On July 13th, GE and its partners issued a challenge to the world: Submit breakthrough ideas that transform the way we create, connect and use power and they, along with its partners, will support the ideas with up to $200 million in funding. The GE ecomagination Challenge: Powering the Grid is a $200 million investment in finding the best technologies, processes and business models to bring our energy grid into the 21st century. It’s about making clean energy a reality, bringing it to market, and making a real, meaningful impact.
The world responded. In just over four weeks, more than 1,155 ideas have been submitted, with 17,174 votes cast. The ecomagination Challenge community has contributed over 11,855 comments and counting.
Participants have entered ideas in one of three categories: Create Power: Renewables, Connect Power: Grid Efficiency, and Use Power: Eco Homes/Eco Buildings.
Here are the top vote getters to date:
1. Use Power How and Where It Is Generated
Nextek Power Systems has a simple yet ingenious upgrade to conventional power delivery that applies directly to all categories of the GE Challenge. Nextek’s innovative Direct Current microgrid can be deployed incrementally, improving the overall efficiency, sustainability and reliability of the Smart-Grid and the loads it serves. Vote Here
2. From Net Zero to Waste Zero
From Net Zero to Waste Zero uses building integrated clean technologies (BICT), such as building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV), wind power, solar chimney, and geothermal heat pump system, to engineer the Future House Canada project into the most cost effective net zero energy building. Visit www.futurehousecanada.com for more details. Vote Here
3. Solar Roadways
Solar Roadways has a goal: To provide more clean energy than we can use by retrofitting roads, parking lots, etc., with structurally-engineered recyclable solar panels that are driven upon. This reduces greenhouse gases, creates countless green jobs, and eliminates dependence on oil by allowing electric vehicles to recharge virtually anywhere. Learn more at www.solarroadways.com. Vote Here
4. THEODORE Project
(Using artificial intelligence systems to improve grid efficiency.)
This project uses modern genetic programming techniques to create a system that accurately determines future power usage throughout the grid by combining previous power usage data with forward-looking external data. This external data includes traffic updates, upcoming events, “buzz” from social networks, weather, and news reports. Vote Here
5. Offshore Wind Not Offshore Oil
Highsmith Energy is designing the largest and most comprehensive offshore wind energy model in the USA to identify the most profitable and environmentally friendly locations to develop offshore wind. Vote Here
In looking for the best ideas, GE is asking you to get involved in finding the solution.
Do you believe one of the ideas above to be worthy of the $200 million investment? Think one of the other 1,150 ideas are worthy? Have an idea of your own? Then vote and or submit an idea today. In addition to the $200 million in funding from GE and its partners, the entry receiving the most user-submitted votes will receive, subject to GE’s review for appropriate content, a cash award of $50,000!
The rewards of being selected by the challenge judges may include grants, fellowships, an equity investment or the opportunity to develop a commercial relationship with GE.
GE brings the ability to leverage its considerable technical infrastructure, accelerating technology and product development, and utilizing existing GE customer relationships for an efficient go-to-market strategy. Selected entries could see their ideas reach all around the world.
Submit your idea to the ecomagination Challenge at ecomagination.com/challenge. See is if you have what it takes to change the world.