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3 Finalists For Crazy Green Idea

In September, the X Prize Foundation announced a contest to come up with the next, green-themed X Prize. The challenge was to make a 2 minute YouTube video which focuses on a specific green goal which, if met, would be rewarded with a $10 million X Prize. The maker of the winning video would receive $25,000 of his/her own, granted by Prize Capital – a company dedicated to supporting green startups and click now cialis canada online pharmacy causes.

The contest has been narrowed down to wow)) cialis oral gel the following three finalists:

Jonathan Dreher, of Cambridge MA

Jonathan starts by pointing out that a lot of attention is already being given to the problem of increasing energy production through clean technologies (implying, perhaps, that no X Prize is needed to incentivize on this front). Instead, he says the super cialis challenge is to reduce energy consumption by ordinary Americans - something that requires no special technology and no avanced degrees. Anyone can participate.

The X Prize would be given to a community, not an individual. Whichever community could reduce its overall energy consumption the most over a two year period would win a prize that they would all share. Jonathan gives the examples of buy viagra 50mg a school district winning free college tuition for all of its students, or a community of households winning $20,000 each.

He hopes that the prize would show how feasible it really is to reduce energy consumption. If just 10% of American households reduced their consumption by 10%, he says, we would collectively save $1 billion in energy costs and reduce CO2 emissions by 8 million tons.

I definitely identify with Mr. Dreher’s ideals. Part of the problem is our lifestyle – the choices we make. It is important for America to see what can happen when we make the right decisions. But I’m skeptical about the setup. It’s not that hard to limit your shower time or put on levitra samples an extra sweater when the prize of free college tuition is dangling in front of you. Once the competition is over, there are no more incentives save the viagra online switzerland inspiring accomplishments of the contestants. Will that be enough for America?

Alan Silva, of Roy, UT

Alan believes that the X Prize should be awarded to anyone who can come up with a working model for an energy independent home. He lays out three rules for what constitutes such a home: 1. It must be completely off the grid 2. People must be able to buy cheap cialis afford it (although he never really quantifies that criterion) and 3. Any combination of technologies is permitted.

He goes on to describe an example home with concentrated solar panels and small wind turbines on the roof, underground flywheels to store the energy, solar tracking devices, underground heat exchangers, and the like. Alan finishes off by highlighting the financial, geopolitical and environmental benefits of going off the grid.

This entry is interesting because it challenges engineers to zoom out, focus on the big picture. Taking a variety of recent advancements, how can we put it all together? The question is, what is new here? Off the grid homes already exist. Ah, it must be affordable, says Mr. Silva. But what is considered affordable? The example he gives would easily cost tens of thousands of dollars. Essentially, the way to win this X Prize is to find the wow)) buy cheap online viagra cheapest combination of existing technologies. Definitely useful knowledge, but – a breakthrough?

Kyle Good, of Irvine, CA

In this video, a couple guys (one of which, I presume, is Kyle) talk about how batteries – crucial parts of all modern technology – need to change. Batteries, they say, have short lifetimes and release toxic chemicals into the environment when discarded.

Instead, they call on engineers to build us an ultracapacitor – a battery which will be built out of very good site generic viagra 100mg environmentally benign materials, will charge quickly and will be affordable. Ultracapacitors could be used in small applications like portable electronics and large ones, like electric vehicles.

Kyle and his team outline some details: 1. You may only use self-contained capacitors 2. You must exceed the energy density of a lead-acid battery 3. The battery must recharge in less than a minute and survive half a million cycles 4. You must use non-toxic, recyclable materials 5. The battery must cost less thatn 2/3 the cost of a lead-acid battery.

They then add that the ultracapacitor should hold enough energy to drive an electric vehicle for 100 miles without recharging.

Kyle and company have sure put together a tall order. Recharging in less than a minute? If, in judging the entries, I were given a guarantee that the winning challenge would be met, I think these guys would be the clear winners. A cheap, durable – essentially perfect – ultracapacitor is a sort of clean tech holy grail… which is why lots of people are trying to viagra professional make one and have been doing so for a while. A $10 million X Prize would certainly be a boost, but if someone actually knew a good way to make these things, I’m sure he/she would have no trouble raising multiples of that in VC funding.

Via X Prize, Prize Capital

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Comments (12)Add Comment
Youtube wankers
written by kelly, November 21, 2008
Hmmm... a bunch of wankers creating content for YouTube. Sure is gonna save the world.
written by John Giezentanner, November 21, 2008
Can anyone vote on these?
Going with the first
written by Mark, November 21, 2008
While I think the rules (How do you define a community for example) would be tough, the prize might at least lead to innovation of a public relations sort, which should not be under-rated.

I think the second idea starts on false premises. Why do we want every house to be off-the-grid capable? Building a self-sufficient society is going to be hard enough, and by concentrating on cialis canadian cost individual homes we would lose advantages of scale. I'm not saying putting solar panels on your roof is a bad idea. I'm saying that we don't need to give everyone their own personal flywheel. How about an X-prize for a commercially viable flywheel by itself?

The third idea is just silly. You don't need a prize to bring that kind of change about.
Not impressed
written by ddffnn, November 21, 2008
In my opinion, the X Prize should support developments that highly challenging, but only marginally profitable. If ultracapacitors ever reach the performance level described here, they will revolutionize power storage, yielding incredible revenue. On the other hand, reducing resource usage throughout an entire community is very challenging, but will likely produce little, if any, tangible reward for the organizer. And at the same time, this achievement may not be lasting, or even useful as a model for others.

I think rewarding a grassroots effort that effects some significant lasting change would be better. For example, freecycle, the internet-based gifting network is a wonderful community that could potentially use prize funding (but probably not $10 million) to develop a fancy web-based database or something.

My point is why give money to someone for doing something that will make them money anyway? It makes more sense to search levitra give money to someone for doing something ecologically good, but economically unrewarding.
is this for real?
written by mikeDC, November 21, 2008
YouTube is just a medium for this part of the contest. But I see why one would refer to these video submitters as wankers. The ultracapacitor challenge is basically impossible. I'm disappointed that such a ridiculous and far fetched challenge was selected.

I like the consumption reduction challenge the most because it is an educational exercise in understanding our power needs.

The off grid challenge is a reasonable choice because there is so much energy loss in long transmission power lines. Keeping power production as local as possible is much more efficient.

and yes you can vote on the X-Prize site
efficiency is the way to go
written by roger, November 21, 2008
the first one is the way to go. to effect climate change we need to act now to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. the new tech proposed in the second two will take years to develop and even longer to mass-market. efficiency can and must happen right away.

that's why I cast my vote for the home energy efficiency.
guy paying attention
written by Pierre, November 22, 2008
Let's stop trying to predict what should happen like the people in the 50's trying to predict how automation would give us more free time. That turned out well... Let's just present as many ideas as possible and should i chew cialis collectively brainstorm on all of them.
The simple idea I am presenting is that we need to de-centralize power production by networking separate power plants on a micro-scale, just like information was de-centralized by the U.S. government in the 60’s (or maybe 50’s) by creating computer networks. (read DARPA)

Step 1: create more efficient houses/plants/offices and more efficient products that use less power to run and to build, which is being done but could be done better.
Step 2: have each house/plant/office to viagra next day delivery produce all (or most) of its own power, which is being looked at by forward thinkers but not brought into the public eye enough.
Step 3: share any excess power with neighbors/other companies/other regions, which is being approached by power producers like those here in Ontario, Canada and in other places, I’m sure. “Net-metering” is one example, still not popular enough but on the right track.
We can greatly reduce the generic cialis super active need for huge power plants and even start closing the inefficient and polluting ones. Maybe the push could come from the government, not just from an X-prize.
By the way, this internet thing could be great if it catches on.... Imagine sending information, virtually without limits, across the world in seconds and using a bit of electricity, while saving all that fuel required to deliver letters back and herbal alternative to viagra forth, and the time it used to take (although wind power was used efficiently back then). I wonder if the internet is the most "fuel" efficient vehicle there is. Maybe internet providers could power their servers by clean methods and be one of the first truly green technological industry. And the Youtube wankers? They could be wankers but they're trying, not just whining. We need ideas, not personal attacks. What's your idea to save the world, Kelly?
Looking at possible incentivized impact.
written by Nothintosee, November 22, 2008
People need to realize that technology for technology's sake is not the answer. I don't necessarily think that the this X prize is (or should be) about technological innovation. It is about IMPACT... Actual outcomes!

If you accept that premise, I think it's clear that the first option would have the most possitive impact on the issues currently facing our nation. With the second and third options, potential profit should be incentive enough. With the first, you are essentially providing incentives to do something that communities may not otherwise attempt.
The grid is your friend
written by greg, November 23, 2008
I am baffled by the "off the grid" mentality. I don't disagree with the need for renewable, distributed generation. It is essential. And it has to be done at all levels, industrial, utility, municipality, cooperative, collective, and individual. But the grid is what makes it greater than the sum of its individual parts. It enables so much more than if we all go it alone, because it is essential for the renewable energy marketplace, which is the only thing that is going to provide enough impetus to keep driving the advance of technology forward. Net metering. Smart grids. Large scale baseload solar and wind farms. Demand response. The market transformation doesn't occur if we all just disconnect as soon as we are "self-sufficient."
written by Nick Blix, November 24, 2008
I, too, am surprised that any of generic viagra canada rx these ideas made it into the top three. For example, earthships are affordable "off the grid" housing but not practical or desirable for many people so do they count or not? Only the ultracapacitor offers a tangible goal and, as we know, there are already lots of people trying to make this happen.

Not off the grid, but delivering to viagra 100mg tablet the
written by Martin, November 28, 2008
I think we need to look at the individual household. Something like the second proposal but using more bio-technology, like using sewage to produce biogas, then using the buy cheap viagra de-gassed sewage as fertilizer in a Deep water culture grow system, thus providing food and fuel from waste. Combining this with solar, wind and hydrogen technology is the way to go. Imagine turning a large part of your household waste into biomass then into biofuel for your transportation needs.
written by Mark Bachelder, December 03, 2008
I agree that the grid is our friend, thank you for that comment; ultra-capacitors are enough of a commercial market to attract VC money.
Learning to use less in our homes and our lives is extremely important, especially in the short run. We need to cut as much as 80% of our GHG's, and fast. And conservation - using less - is the only "technology" available right now. All other technological fixes look like they're 20-30 years before we have the PRODUCTION capacity to get them online in sufficient quantity, never mind the work of getting it from theory to proto-type.
But we might have only 10 years to end our overburdening of the atmosphere, if that. Conservation is NOW! and an incentive for entire communities to achieve certain goals is terrific.
The communities in contest could be self-selected- and apply for candidacy. Those communities with a Sustainable City group could take this on, or a Transition Towns group could o apply. Two years is a good period - it's long enough to levitra 20 create real habit changes, and gives the community organizers enough time to get their community on board. Like one year to organize, and one year to measure results.

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