Silicon Valley startup AutoGrid Systems is developing software that will allow utilities to send price-change signals to millions of customers, prompting them to reduce energy use. The system could help utilities accommodate fluctuations in wind and solar power. At their display, they illustrated how the system could communicate with thermostats to control cooling systems, if customers agree to participate.
The Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency for Energy funds R&D in energy technologies that are too early for private funders to pick up. It’s funded hundreds of projects since it was first funded in 2009 in areas including carbon capture and storage, power electronics, and solar power.
ARPA-E recently hosted its annual summit near Washington, DC, where researchers have the chance to show off their latest work. Here is a sample of some of the most intriguing projects on display.