Clean Energy Prize Enters Second Round

Some bright ideas in the running for the Michigan Clean Energy Prize this year: a credit card bonus points program to fund renewable energy projects, a speed bump that generates electricity for roadside electronics, and a water bottle that provides electricity from waste heat for use by campers and backpackers. These are just a few of the projects submitted by teams throughout the state of Michigan which will now advance to Round-2 of  the competition.

The Clean Energy Prize–a collaboration of DTE Energy and the University of Michigan–offers participating teams a shot at the $100,000 prize pool, which is aimed at helping them further develop their ideas and, ultimately, start new businesses that will contribute to “Michigan’s emerging role as a leader in clean energy.”  A total of 23 teams from institutions of higher learning throughout the state participated in Round 1, and 15 have advanced to Round 2, including The University of Michigan, Wayne State University, Kettering University, Lake Superior State University, Western Michigan University, Lake Michigan College and Lawrence Technological University.

MI Clean Energy Prize

image via University of Michigan

In order to enter, teams submitted a business concept that supports renewable energy, energy efficiency, smart grid technologies, environmental control technologies, plug-in electric vehicles or energy storage. Those teams that make it through Round 2 of the judging–which will take place at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business–will advance to the semi-final round to be held on Feb. 17. More information is available online.

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Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.