How can the technology community help with climate solutions?

  • I come from a technology background and I'm always trying to think of ways to use my knowledge to have a positive climate impact. I think many others might be curious to learn what's out there.

    What tech based approaches have you seen that motivated/inspired you?

  • I mean this is an interesting one we're using right now. I've also seen Climate Colab out of MIT which is a bit more contest focused

  • General Fusion is trying to create a commercially viable nuclear fusion product

  • I know it's big tech but google has Sidewalk Labs which strives to use data to minimize urban emissions and impact

  • I think that smart microgrids are going to have a huge impact on the scalability of renewable energy, both by redistributing power from where it's currently available (since many renewables don't produce power evenly at all times) to where it's needed.

    This works both geographically and temporally―energy can be moved from microgrid to microgrid if there's a surplus in one and a deficit in another, and energy usage can also be deferred to a time when there's a lower local demand. For instance, the local grid and your house might communicate and decide to wait to fully charge your car until a time of day with lower energy demand, and do the same with running the washing machine or other energy-intensive tasks that don't need to happen at a specific time, as long as they get done reasonably soon.

  • @jlevers 100%

    I'm a big proponent of the idea of distributed energy resources with microgrids as a base infrastructure for enabling them. The concept of a network of self-sufficient nodes that are interconnected just makes sense from an architectural perspective.

    Smart devices will be flexible components in the energy grid of the future - which in turn will be far more transactive and inclusive than the prevailing models of today.

    Have you seen specific real applications of these ideas in action?

  • I commented this on a different thread, but Elemental Excelerator is a environmentally-focused startup accelerator. I've been working at Kevala (one of their funded companies) for 2 years since finding out about this, and have loved the challenge

  • @teddy what are you working on at Kevala?

  • @ericvanular we help solar developers find a good "spot" on the electric grid to fit their solar. Solar projects in WV, for example, are more environmentally helpful than solar projects in CA (because they replace coal). And the developer needs to find cheap land, away from a wetland, near a good power line, etc.

    We also help governments (e.g. the California Public Utility Commission) with planning. For example, if your goal is to reduce the risk of using more energy than you produce, maybe you should start subsidizing putting batteries in people's homes instead of paying to build a new power plant. This way, the consumer gets a benefit and the grid gets a benefit, possibly for less money than a power plant.

    To do this, we have a lot of engineering work for locating power lines, rooftop solar, electric usage data, etc, so we can back our claims up with good data.

  • @teddy awesome! How is the level of environmental benefit quantified? Is it purely based on amount of greenhouse gases abated? The idea of building residential energy infrastructure as flexible components of the overall grid is an interesting one

  • Check out Https://

    We’re building CODEX: an automatic personal transport carbon emissions calculator app. When you drive (or fly) it logs your carbon output, and when you bike or bus it generates carbon offsets which you can share online.

  • I'm working for Ekoru, a new search engine that is powered by hydroelectricity, and is partnered with Big Blue Ocean Cleanup which cleans coastal areas throughout the world (for now, mostly in Europe). We donate 60% of our revenue to them, so every search = help towards ocean cleanup!

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