SDG07 – Affordable and Clean Energy

These social entrepreneurs are accomplishing Sustainable Development Goal 7, Affordable and Clean Energy: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all

A Former Oil Executive Transforms Waste to Energy, with Dave Goebel, enVerde

Dave Goebel, CEO and Founder, enVerde LLC enVerde converts organic waste into sustainable clean energy. The Office for Technology Commercialization (OTC) is the office at the University of Minnesota whose mission is to facilitate the transfer of technology to licensees. This allows for the development of new products and services that benefit the public good. It also fosters economic growth and generates revenue. Since 2006, the University has spun out 170 startup companies. But there is a challenge. Technology transfer is not simple. For a venture to be successful, it must be desirable (the market wants it), feasible (an organization can produce a market solution), and viable (the cost structure…

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Turn on Your Heat Without Heating Up the Planet, with Steven Downey, Harmony Fuels 

Steven Downey, Harmony Fuels How do you reduce your carbon footprint without breaking the bank? Did you turn on your heat this week? A lot of people in the northern hemisphere either already did, or they will soon. For 12 million homes in the US, that meant burning heating oil or propane, both of which contribute to climate change.   For single family homes, the cost of replacing oil and propane furnaces is unrealistic. According to Bankrate, only 40% of Americans could absorb an unexpected expense of $500 or more. Lots of people want to reduce their carbon footprint, but they don’t have extra money to spend.  That’s where Harmony Fuels comes in. They are…

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Comfortable, Efficient, and Healthy Buildings, with Deepinder Singh, 75F

Optimizing building energy efficiency can be complicated and expensive. According to Deepinder Singh, it doesn’t have to be. The world has more than 230 billion square meters of building space with another 65 billion square meters coming online in the next decade. Buildings account for 6% of global greenhouse gasses. With the ongoing global pandemic, the CDC has developed guidelines that encourage more fresh air circulation. The goal is to maintain lower viral load in the work atmosphere. Those guidelines could increase energy consumption. Improving energy efficiency could make a significant dent in climate change. It Started with His Daughter Deepinder Singh is a computer network engineer by training. He…

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Healing is in the Environment, with Robert Blake, Solar Bear

Solar Bear is a Native American owned solar installation company. Robert Blake of Solar Bear has a habit of mashing up two problems and coming up with a solution. His driving philosophy is “healing is in the environment.” Solar Bear is a Native American owned solar installation company. They train people on the Red Lake Indian Reservation to install solar power. “If we can do this in Red Lake, we can bring this out to other tribal nations,” Robert explains. “We’re going to see that solar energy can solve a human health crisis. On Native Nations and reservations, there is a high poverty rate, alcohol addiction, and drug addiction. What…

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A Just and Equitable Transition to a Clean Energy Future, with Ry Brennan

The problems are systemic and complex. So are the answers. Globally, the United States accounts for 5% of the world’s population, but we produce 15% of the energy-related CO2 emissions. Coastal flooding, hurricanes, drought, and fires are all related to climate change. And who suffers the most from the impacts of climate change? Mostly the poor and vulnerable. Bringing this closer to home, in the US, 5.9 million people live within three miles of a major coal-fired power plant. On average, these people have a per capital income of $18,400, which is 17% lower than the average in the US. A Yale University study found that Hispanics have the highest…

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How to Find Your Funding, with Ned Tozun, d.light

Ned Tozun talks about how to find your funding as you start and grow your social enterprise. Social entrepreneurs take on intractable problems. To tackle global challenges, you’re going to need to find funding. One such massive problem is global energy poverty. According to the International Energy Agency, globally 1.2 billion people are without access to electricity. To light their homes, they often depend on kerosene, which is expensive, consuming precious resources from those who can least afford it. Kerosene fumes are hazardous to breathe. When families gain access to solar lights, their expenses go down, their health improves, and often children in the home study later into the night,…

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