Have a good idea for energy creation and distribution? GE and 4 prominent venture capital firms are offering up $200 million for winners of its Ecomagination Challenge in an effort to quicken development of a national smart grid. Perhaps you could be the winner?
“We know how to make things, we know how to sell things, we know how to service things,” GE’s chief executive Jeff Immelt said in a panel discussion about this competition in San Francisco on Tuesday morning. “We have a big brand, so let’s go.”
Until September 30, smart-grid entrepreneurs can submit proposals in one of three areas:
• Maximizing penetration of clean energy into the grid.
• Improving the efficiency of the grid.
• Helping electricity customers use energy more wisely.
Representatives of GE and the investment partners (RockPort Capital, K.P.C.B., Foundation Capital and Emerald Technology) will decide which ideas to finance. Winners may even get a partnership deal with GE to develop and distribute the technology.
Visitors of the website can also vote on what they think are the top ideas. “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 website states.
In addition, “GE will present each of five innovation challenge award recipients with $100,000 in cash, for a total of $500,000, to acknowledge these entries as examples of outstanding entrepreneurship and innovation.”
This looks like a great, private sector step to advance clean energy, energy efficiency and the smart grid in the US (and even worldwide). Kudos to GE and the investment partners for coming up with and implementing this idea.
“With this challenge we are inviting others to work with our partners and us to accelerate progress in creating a cleaner, more efficient and economically viable grid,” Mr. Immelt said. “We want to jump-start new ideas and deploy them on a scale that will modernize the electrical grid around the world.”
Have some great ideas? (I know some of you Cleantechnica readers do.) Head on over to the Ecomagination Challenge: Powering the Grid website.
Image Credit: Screenshot of Ecomagination Challenge: Powering the Grid
I'm the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular clean energy website in the world, and Planetsave, a leading green and science news site. I've been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and I've been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, bicycling, and wind energy for the past few years. You can also find my work on Scientific American, Reuters, Think Progress, GE's ecomagination site, several sites in the Important Media network, & many other places. To connect on some of your favorite social networks, go to zacharyshahan.com or click on some of the links below.