Welcome To IgniteCleanEnergy.com
The Ignite Clean Energy Competition is one of many events produced by the Energy Special Interest Group (Energy SIG) of the MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge (MITEF). The goal of the Energy SIG is to help build the Clean Energy Cluster in Massachusetts and throughout the region, primarily by assisting entrepreneurs in the creation and deployment of startup companies in the sector.
For simplicity's sake, the definition of Clean Energy is taken to be any product or service that reduces the demand for fossil fuels. While there are advocates for clean coal and fossil fuel-based technologies in the group, the emphasis is on those technologies that will help our society move away from a dependence on non-renewable fuels.
Green Architects Looking To Metal
Metal buildings sometimes get a bad reputation. Sky scrapers and large buildings are always assumed to be big bad companies that do nothing but increase their carbon footprint by utilizing a lot of energy to run all of their fancy systems. The truth is, metal building components are completely recyclable. Steel building products, especially, can be taken down and re-used to construct another building without much effort.
In addition, many metal buildings are becoming more innovative as a result of their bad reputation. These are the ones that are pushing for wind turbines and solar panels to be installed. It's for their own good, too. A metal building manufacturer may be using a lot of metal that isn't from recycled products, but the material they are using can be recycled and the companies they sell to are often just as concerned with carbon footprints as the next person.
Savvy Covered Patio Builders Go Green
Covered patio builders across the country are using green building materials and practices that promote better energy efficiency. Backed by the U.S. Green Building Council, firms like Lone Star Patio, and others, are part of a growing concern that any construction can be done with less ecological damage. As one convinced observer noted, “Green is gold, for less money.”
The environment suffers greatly from heating and cooling mechanisms. Covered patio builders understand this problem and have begun encouraging customers to accept energy efficient units that lessen the ecology’s problems. That includes installing windows, skylights and doors designed and built to achieve better energy use. And much of this can save home-owners a sizeable chunk of change.
The federal government gives tax breaks to homeowners who install energy efficient units. Covered patio builders wisely advise potential customers about the financial implications created by tax credits. Unlike tax deductions, which don’t reduce tax bills by a whole lot, tax credits are trimmed directly from the total tax owed. Those expecting to improve or add to their properties should first have their tax accountants detail how and why those tax credits might apply to their needs.
America is a large country. Much of what affects the world is designed and built here. Perhaps by striving to reduce the amount of pollution created by our daily routines, we can help guide other nations to a cleaner world. It isn’t too late. Just do it!
ICE Board Members Attend Marine Tech Summit
A few Ignite Clean Energy board members represented the company at this year's Marine Tech Summit, a conference dedicated to securing a green future for the shipping industry. One of the most informative presentations was on the subject of AIS Ship Tracking and how this service has increased our understanding about environmental patterns and the usage of energy on the ocean. Though not a lot of research has been performed on this topic, the speakers were confident that analysis of ais data will reveal how and where green house gasses are being emitted. Businesses that provide ship fleet tracking and notify clients of ship grounding can aid green vessel research by sharing their data. After all, efficiency in transportation time usually translates to an efficient usage of resources.
Avoid Energy Bills By Investing in Solar Energy
Increasingly, Americans are implementing solar power in their homes to decrease dependency on traditional energy sources. Solar panels capture the sun's energy and produce electricity to heat water and power cars, small appliances and even lighting. By harvesting solar power, we not only save money, we save the planet.
On a sunny day, the sun yields approximately 1-kilowatt hour (kWh) of energy per square meter. This powers a 100 W light bulb for 10 hours. A system of 12 solar panels generates approximately 1600 kWh per year. According to the U.S. Energy Information Agency, in 2008, the average American household used 920 kWh per month. Even if we don't capture enough solar power to be completely off the power grid, we can significantly decrease our use of traditional energy sources. Utilizing this clean, alternative energy source decreases fossil fuel consumption, CO2 emissions and our dependency on nuclear power.
ICE Alum Develops Solar-Powered EV Station
Winner of Ignite Clean Energy 2005 Donald Woods has developed one of the world's first electric service vehicle charging stations that runs entirely off of solar energy. Since the presentation of his EV charging stations earlier this year, several developers specializing in green technology have reached out to Woods about the possibility of using his stations in their new houses for sale. Woods' EV charging stations can be powered by homes with solar panel roofing and are compatible with the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt. One developer said that homes for sale with garage charging stations are in increasingly high demand on the real estate market.
Soy Oil The Eco-Friendly Solution For Auto Parts?
Team EcoZOOM has won itself a spot in the Ignite Clean Energy Finals and has turned some heads in the process. The team has engineered a soy oil formula for rubber based car parts and truck parts that partially eliminates the need for petroleum oil. As a 25% replacement for petroleum oil, renewable soy oil doubles the rubber's stretchability and reduces carbon dioxide emissions. Discount auto parts retailers specializing in auto parts like radiator deflector shields, air baffles and braking systems are keeping a close watch on the progress of Team EcoZOOM's project. Ford® and an online auto parts warehouse were present at the ICE semifinals and expressed their interest in using the renewable soil oil formula for future products.
Support Recycling Efforts In San Diego County
To residents of San Diego, protecting the environment is an important cause. There are many ways we can join the San Diego recycling cause. Simply reading these recycling facts and locating the nearest recycling center gets people involved in a clean San Diego.
•Recycling reduces waste in landfills by more than 50%.
•Recycled products can be used to make new products.
•Recycled products use less energy and water and yield less pollution.
•Recycling helps reduce green house emissions from landfill waste.
Almost anything at home can be recycled:
•Glass Bottles & Jars
•Plastic Bottles, Jars & Packaging
•Paper Boxes & Bags
•Aerosol, Aluminum & Metal Cans
•Phonebooks, Mail, Catalogs & Magazines
By participating in San Diego Recycling, we are reducing landfill waste and global pollution and helping keep the beaches and planet clean. Recycling is one of the biggest steps in becoming an active member of the green team.
Ten Rooms, One Hundred Thousand People
Twenty-nine teams of competitors gave their 15-minute pitches at Thursday's Semifinals held at the beautiful Olin College Campus. This was the first time that ICE Competition held the Semifinals at Olin and it was an unqualified success!
Each team gave their pitch and received 25 minutes of critical feedback from the excellent judging panels over the course of two and a quarter hours. The judges then retired to caucus and determine the ten finalists and two waitlisted teams for the May 1 Finals at the Boston Hyatt Hotel. This task is very difficult as the ICE Competition enjoys an enormous diversity of contestants: companies that are so early stage that their inventions have barely been tested to those with prototypes that will be turned into products within the year. The latest in high tech materials to service models to novel uses of existing technology. Undergraduate student teams through teams of experienced professionals.
We accept - and encourage - all types of teams to apply because all types of companies and universities make up a clean energy cluster. All these teams have now had the benefit of working with two mentors (if they so chose) and getting feedback from experienced investors, attorneys, entrepreneurs, and others who have seen many startups during the course of their careers. Just as important, the contestants now know about half a dozen new, well-connected contacts in the cluster that they might never have met otherwise... and all it cost them was the work to generate their Executive Summaries and Semifinal Presentations.