Sure, we’ve learned to harness the power of the sun and the wind for renewable energy, but have we harnessed the awesome power of reality TV? That may be what Secretary of Energy Steven Chu is going for with “America’s Next Top Energy Innovator.”
Okay, you don’t get coaching from Solar Tim Gunn, or critique from Geothermal Simon Cowell. Instead, the Department of Energy is reducing the number of hoops that companies have to jump through in order to license patented clean energy tech. Currently there’s a lot of paperwork and fees to navigate before you can start turning intellectual property into widgets. This plan will streamline the application process and slash fees by 90 percent or more, making it easy for businesses to take advantage of the country’s clean energy brain trust.
Here are some of the ideas on offer, according to DOE:
- A system for converting solar energy to chemical energy and, subsequently, to thermal energy.
- The Grid Friendly Appliance controller that senses grid conditions by monitoring system frequency and provides automatic demand response in times of disruption.
- High-performance semiconductor materials that have a broad range of potential applications, including high efficiency solar cells, solid-state lighting, and high-speed transistors.
Go to it, entrepreneurs! You’re still in the running towards becoming America’s Next Top Energy Innovator.