Last week, General Electric announced their $200 million Ecomagination Challenge: Powering the Grid. Backed by four leading venture capital firms, the challenge is a way to find the best of the best in eco-innovation for powering the coming smart grid, essentially our electrical grid gone digital, allowing for two-way communication and significant consumer control. Anyone from businesses and entrepreneurs to innovators and students can submit ideas online in one of three categories: Grid Efficiency, Renewables, and Eco Homes/Eco Buildings.
The challenge isn't the only thing GE has recently announced. The company has also released what they call the WattStation, an easy-to-use and accelerated electric vehicle charger. The station is said to reduce EV charging time by two-thirds and give utility companies an easier time managing EV impacts on the grid. The WattStation is due to be available to purchase in late 2010.
And GE's Nucleus is a communication and data storage device that gives consumers a better grasp on their energy consumption. The device, which just plugs in to a normal outlet, would send information to an installed software program on the consumer's computer, allowing users to track their energy use in both time and dollars. It's set for release in 2011.