Clean Technology 2010

The Clean Energy Landscape- Linking Cyberspace with Real World Impact

A. Wise
National Renewable Energy Laboratory, US

Keywords: renewable communities, social media, regional clean economic development

Abstract:

NREL has launched a new open platform (http://openei.org/cee) that will help us to understand and engage the clean energy marketplace. We have designed an open source interface called the Clean Energy Economy Gateway that solicits registration from participants in the clean energy economy. We then use that organizational information to help map activity in this growing economic infrastructure. The purpose of my presentation will be to introduce the concept of “Clean Energy Community Organizing” where clean economic stakeholders use virtual media to design and implement regional clean economic development strategies. The Gateway currently tracks activity with regards to clean energy companies, investments, public policies, networking organizations and research & development institutions. We have pre-populated seven regions of the United States that are viewed as “Clean Energy Clusters;” we have also mapped “Clean Energy Generation Facilities” across the US, representing utility scale renewable generation from across all sectors. We also are utilizing third parties to populate our database, including DSIRE for policy and incentive information and New Energy Finance for investment activity. Most exciting is the social networking overlay that we are building in conjunction with these market visualization maps. In other words, not only do participants have access to members of the Clean Energy Economy, they are also empowered to communicate directly with one another in an organized fashion to help facilitate cooperation and learning on the one hand, and to inspire healthy competition on the other. This new resource for the clean energy community may have a tangible impact on real world outcomes. For example, a campaign called 1BOG (One Block Off the Grid) is a cyberspace activity where a website drives participants to find one another to aggregate the purchasing ability of solar installations. Another example is called “Project Porchlight” where an online interface engages participants to distribute CFL’s within their communities. These examples represent a grassroots approach; we are attempting to engage an “upstream” community of leaders and decision-makers in the private and public sector.
 
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