WASHINGTON, July 16, 2010. General Electric is seeking project ideas for renewable energy, electric grid efficiency, and ecobuilding technologies through its Ecomagination Challenge.
There is over $200 million invested in this innovation experiment, where people can try to get their ideas for building the next-generation power grid funded. GE works with venture capital firms to get the most promising ideas resources and funding.
There are three types of categories that applications can submit project ideas to. The first is “Challenge 1: Create – Renewable Energy.” In this category, GE asks for submissions for technologies and processes that will maximize renewable energy sources’ penetration to the electrical grid. GE wants to augment its own technologies with new ones, so it can provide utilities with better information about their energy production, transmission, and consumption and better protect their equipment.
The second category is “Challenge 2: Connect – Grid Efficiency.” According to Ecomagination Challenge, the United States should have the most efficient electrical grid in the world. However, they claim that the US wastes energy at every point of the day. GE wants to create a more efficient grid that also connects with consumers. They are looking for submissions that anticipate and monitor the demand for energy and reduces the need for investing in infrastructure. This protects consumers from rate increases and keeps them from paying for unused energy.
The third call for submissions is “Challenge 3: Use – Ecohomes / Ecobuildings.” In this category, GE seeks technologies that will help power utilities and consumers to better manage their energy use. Since energy consumption is increasing so rapidly, the energy production is lagging, creating a mismatch between supply and demand. This leads to higher energy costs that GE would like to avoid. They mention several in-home technologies that will help better manage energy usage, including smart meters, home area networks, time-of-use pricing, and plug-in facilities for electric cars.
Editor's Note: Don't miss the Broadband Breakfast Club event, "The Smart Grid, Telecommunications, and the Electric Infrastructure," on Tuesday, July 20, from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., at Clyde's of Gallery Place. Registration is available at http://broadbandbreakfast.eventbrite.com.