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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    Mar 6 2011: Check out the Brightbuilt Barn, http://www.brightbuiltbarn.com/

    A net-zero home with feedback of electricity use noting whether the home is using more energy than it is producing or not.
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      Mar 9 2011: The notion of net-zero is problematic, as it needs to be supported by a strong grid to ensure power continuity. In this case the grid can be considered a battery, which may be ok for a low renewable porducion penetration percentage, but as soon as we move to a setup, where renewable are the main prodution it is essensial that the continuity of power is maintained, and controlled.

      As an example let us assume that everyone has a net-zero hous based on solar production, meaning that the entire energy usage is covered over time by solar panels. On the energy balance this is great, but if there is no storage in the setup the entire supply will fail at night where no power is produced.

      So the equation is more complex than that. We need a battery! - currently we can use either the grid, thermal storage, physical batteries or the hydro plants as storage. The latter, by using surplus daytime production to pump water "uphill" into the ressevoirs, and reclaim whem needed. omly problem here is cost, as we now have 2 time the power capacity to supply the need - a heavy investment.

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