Clean energy is quite the buzzword these days…but what does it mean? Further, how is it different from energy sources like oil and gas? Read on to learn more about this exciting technology area and some of the emerging clean energy companies you’ll find on SeedSprint!
Clean energy vs. fossil fuels
The majority of the world’s energy comes from the carbon-rich deposits we now call fossil fuels. Fossil fuels include coal, natural gas, and oil. Together, they supply about 80 percent of the world’s energy.
When they are burned, fossil fuels release carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. Unfortunately, these greenhouse gases build up in the atmosphere. This buildup causes global temperatures to rise. In the end, burning fossil fuels contributes to environmental damage and climate change.
Further, fossil fuels are non-renewable. As we continue to use them, they run out. By contrast, clean energy recycles the earth’s resources.
Clean, green, sustainable, and renewable
Many people use terms like clean energy, green energy, sustainable energy, and renewable energy interchangeably. However, there are some key differences between these terms.
- Clean Energy is derived from sources and methods that minimize the production of greenhouse gases like carbon.
- Green Energy is derived from natural sources. It minimizes the production of environmental pollutants like carbon.
- Sustainable Energy is derived from sources that will theoretically be able to produce power far into the future.
- Renewable Energy is derived from naturally replenishing sources, such as biofuels.
Around the world, people and companies continue to adopt new power sources. According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, sustainable energy will account for half of our global energy mix by 2030.
Here are a few of the pioneering clean energy startups profiled on SeedSprint. With their technology, they are working hard to help us meet our growing power demands.
SAFCell has developed a novel solid acid technology that can be used in fuel cells and hydrogen generators. Using electrocatalytic reactions, the company’s SAFCell stacks convert liquid fuels into electrical energy or hydrogen. The stacks also help minimize carbon emissions. The technology also has several advantages. For example, it can metabolize a variety of different types of fuel. Further, it operates at moderate temperatures is relatively inexpensive. View SeedSprint profile.
Active Energy Systems’ novel ice thermal storage system makes air conditioning more energy-efficient. The company’s Ice Chiller leverages Icephobic Heat Exchange technology. This innovation repels ice from the cooling surface. This prevents insulating ice from building up. In the end, it cools large spaces at a low cost. View SeedSprint profile.
b.fab’s proprietary bioproduction platform converts carbon dioxide and hydrogen into value-added chemicals and biofuels. The company produces formic acid from readily available carbon and hydrogen. From there, aerobic or anaerobic microbes convert the formic acid into chemicals. This process is both sustainable and cost-effective. View SeedSprint profile.
247Solar generates power by heating air to activate microturbines. Any additional heat that is produced is then stored for later use. 247Solar’s solutions can also store energy and generate power in solar, wind, or industrial settings. Ultimately, 247Solar fills the gap between solar energy production and consumption. View SeedSprint profile.
Ion exchange materials are vital to the operation of many clean energy technologies. Unfortunately, many of the traditional materials used contain toxic fluorine. That’s where Ionomr comes in. The company is commercializing a range of novel ion-exchange membranes and polymers. From fuel cells to hydrogen production systems, Ionomr has got you covered. View SeedSprint profile.
Sustainability and innovation
Curious about the impact of sustainability on innovation? Check out our past blog posts on green chemistry technologies, Microsoft’s climate pledge, or General Motors’ commitment to becoming carbon-neutral. Stay tuned for future installments of ‘Emerging technology startups profiled on SeedSprint.” Catch you next time!