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 16 2011: The key question is, how do you get most people, who care about energy as a cost but not as an issue, to participate in intelligent energy use? Simplicity -- do whatever but don't ever let the hot water run out in my shower -- and financial gain. Pay me to participate with a portion of the utilities' savings on energy costs, and I'm there. Ask me because it's good for me, my community, the environment - and I'm not. Make it complicated, make me make lots of choices about stuff I don't understand, and we'll all just keep talking to each other while most folks go on the way they always have.
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      Feb 22 2011: Aren't people already financially incentivized, to an extent, because the energy cost model is consumption based? We need to work on information- making sure people know which decisions they can make for financial gain. Information can help people make decisions about which energy they source, which products they use and how they use them. The GE Nucleus, as we mentioned earlier, is part of this.

      We also imagine a modern energy grid that operates two-way. Right now the grid just pushes energy out, from supplier to consumer, as it has for decades. But a grid where a home- or business owner can track and monitor energy consumption, have the information they need to minimize use and cut costs, and even sell energy back to the grid, would make economic sense for everyone. And because it saves money, it would be the fastest way for consumers and businesses to adopt sustainable and renewable energy solutions.
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        Mar 5 2011: I completely agree. Information, transparency and data have to be made available to the consumer in real time. GE Nucleus seems to cover the whole range of product generating data at home.

        Are these type of products being targeted to the individual consumer or to the developers? I believe a double approach is critical.
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          Mar 9 2011: The GE Nucleus is primarily targeted at consumers but there is plenty of application for developers as well. Eventually we see Nucleus monitoring water, natural gas and renewable energy sources, as well as plug-in electric vehicle charging.
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        Mar 5 2011: I am not certain that "the grid" is where the answer is. Devices and discussions around power generation may be better not involving connection to the grid.
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        Mar 6 2011: You are probably aware of Google's work on a new grid. One of their ideas is based on the problem of storing energy produced from renewable resources such as solar or wind. Batteries are essentially what is needed, and Google thinks that the storage solution is cars--electric cars to be precise. This way as energy is produced it goes out through the grid and is stored in a dispersed network of car batteries. Energy flows where it is needed, and stored where it can be, when its not needed. Pretty smart.

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