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'CrowdSource' the generation of energy from renewable resources.

The suggested model creates an opportunity for individuals and communities to earn money, gives flexibility to the consumers to buy only as much energy as he might require and ensures availability of energy for everybody all the time. To execute the model, the owners of residential houses and commercial buildings install a device (eg: Solar panels) to generate the renewable energy. Their respective energy needs are satisfied by the energy generated by this device and the unused energy is sold to the power distributors. Anybody who is in need of energy can buy it from power distributors. Public transportation, small and large scale industries are some example organizations who might want to buy energy from the power distributors.

Photo of Aditee Pathak
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The non renewable energy resources like fossil gas and coal are fast depleting. Thus we are here thinking of best ways to promote and utilize the renewable resources.  One of the limitations of most of the renewable energies is that the renewable energy resources may or may not be available at a given point in time and place. For eg: Sun may not be available in New York for most of the times in winter season, the winds may not be fast enough all through the year. Also the demand for energy may not be wholly satisfied by few organizations or communities who generate energy from renewable resources.

The solution to above problems is to motivate crowds to contribute in energy generation. I believe, people will seriously consider shifting to renewable energy sources if 1) They know the hazards of not going green 2) If they can earn money by shifting to renewable energy.

The idea:
Who are the involved players?
Residential Communities:
Responsibilities: Consume, produce and sale energy.
Benefits: Become ones own utility, opportunity to save and earn extra money, act resposible towards mother earth.
(Note that the idea is to make individual homes / apartments to buy the device to generate energy from renewable resource; however, the device could be bought by a community and participate in the process as a community.)

Commercial Communities / buildings:
Responsibilities: Consume, produce and sale energy.
Benefits:  Become ones own utility, opportunity to save and earn extra money, act resposible towards mother earth. If the energy generated by the installed device is not sufficient, the model offers a way to buy only as much energy from power distributors as required.

Government:
Responsibilities: Facilitate the set up, create standards and regulate the process.
Benefits: Self sufficient and green nation.

Power Distributors:
Responsibilities: Buy energy from communities, distribute energy
Benefits: Profits from margin.

How will it work?
To realize this idea the residential houses, commercial buildings like mall and govt offices install a device that generates energy from renewable resource. (The source of energy could be of any renewable form like Solar, Wind, Biogas etc). Residential houses and commercial buildings consume the energy produced by their privately owned setup. Any excess energy produced will be sold to the 'power distributors'.
'Power distributors' supply energy to the individuals or organization who are in need of energy.  The consumer can buy the energy similar to that of data plans for mobiles or can have a connection similar to that of the post paid data plans.
Government should regulate and facilitate the entire power generation and distribution process.

Why will it succeed?
It proposes a win – win solution.
Assumptions:
1) People are willing to contribute to the mission ‘green earth’.
2) Technology can be twisted or re-engineered to accommodate the changes made in the process.
Expectations:
Communities and countries are aware of the pressing need of shifting to energy from renewable resources.
Unique proposition value:
1)I believe this is a sustainable solution to renewable energy problem. 
2) It includes loans for the participants at 0% EMI.
3) Doesnot limit participants to a particular form of renewable energy. 
4) Gets all the stake holders involved in the process.
 

What community does this idea benefit and who are the main players?

The idea benefits all stakeholders. Main Players: 1) Residential communities: Anybody irrespective of income, education, sex, age can invest in the renewable energy generating device and participate in the process 2) Commercial buildings: Buildings like government office, private office, shopping malls etc can invest in the device that generates energy from renewable resource and participate in the process 3) Government: The government body must play a regulatory role in the process 4) Power distributors: Government can create a division which acts like a power distributor.

What early, lightweight experiment can you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

Experiments can be carried out to verify the following assumptions: 1) People are willing to contribute to the mission ‘green earth’. 2) Technology can be twisted or re-engineered to accommodate the changes made in the process. First experiment can be carried out to verify the technical capability of the devices and setup. This can be done by making prototypes with the help of electrical engineers. Once the first experiment is successful, second experiment can be carried out in a small town with a reasonable number of people. Ideally the town should have both residential and commercial communities.

What skills, input or guidance are you keen to connect with from the OpenIDEO community to help you build out or refine your idea further?

I would like to hear from OpenIdeo as to how best they can help me with this Idea. But if OpenIdeo needs me to define my expectations, here are some ways OpenIdeo could help me. - Feedback, comments and improvement suggestions from experts always help. It will be extremely helpful if experts from OpenIdeo help me refine the design. - Could OpenIdeo help me identify the authorities who can make the required changes in the system? Could OpenIdeo refer me to them? - Also could OpenIdeo help me prepare the presentation which I will use to present the idea to those authorities? Also,

Please indicate which type of energy is most relevant to this post:

  • A combination of various types of renewable energy

This idea emerged from:

  • An Individual

4 comments

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Spam
Photo of Natalie Lake
Team

Hi Aditee,

Interesting plan for connecting and getting the entire community involved. Correct me if I am misunderstanding, but your idea helps a community come together and invest in implementing renewables (solar or wind etc.) on every household and they then sell whatever they do not use back to the utility, correct? Would the idea be to invest in a specific energy (wind, biodgester, solar?)

I think that creating an experience map would illustrate your idea very nicely.

https://d3gxp3iknbs7bs.cloudfront.net/attachments/2c911d636249657916fa23d17adb57358385faeb.pdf

Also just to clarify, is there anything you'd like from the OpenIDEO community (design suggestions, feedback, funding ideas etc.) OpenIDEO works a bit differently from IDEO, here is a great infographic explaining how OpenIDEO works. What can we help you with in trying to create a prototype for this idea?

https://openideo.com/content/how-it-works

Thank you for sharing! I look forward to hearing more details about your idea.

Spam
Photo of Aditee Pathak
Team

Hi Natalie, Thank you for your feedback. Yes, you are right. The idea helps community come together and invest in implementing renewables. The idea is not specific to any energy. The residents could choose to work with any form of renewable energy. (Ideally the one that is available in plenty locally).
I have also created the experience map for a resident and uploaded the same. Will keep refining the description. I welcome any more comments and feedback you may have.
Regards,
Aditee

Spam
Photo of Natalie Lake
Team

Hi Aditee,

The experience map looks great! If you are looking for people to team up with with similar ideas, McGee's MeterHero, has a similar incentive idea as yours.

https://openideo.com/challenge/renewable-energy/ideas/simple-payments-for-energy-and-water-savings-that-offset-our-water-and-energy-footprints

Grady is looking to help people become their own utility, similar to your-

https://openideo.com/challenge/renewable-energy/ideas/coop-owned-rooftop-solar

And if you are in the US, it might be worth reaching out to groups like Solar City etc. to see if they would be interested participating in this challenge and helping you with your pilot to gain publicity and increase awareness?

http://www.solarcity.com/

http://www.sungevity.com/

http://www.sunrun.com/

If you are not in the US, I'm sure OpenIDEOers can help put you in contact with similar companies :).

If you are looking for other funding options (AID/Donation, Loaning, Crowdfunding, or Communtiy Funding) let me know and I/the community can definitely make suggestions! Hope these help!

Spam
Photo of Aditee Pathak
Team

Hi Natalie,

Thankyou so much for resources. Will check them.

Regards,
Aditee