Irene Energy is a Paris-based company intending to operate as a renewable energy supplier. Irene’s platform will allow consumers to directly select, consume energy from, and compensate renewable energy suppliers. Suppliers will be able to signal their available inventory upon the platform, finding both energy purchasers and public recognition as good actors contributing to efforts to transition to a carbon-free economy. All transactions are hosted upon the Stellar blockchain, chosen for its rapid, inexpensive settlement services. Irene intends to operate initially across multiple jurisdictions in Europe, starting in late 2018, before expanding to portions of the United States, beginning in late 2019.
Irene’s ultimate vision is to become a hub for what it calls ‘the hyper-decentralization of electricity markets’, where consumers are able to incorporate a range of energy production, storage, and consumption transactions into a larger ecosystem that promotes both the widespread production and consumption of renewables, and individual, decentralized control over the energy system. The system works with Irene paying local producers market wholesale rates, then reselling energy to retail consumers at slightly below existing retail market rates, leaving for itself relatively modest margins.
Irene is led by a strong and diversified team of French business people. Founder and strategy lead Guillaume Marchand has an MBA from INSEAD, an engineering degree from the Ecole Polytechnique, Paris, and experience as an energy trader in London. He is joined by Julien Muresianu, also with an engineering degree from the Ecole Polytechnique, Paris as well as an MA from SciencePo in Paris, and a strong background in artificial intelligence. Beyond this core group, the Irene project appears to be led by a strong, diverse team with competencies ranging from business development and marketing to community social relations.
Irene’s approach is to employ its blockchain-based technologies to transform the experiences of end users as they interact with existing power operations, allowing users to choose between individual power suppliers on the basis of production profile or location, to pay through the Irene platform, and to verify that their funds went to the designated producer by analyzing transactions on the Stellar blockchain. The embedded efficiency of Irene’s network is intended to offer consumers pricing that is 10% - 20% below existing choices.
Irene offers an interface where users can find all relevant info concerning their choices, their consumption, and their unique energy footprint. Irene intends to simplify the process for switching to their network by internally handling the relevant paperwork, and also plan to gamify the process of choosing between individual suppliers, all of whom will have Airbnb-like pages describing their production and its characteristics. Consumers will swipe left and right as they peruse individual offerings in search of the most desirable. Stellar’s low fees easily support the high number of transactions associated with the network’s short billing cycles, allowing consumers to almost continuously refine their supplier choices in real-times.
Irene’s Tellus token acts as the payment token for all settlement completed upon the platform. Customers will settle bills using Tellus tokens, with each token settling its market value in Irene bills in local currency. Irene’s Tellus token is merely a payment token, without network effects or enduring impacts. In effect, consumers will need to acquire Telli before paying Irene, which will in turn pay producers, who will convert the tokens back to fiat. While use of the Stellar blockchain makes this a relatively inexpensive set of operations, there is no added value created within this process. Tellus tokens will be programmed on the Stellar network to require KYC and AML checks with every transfer, allowing it to advertise its Tellus token as 100% compliant across jurisdictions.
Irene completed a limited pre-sale that concluded in May 2018, with 9.6 million tokens sold at $0.08, raising a bit more than €750,000. The main sale targeting accredited US investors is expected to begin in early 2019, and will facilitate an expansion into the United States. A third sale is planned for late 2019 which will be open for non-accredited US investors. The total token supply is 500 million Tellus, plus the presale amount, so ultimately 509 million. This will be distributed between the 300 million combined in main sale rounds 1 and 2. The balance includes 100 million for current team members, 25 million for distribution to future employees, and 75 million for various working capital reserves, bounties, and rewards programs.