The GE ecomagination Challenge: Powering the Grid starts now. GE and partners have committed to invest $200 million in collaborative proposals submitted by students, technologists and entrepreneurs who share the best ideas on how to build the next-generation power grid. They’ve teamed up with renowned venture capital firms, including Emerald Technology Partners, Foundation Capital, KPCB and RockPort Capital, to help back the most promising ideas.
Here’s how you can get involved: Enter the challenge at ecomagination.com/challenge. You can upload videos that present your ideas, and anyone can vote for the teams they believe in the most. These idea submissions can help change the way the world uses energy in powerful new ways.
The first challenge is called Create Power: Renewables. To meet growing energy needs, we must harness the potential of renewable energy. Since different forms or renewable energy have divergent output, it’s important to manage and integrate renewable energy sources. GE is developing technologies that protect the quality of power and help ensure safe, reliable power. This challenge asks: What kinds of technologies or processes do you think will maximize the penetration of renewables into the grid?
The second challenge is called Connect Power: Grid Efficiency. The United States grid should be the most efficient in the world, but it’s not. GE is looking at technologies that will help lower delivery losses and anticipate and monitor demand. This will free up grid capacity and protect consumers from steep rate increases by reducing voltage and eliminating the over-delivery of energy. This challenge asks: In terms of technology, processes and policy, what do you think are the best means to help us realize greater gains in grid efficiency and outage management?
The third challenge is called Use Power: Eco Homes/Eco Buildings. There’s an imbalance between supply and demand for energy because consumption is growing so quickly, and that imbalance can short-circuit power production and distribution, leading to higher energy costs for consumers and businesses. GE is working on smart meters and appliances that let consumers “talk” to their power utility, renewable integration tools, home energy use monitoring, and other promising technologies. This challenge asks: What innovations do you think will improve our energy balance?
Challenge participants will be offered the opportunity to develop a commercial relationship with GE as well. That includes exploring partnership opportunities to scale your ideas and create global reach, leveraging GE’s technical infrastructure and GE Global Research Centers to accelerate technology and product development, utilizing existing GE customer relationships for a go-to-market strategy and the opportunity to secure growth capital through GE investment and/or investment by participating venture capital firms.
The gauntlet has been thrown! Submit your idea to the ecomagination Challenge at ecomagination.com/challenge. Get it funded. Watch it change the world.