"Innovation in green tech could be the biggest economic opportunity of
the 21st century." So says John Doerr of Kleiner
Perkins Caufield & Byers the venture capital firm responsible for initial funding of Google, Amazon.com and Sun Microsystems. We couldn't agree more.
To prove the point the firm
has created an annual contest with a grand prize of $100,000. The
"KPCB Prize for Green Innovation" will recognize entrepreneurs whose
creativity and dedication result in substantial advancements in green
Applications will be accepted until October 31, 2006 and can be submitted by
any person, group, organization, or company creating significant, sustainable
innovation in green technology. Describe your breakthrough idea in 5 pages or
less and email it to
The winner will be announced during the 2nd Greentech Innovation Network (GIN)
Conference in December.
If you've got an idea that could qualify in the field of green
energy generation, storage, conservation, policy, or other green/clean
technology, you've got until the end of the month to submit.
Thanks to Maria Cubeta for the tip
So, you've noticed that there hasn't been the same volume of EcoGeek
content that there once was, and you were wondering if something was awry at EcoGeek
Well, no, not at all, it's just that I, Chief Editor Hank Green, just
got banded and bound to Katherine, who has been my partner in crime for
about eight years now. The wedding was marvelous, lots of friends, video games
and dancing. But it wasn't particularly EcoGeeky
, so I'll keep this short.
is by no means a
one-man show, but things were slow in the last week, and will be slow
again when we go to Italy in a couple of weeks. But we'll keep
providing all the news of environmental innovation that sparks in our
brains or wonders across our plates. I often feel like there's a lot of
despair in the environmental movement, but my marriage and my magazine
are both completely contrary to the idea of despair. The world is
getting more awesome every day, that's what my marriage is about, and
that's what EcoGeek
Refrigerators used to consume 2000 kilowatt-hours per year, now they use 450 kwh
Windows used to let in every ounce of heat that hit them, now the
reflect the majority of infra-red light. Light bulbs used to be made
of white-hot tungsten, now they're made of cool fluorescent gasses.
All of these innovations, added together, have saved the America $800
billion dollars since the 1950's. All of these innovations were
contributed to or created by the laboratory of one man: Dr. Arthur Rosenfeld
an 80 year old particle physicist, who has worked on the physics and
policy of energy efficiency in the United States for longer than just
about anyone. From 90% efficient motors to low-emissivity windows to
light bulbs, Rosenfeld
worked on it all. In 1975, during the first oil crisis, he
persuaded the U.S. government to create (and place him in charge of)
the Center for Building Science, quite possibly making him the world's
first EcoGeek. In the next thirty years, hundreds of innovations
would spring from the Center for Building Science (now called the
Environmental Energy Technologies Division,) every one devoted to
decreasing the amount of energy wasted in the world.
Not only are we in an $800 billion debt to him, that number is growing
by more each year. By 2010, we will owe him over a trillion dollars.
If anyone thinks that energy efficiency is bad for buisness, we need look no further than that number. And, on top of it, the environmental benefits of Rosenfeld's innovations are incalculable.
Rosenfeld won the Enrico
Fermi award, the US Department of Energy's highest honor, this year. He
took home $375,000, not a great return on $800 billion. But Rosenfeld says the
recognition and gratitude from the community was his real reward. Dr.
Rosenfeld, you have our recognition, and our sincerest gratitude.
Toon Beerten, a guy with some LED experience, has put together an amazing 3 watt LED mood light
pretty much from scratch. The device actually plugs into a wall socket, while his previous lamps have run off batteries. Using batteries actually significantly reduces the overall efficiency of any electronic device, so I like this one for that.
I also like it because it's really well done. He's programmed the LEDs to fade between colors, or go through a variety of transitions that he can control with an input. If I went over to his house, I'd probably assume he bought it from Target for fifty bucks.
Definitely a worthwhile project.