TED Conversations

Closing Statement from Tore Land, Director, GE Ecomagination Challenge

We at GE want to give our heartfelt thanks to the TED community for participating in this conversation. Your ideas and insights -- ranging from home automation and discussions about a two-way grid to apps and gaming methods that can drive behavior change -- have been fascinating to read and stimulating to respond to.

On a personal note, as the host of this conversation, I want to thank you for your participation and fresh thinking here. And on behalf of the whole ecomagination Challenge team, we look forward to working with you to help imagine and build technology that can meet these pressing environmental challenges.

GE believes widespread adoption of clean energy technology will start in the home. And we believe the second phase of the ecomagination Challenge will help drive that change. We invite you to continue to follow this project via our website:


We're currently reviewing the submissions to the challenge and, together with our partners, will evaluate the most innovative. We'll be announcing the winners next month -- stay tuned for the announcement!

Home energy is a critical global challenge, and we want the TED Community to know we are committed to building -- and scaling up -- innovative solutions.

Thank you for letting us pick your brains!

Tore Land
Director, GE ecomagination Challenge

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    Feb 17 2011: I have seen polycrystalline panels at nearly $1/watt prices. At these rates we should be
    roofing nearly every house in sunny areas with panels directly. Not putting them on our roofs. But
    using them AS our roofs...especially for new construction. What is needed is glass panels designed
    explicitly with roofing in mind. Glass should easily outlast metal and if the attic can be a controlled environment then some creative "encapsulants" could be used (like argon filled or something so that the electronics can be
    accessed from the attic.
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      Feb 17 2011: This idea reminds me of the design Solar Roadways is working on to create entire roads of solar panels. They are tackling similar questions about how glass can be constructed to handle the pressure. Solar Roadways submitted their plans in our first ecomagination Challenge: Powering the Grid last summer http://challenge.ecomagination.com/ideas/Solar-Roadways
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        Feb 18 2011: The current Solar Roadways entry (Round 2) is at:
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        Mar 8 2011: The idea of solar roadways is very interesting but isn't there tons of kinetic energy being transferred by car and truck wheels to every roadway in every minute of the day? If the surface of the road could absorb that energy being converted from gas to vehicle wheels to the road way it would recoup all of that expenditure on gas and recycle the energy to power communities around the roads. Think how much that would add up to in a major city. Maybe there would be reverse tolls eventually which paid the drivers a stipend!! Maybe an even better idea would be to combine a flexible solar panel with small pistons embedded in the material to get both solar and kinetic benefits!

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