable solar systems and windmills; and their use is backed by the credit of the Stores. This is in contrast to today’s paper currencies. So as more traditional paper currencies increase their supply, like in the case of the U.S. Dollar, the value of the Solar Currency should rise in relation to them.

Can The Solar Power Be Taken Away From the Store? Yes. If the Store is not providing value to the Solar Currency, then the Store will not get the benefit of the electricity savings. This is supposed to keep the Store honest and motivated to offer a strong value to Patrons. To be fair, the Store also reserves the right to return the renewable energy to The Fund at a future date.

Who Decides Who Gets the Solar Systems? The Community Investment Fund operating team will execute a strategic investment plan focussed on the local production and distribution economy. The operating team will also administer the accounting and legal responsibilities of The Fund. The Team will receive an equitable percentage of the Solar Currency it helps create.

What If There Is Too Much Demand For a Particular Store’s Goods and Services? A Store is only responsible to redeem their credit owed to the Fund. However, in theory, if demand outweighs supply for a Store’s goods and services, the Community Investment Fund should provide additional renewable energy to the Store or its competitors to increase the supply in the marketplace. In other words, The Solar Currency will finance the energy demands of businesses as they grow to meet demand.

What Standard is the Solar Currency On? Originally, the U.S. Dollar and other paper currencies relied on “The Gold Standard”, a monetary system that used paper notes convertible into gold. However, The Gold Standard is not currently used by any government. Our money or currencies are “declared” valuable because a government accepts them as a payment for taxes, not because they represent a valuable resource or credit.

In contrast, Solar Currency can only be issued if renewable energy has produced the valuable electricity and useful Store credit to back it.


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1 Comment so far      Post a Comment

  1. How does this compare to conventional Renewable Energy Credits (RECs)? How does it compare to the New Jersey SREC program.

    And, how does it compare to and Cap and Trade Systems?

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