Clean Energy Startups are Surging as Governments Prioritize Climate Action Plans

  • Solar tech is achieving record setting energy efficiencies
  • Marketplace to sell your stored electricity to neighbours on the blockchain
  • Smart machine learning hubs monitor energy use and help reduce carbon footprint plus monthly bills

As we take strides towards carbon neutral buildings, innovations in cleantech have arisen from wood used to build thousand foot skyscrapers in Tokyo to storing carbon in cement of major buildings turning cities into true concrete jungles. There has been a recent eruption of revolutionary clean energy technologies coming at no better time, as over a hundred nations make commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This surge of innovations is in large part due to the climate action plans put forward by countries to combat the climate crisis.

A Committee on Climate Change report found that the U.K. will not meet it’s legally binding targets (from the Paris Agreement) “without the near-complete elimination of greenhouse gas emissions from UK buildings.” Extreme actions are necessary to achieve the environmental goals and reduce our carbon footprint.

Environmental action plans by governments are driving innovation in clean tech and renewable energy.

Sweden, the worlds first country to establish an environmental protection agency, plans to be carbon neutral by 2050. The Scandinavian country currently boasts the highest percentage of renewable energy use in the entire EU and expects to rely on those sources for 55% of the total energy output in just the next couple of years. About 40% of the countries electricity is generated by nuclear power today and is considering a gradual phaseout.

By the same 2050 deadline, the United Kingdom hopes to reduce carbon emissions to 80% of 1990 levels. In Frances climate action plan, the leaders of the Paris Agreement outline their intent to completely eliminate the sale of petrol and diesel cars, and to leave all fossil fuels beneath the soil by 2040.

These commitments set a new bar for the renewable energy sector to improve performance and efficiency from all industries. 

photo : verv
Smart IoT devices keep track of electricity use to help reduce monthly bills and your carbon footprint

Smart hubs, plugs and outlets are helping homeowners monitor and minimize their energy use

On Amazon you can already get smart plugs and outlets that monitor household electricity usage on an individual appliance level. These devices allow for the potential to recoup investment relatively quickly with savings from your monthly electricity bill. You’ve been told to turn off the lights to save money and today it’s not only possible to see exactly how much electricity and money you’re saving. By now they are so simple and effective that there is no reason why everyone should not have a few of these devices

One London based cleantech company Green Running is taking it one, maybe two steps further with an AI powered IoT (internet of things) hub named Verv. The hub attaches straight to the main electricity meter outside of a customers house giving unprecedented speed and data. The AI is constantly analyzing to create customer specific, smart insights. Green Runnings system is trained to identify usage behavior so that the machine learning algorithms can recognize patterns and continuously improve energy efficiency.

photo : verv
Peace of mind thanks to constant monitoring for unusual or excessive power use from appliances

A life saving feature for recognizing unique energy signatures of appliances gives Verv hub the ability to detect and protect against hazards like a straightener that was left plugged in and unattended. Alerts of excessive power use are sent through an app which gives customers real time information on energy output and costs while offering tips and tools to set budgets and reduce energy.

Verv founder Peter Davies was a recipient of ‘Innovator of the Year’ at the 2016 Business Green Technology Awards. The companies COO Maria McKavanagh was nominated by Computer Weekly as one of the top 50 Most Influential Women in Tech.

First Ever Sale of Energy Using Blockchain technology in the United Kingdom

The company has raised over $15 million to achieve the goal of reducing residential electricity bills to zero. They have performed the first ever sale of energy using blockchain technology in the U.K. with a green energy marketplace where consumers can buy or sell excess solar power directly to neighbors in the community using ‘Vlux’ tokens. This peer-to-peer (P2P) energy trading platform gives homes without solar panels affordable access to low carbon energy and provides incentives for people generating renewable energy with a revenue stream for a healthy return on investment.

Solar technology lighting the way

Outdoor solar lawn/garden lights and wall mounted motion sensor solar lights have reached a pinnacle in performance and price resulting in products that are not only affordable, but highly effective. You can now proudly illuminate every inch of your property… as long as it sees daylight.

Another London based company that has been shining is OxfordPV. They’ve recently broke the world record with their perovskite solar cells that reached energy efficiency of 28%. The solar tech pioneer is preparing for the first industrial installation of the product this year.

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It is exciting to see the technological advancements across the clean energy sector as a whole whose businesses can compliment each others as we reduce global carbon emissions. Operating more sustainable today than yesterday, whether we’re talking about solar cells or a smart AI hub for your entire electrical system, is what we focus on. Join the Millennial Online Community for clean tech information impacting the next generation.

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