Episode 6: Swytch – How To Incentivize And Verify A Carbon-Free World

We all know we need to accelerate the transition to renewable sources of energy. But on a global scale we are doing it in a way that is haphazard and inefficient. Governments experiment with subsidy schemes for renewable energy, with various degrees of success. Countries discuss targets, negotiate commitments, fight about who should shoulder more of the cost. What if we were able to reliably record and measure every action that reduces the carbon footprint—and agree on which steps have the greatest impact?

Swytch.io wants to make this possible. In this episode, co-founder Evan Caron argues that it all starts (as always) with data: Swytch provides a device-agnostic platform that can collect data from a wind farm, a solar panel, a smart meter…pretty much any device in the energy ecosystem. It uses blockchain—and in the episode we debate whether blockchain is really needed here.

That’s only the first step. Swytch will then enable energy and climate experts to access the data and use it to assess with competing models the climate impact of different energy investments around the world. Once you know where the investment should go, how do you create the right incentives to direct where it will have the greatest impact?  The models in the Swytch ecosystem will determine the value of different carbon-offsetting or carbon-displacing actions and ultimately, actions which have a greater positive impact on energy sustainability should be commensurately compensated. The hope is that the system could provide the basis to set the right incentives for a faster transition to GHG reductions. It’s a tall order, that makes for a very intense conversation.

One exciting note: About midway through the conversation with Evan, we’ll break in for a surprise for our listeners, a new, regular segment called Ricky’s Reports from the Edge, with our friend Ricky Buch. You have to listen to see what it’s all about.