Category Archives: Energy Innovation Series

EDF Energy Innovation Series Feature: Desalination – Here Comes the Sun. And Freshwater.

EDF-EIS-emailHeader-2EDF's Energy Innovation Series highlights innovations across a broad range of energy categories, including smart grid and renewable energy technologies, energy efficiency financing and progressive utilities, to name a few. This Series helps illustrate that cost-effective, clean energy solutions are available now and imperative to lowering our dependence on fossil fuels.

Find more information on this featured innovation here

WaterFX can turn virtually any water source into clean, drinkable water. And all they need is a sunny day.

This is great news for drought-stricken states like California and Texas, where water is becoming an increasingly scarce resource. In Central California, for example, the drought has essentially cut off thousands of farmers this year; they have no water, and their land now lays fallow.

Part of what’s draining this precious resource is our energy use. Taking into account the acquisition, treatment, and movement required to ensure water comes out the faucet when we turn it on, it is no surprise that water is among the country’s greatest users of electricity. Read More »

Also posted in Clean Energy, Energy-Water Nexus| Comments closed

EDF Energy Innovation Series Feature: Intelligent Energy Storage That Makes “Cents”

EDF-EIS-emailHeader-2EDF's Energy Innovation Series highlights innovations across a broad range of energy categories, including smart grid and renewable energy technologies, energy efficiency financing and progressive utilities, to name a few. This Series helps illustrate that cost-effective, clean energy solutions are available now and imperative to lowering our dependence on fossil fuels.

Find more information on this featured innovation here

America’s electricity grid was one of the greatest engineering feats of the 20th century. But it is showing its age.

The Wall Street Journal reported recently that if just nine of the 55,000 electric-transmission substations were knocked out, the entire country could plunge into a months-long blackout. Power outages caused by severe weather events already cost the U.S. between $25 to $70 billion a year. And Americans are using more energy than ever – 2.3 quadrillion thermal units more in 2013 than in 2012, which is greater than the total energy consumed by Maine, Montana, South Dakota, New Hampshire, Hawaii, Delaware, and Rhode Island combined.

Fortunately, we know how to protect ourselves from this vulnerability: move away from a highly-centralized energy generation and transmission system to one that looks more like the Internet, with decentralized energy production and smart technologies that allow us to use power most efficiently.

That’s exactly what Green Charge Networks (GCN) is doing. Over the past few years, this Silicon Valley smart grid company has been building an intelligent energy storage system called GreenStation™ that reduces stress on the electric grid, reduces greenhouse gas pollution, and, the company says, offers customers a five-year return on investment. Read More »

Also posted in Clean Energy, Energy Storage, Smart Grid| Tagged | 1 Response, comments now closed

EDF Energy Innovation Series Feature: Treehouse's One-Stop Shop for Solar

EDF's Energy Innovation Series highlights innovations across a broad range of energy categories, including smart grid and renewable energy technologies, energy efficiency financing and progressive utilities, to name a few. This Series helps illustrate that cost-effective, clean energy solutions are available now and imperative to lowering our dependence on fossil fuels.

Find more information on this featured innovation here.

Few people walk into a car dealership and ask to see all of the 2.0 liter engines or only the 200 horsepower cars. Those technical specs are important, but most people shop by model, price or features.

Yet homeowners that want to install solar panels often find themselves buried in a mound of technical details that are not only confusing, but intimidating. And expensive. Austin-based sustainable living retailer Treehouse is changing that and proving that energy innovation is sometimes less about technology and policy and more about thinking like customers.

"The solar industry has done a great job educating people about the benefits of solar energy," said Treehouse founder and president Jason Ballard. "But it's done a bad job of making solar easy to buy." Read More »

Also posted in Texas| Tagged | 1 Response, comments now closed

EDF Energy Innovation Series Feature: Green Mountain Energy Company Sparking Solar In Texas

EDF's Energy Innovation Series highlights innovations across a broad range of energy categories, including smart grid and renewable energy technologies, energy efficiency financing and progressive utilities, to name a few. This Series helps illustrate that cost-effective, clean energy solutions are available now and imperative to lowering our dependence on fossil fuels.

Find more information on this featured innovation here.

As this series has demonstrated, energy innovation is happening around the world in a wide range of areas, from energy storage and smart grid technologies to renewables, electric vehicles and energy-saving software and services.

But innovation isn’t just about inventing new technologies.  It’s about getting those technologies out into the market.  And when it comes to bringing renewable energy options to residential and commercial customers, Texas-based Green Mountain Energy Company was the first to be 100% dedicated to cleaner energy with the electricity market opened to competition in the state in 2002.

Founded in 1997, Green Mountain is the country’s longest-serving retailer dedicated to renewable energy, selling all-renewable energy options directly to residents and businesses in competitive markets in Illinois, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Texas, and partnering with utilities in other regulated markets.

Read More »

Also posted in Renewable Energy, Texas| Comments closed

EDF Energy Innovation Series Feature #20: Renewable Energy Financing From Mosaic

EDF's Energy Innovation Series highlights innovations across a broad range of energy categories, including smart grid and renewable energy technologies, energy efficiency financing and progressive utilities, to name a few. This Series helps illustrate that cost-effective, clean energy solutions are available now and imperative to lowering our dependence on fossil fuels.

Find more information on this featured innovation here.

Mosaic’s "crowd-investing" concept gives people the opportunity to invest in a clean, low-carbon energy economy

Over the last decade, web-based crowd funding has grown from a clever way for fans to fund their favorite artist to a multimillion dollar funding option for just about anyone with a new widget.  For as little as a few bucks, anyone can help a friend or stranger get a good idea to market, and you might even get one of the first CDs or gadgets that come off the line.

But crowdfunding isn’t really an investment.

Source: Mosaic

Oakland-based Mosaic wants to do for renewable energy investing what crowdfunding sites have done for entrepreneurs. But rather than just offering a chance to help, Mosaic offers a piece of the profit.  Think of it as a renewable energy Kickstarter with a kickback.

"We connect individuals and institutions with high quality solar project investments," said Billy Parish, president and founder of Mosaic. "The fastest way to grow the clean energy economy is to allow more people to benefit from it." Read More »

Also posted in Renewable Energy| Tagged | Comments closed

EDF Energy Innovation Series Feature #19: Energy Analytics From FirstFuel Software

EDF's Energy Innovation Series highlights innovations across a broad range of energy categories, including smart grid and renewable energy technologies, energy efficiency financing and progressive utilities, to name a few. This Series helps illustrate that cost-effective, clean energy solutions are available now and imperative to lowering our dependence on fossil fuels.

Find more information on this featured innovation here.

Driving improvements in the built environment is extremely impactful because buildings emit more than a third of our country’s greenhouse gases. Furthermore, according to IBM, roughly 30 percent of building energy usage is wasted. From location to location, however, these changes are sometimes hard to prove beforehand or demonstrate quantitatively after changes or investments are made. As the need to comprehensively tackle energy inefficiency has increased, so has technology's ability to identify and measure the impact that building upgrades (retrofits), operational shifts or basic behavior changes can make.

Companies like Lexington, Mass.-based FirstFuel Software (FirstFuel) are doing for energy information what Google has done for online search: using complex algorithms to help make simple, usable sense of the massive amounts of energy data being collected by smart meters and other energy management devices.  Needing only one-year of hourly meter data and an address, FirstFuel’s Remote Building Analytics platform screens entire building portfolios for high-potential opportunities, conducts deep building audits and tracks energy savings – without ever going onsite or installing connected devices.

Using hundreds of proprietary algorithms and external weather and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) mapping technology, FirstFuel can provide detailed insight into each facility's energy use and lay out specific, actionable recommendations for improved efficiency.  "We call it a ‘zero-touch’ approach," said FirstFuel Software CEO Swapnil Shah. "It's a very simple and compelling value proposition for the customer.  No hardware and no on-site visits mean you can begin to achieve true scale." Read More »

Also posted in General| Comments closed