Innovative Clean Technology for 2016

Businesses and everyday people are becoming increasingly more tuned into using things that are efficient and environmentally friendly. Clean tech innovations aren’t limited, and can have a positive impact on everyone. Some innovations are already finding a place in the homes of environmentally-conscious individuals, while others are working to make institutional changes in the power industry. In sum, there are many remarkable innovations coming up the pipeline that are worth noting.

SolarCity’s Solar PV Panel

This panel, which was introduced on the heels of Tesla’s electric SUV named Model X, boasts an efficiency rate higher than 22%. This clean tech innovation is important, as it’s directly related to lowering the cost of using solar-based products.

GreenEgg Smart Home Hub

Shown off at Cleantech Innovate, an opportunity for companies to connect with investors, the GreenEgg Smart Home Hub puts energy consumption front and center in the family home. For most families, TVs are essential and it’s common to gather around them. For that reason, it makes sense to display energy consumption on there, making it just as easy to catch a show as it is to catch patterns in energy consumption. The device is user friendly and communicates high energy use with the color red.

2015 Paris Climate Conference (COP21)

In anticipation of the Paris Climate Conference in December, the Global Sustainable Electricity Partnership (GSEP) released a report that was signed by 11 of the top electricity company executives across the globe. Recommendations include concentrated solar power (both on its own to lower the attachment to water for air-cooling systems and to make conventional plants more efficient via combined gas cycling); biomass (for power plants that run on this, the key to better electricity output could be found in organic liquids that vaporize at 70 degrees Celsius); and both onshore and offshore wind (they would expand the types of places that could be used to generate energy).

Utilities: What’s Up For the Future

In a Huffington Post article, Clint Wilder talked about the transformation that needs to happen with electric utility model—something that is “less sexy,” but certainly just as important. Companies like Google are leading the way. Currently, they’re at 35% of their 100% goal of using renewable energy to power their worldwide network. Though it’s a long process, by demanding change from the utility companies and regulators they’ve been able to make strides, like powering their facilities using a wind farm and a new one that will use renewable resources.

Wilder notes that New York, California, and Hawaii are ahead of the curve, and applauds New York’s Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) initiative. “New York seeks to fundamentally change the way its power market values assets. Utilities (and all other market players), after decades of focusing almost solely on centralized generation assets as value creators, need to see the demand side—microgrids and load reduction, plus DG—as even more valuable.”

Without a doubt, the work to amend how utilities and regulatory agencies work requires just as much innovation on the people side as the scientific side.

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