Every now and then something worthwhile comes along. I am pretty impressed with the approach being taken to design a Clean Energy X Prize. I was sent this by a good friend.
Our civilized world depends on abundant energy. Abundant energy from fossil fuels is largely responsible for the advances in economies and technology that make modern life possible. But burning fossil fuels on a global scale is driving climate change. If we don’t find an alternative soon, there will be grave consequences for the existence of mankind and countless other species on Earth. Closer at hand, approximately 1/16th of all human deaths are caused by air pollution from fossil fuels.
To meet this existential threat, mankind needs to find, develop and globally deploy new, truly abundant and clean energy sources in addition to existing clean energy sources such as solar and wind power. To this end, we at Abundant Clean Energy are sponsoring a competition design challenge to crowdsource the design of a new global XPRIZE competition. This XPRIZE competition will be designed to attract, professionally vet and then award very large financial prizes to the best-of-the-best potential solutions to mankind’s need for new, abundant clean energy sources. Our intent is to greatly accelerate the technological development and global deployment of these new abundant clean energy sources for all of mankind.
And we need your help! In order to maximize the outcome of this competition, its objectives, rules, judging and even the exact prize(s) need to be designed very thoughtfully and well. That’s where you come in. The competition will need to be wide open, in order to not exclude any unexpected breakthroughs, while also placing all competitors on a level playing field to be compared fairly by the judges. Who the judges should be is also a question. They will need to be experts in their fields, but it won’t be clear what some of those fields are until all competitors have entered the competition. These are just a few of the many challenging aspects of designing this competition, and they’re examples of the reason we’re opening this design challenge up to crowdsource the best ideas and approaches to the Abundant Clean Energy Competition’s design – so we get it just right!
Professional independent validation
If we get the design just right, an XPRIZE competition will identify and give a widely-recognized stamp of professional independent validation to one or maybe even two or three new abundant clean energy sources. Identification and professional independent validation, along with multi-millions of dollars of awarded prize money from the competition, will boost these winning technologies into wide-spread public awareness and acceptance, providing them with strong conditions for attracting additional investment and even regulatory reform if they would benefit from it. Winning an XPRIZE competition has been a key early step in the successful large-scale launch of numerous breakthrough innovations – from invention through all the many obstacles to moving a breakthrough invention from the lab through development, funding, scale-up, commercialization and into wide-spread use.
The Abundant Clean Energy Competition Design Challenge
Based on years of research in the alternative energy field we are confident that mankind is on the cusp of discovering and developing abundant new sources of clean energy. This crowdsourced Abundant Clean Energy Competition Design Challenge will design a global Abundant Clean Energy Competition to substantially accelerate that discovery and development. We will take the results of this crowdsourced design challenge to XPRIZE to guide the development of an XPRIZE competition based largely on this crowdsourced design challenge. The objective of this XPRIZE will be to spur the discovery, validation and development of new energy technologies to catalyze major energy breakthroughs to create transformational global impact on energy. To get there we need a prize competition design that will attract and inspire the greatest innovators and creative minds in the world to enthusiastically enter the XPRIZE competition to bring about Abundant Clean Energy!
As additional background for the genesis of this competition design challenge, we recognize that continued rapid growth of solar PV and wind power as well as other renewable energy sources are very important and encouraging. We need them all! Sadly, these existing technologies will fall far short of the minimum target needed to stop climate change in spite of their continuing rapid improvement and growth. We need to go much farther and faster than all these existing clean energy products and technologies can take us.
This critical need for new, abundant clean energy technologies is the impetus for this design challenge. The Abundant Clean Energy Competition Design Challenge is all about collecting the latest information on next-generation clean energy sources internationally and using this information to thoughtfully scope and design a planned XPRIZE competition to catalyze breakthrough innovation and global deployment of abundant, clean, safe and affordable energy technologies. The Abundant Clean Energy Competition Design Challenge will result in an XPRIZE competition design that becomes the basis of a multi-million dollar XPRIZE; a global XPRIZE competition that will unlock an energy future of abundant, clean energy for all!
What an Abundant Clean Energy Breakthrough Looks Like
Abundant means accessible, reliable, and wide-spread. Abundant also means limitless and inexhaustible for all practical purposes. Finally, abundant means inexpensive.
If energy is truly abundant, then by the law of supply and demand, it will be very cheap. This will be wonderful in and of itself. But very cheap energy will also enable solutions to several other global challenges such as providing abundant clean water through reverse osmosis purification and/or desalinization. Abundant very cheap clean energy leads to many wonderful possibilities…
Clean means non-polluting and safe with no externalities or byproducts that lead to unsustainable damage to our natural and physical earth systems. These externalities include climate change and pollution of the atmosphere, land, or oceans.
For us, clean also means solutions that support global human rights and equality as well as local economic and social systems. The new energy technologies we’re looking for ideally will provide greater ability to individuals and communities to make their own choices about how they live their lives through the availability of abundant, clean, inexpensive energy.
Key Parameters of the Search for Abundant Clean Energy
The foundational basis for the awarding of the intended XPRIZE will be independent, third-party verification and quantification by recognized experts and professionals in testing of the relevant technologies. Testing will be disciplined, rigorous and thorough to determine the true net energy output of the technology with all inputs properly measured and accounted for. Therefore, participants in this Abundant Clean Energy Competition Design Challenge will be expected to base their competition design work on a foundation of open-minded but rigorous, independent third-party testing and verification. While disciplined and rigorous, all testing will be conducted with an open mind to new energy discoveries – because that’s what we’re searching for!
Hucksters and Charlatans
As experienced participants in this field we are well aware that there are occasional hucksters and charlatans in the “exotic” energy field with intention to deceive. We are also well aware that novices in this field can strongly believe they have a net energy generating device or technology that is, in fact, not creating net positive energy output when all energy and fuel inputs are measured and accounted for. Our objective in judging the Abundant Clean Energy Competition Design Challenge and the planned XPRIZE competition is to remain open to all new energy breakthroughs with potentially world changing impact and scale while as quickly and efficiently as possible eliminating deceitful or misinformed participants whose work has no such potential.
Open-minded but efficient and accurate judging of the Abundant Clean Energy Competition is an area where we are especially looking for crowdsourced input. Careful, accurate scientific measurement of all energy and/or fuel inputs and outputs will be needed to reach statistically valid conclusions about a technology’s performance. Designing the ground rules for how this would be done fairly and affordably for all the various likely entrants is a key goal of this competition design challenge.
All intellectual property presented in the planned future XPRIZE competition will remain the property of the inventors with no rights to license or otherwise use the technology to be granted to XPRIZE or Abundant Clean Energy.
What You Can Do To Cause A Breakthrough
- Start thinking of optimal ways to run a prize competition like this
- Sign up here
- Collaborate with others. Add to the Wiki and the message board; contribute your ideas and earn points. Discuss and expand the ideas of others and get more and more points
- Submit a competition design following the submission guidelines