Current Project phase:

  • 1 1: Initiate Phase
  • 2 2: Nominate Phase
  • 3 3: Improve Phase
  • 4 4: Triumph Phase
  • 5 5: Accelerate Phase
  • 6 6: Make it Happen Phase
Track: Creative Professional
Topics: Energy
Location: Russia

Connecting People to Power

Connecting People to Power

Many remote off-grid communities generate their electricity with imported fossil fuels that are expensive, unreliable, and cause harm to the environment. Phi is a platform that connects people to clean, low-cost power.

Long Description

Most of Russia is covered with permafrost. In remote regions, people live depending on expensive fossil fuels that can be delivered by road only one month per year. While these areas supply the majority of Russia’s natural resources, the people of Siberia and the arctic struggle with extremely low average temperatures, and spend up to fifty percent of their income on energy. Due to the low population density and harsh conditions, these regions with highest rate of fossil fuel extraction, pay the highest prices, even with government subsidies. Here renewable energy would cost less, fuelling sustainable development and helping to preserve local languages and traditions.

Putting power in the hands of people makes communities more resilient and self-sufficient. Phi helps community leaders go from having no culture of dealing with electricity, to possessing the tools and knowledge to share energy, accelerate new alternative energy sources, and take control of their own development. Over the next three years, we will establish Phi as a social enterprise, and will build a test case that we scale to other remote communities around the world.

Phi is positioned at the intersection of human-centred design, peer-to-peer blockchain networks, and sustainable energy technology. We take a lean approach, leveraging our expertise in design, systems thinking, and anthropology to make renewable energy solutions easy to use. We are collaborating with the Strelka Institute in Moscow, an urbanism and urban development research program and consultancy. Together we will undertake site research and ethnographic studies, and design urban development plans. We are also a member of the German Blockchain Association energy working group, which brings together a group of energy industry experts, blockchain energy start-ups, and researchers. We will use the foundational energy standards developed here, to connect to a global energy network.

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