IBM Start – positive outcomes from the Sustainable Energy day


I have already written about how well the IBM Start event started out – well I wanted to dive a little deeper into one of the days in particular – the Smarter Energy for a Sustainable future day. Why? For me, it was by far the best day of the event.

IBM Start - Building the New Energy System

Why do I say that? A number of reasons –

  1. The speaker list had senior representation from EDF, BP, E.ON UK, British Gas, Water UK, OFGEM, Carbon Trust, Shell, B&Q, National Grid, Central Networks, WWF, Stagecoach, Power Perfector amongst others, as well as representatives from NGO’s, academia and research organisations.
  2. The delegate list was impressive as well and consequently the networking on the day was through the roof and
  3. There was far more audience participation solicited than on any of the other days I attended Start

The discussions themselves were high quality but there were far too many of them happening in parallel – I mean how do you decide between:

  • Building the new Energy System
  • Driven by Demand – Managing the New Infrastructure or
  • New Business Models for Energy in New Economies

I wanted to attend all of them!

Charles Hendry, Minister for Energy at IBM Start

Charles Hendry, Minister for Energy at IBM Start

A real surprise for me was the speech by Charles Hendry. Charles Hendry is the UK’s Minister of State for the Department of Energy and Climate Change. Due to the Chatham House Rule I can’t tell you what he said but what I can say is that his talk was one of the best on the day (and that’s saying a lot!). He was passionate, amazingly knowledgeable about his brief and when he concluded his presentation he opened up to take questions from the floor. I just hope he is given the freedom to carry out all he wants to in his role as minister for Energy and Climate Change!

Finally, the event was called Start, we were told, because people are tired of being told what they can’t do, so the aim of this event was to get people inspired about positive things they can do. Brilliant. To that end the Energy Day was the one day which had the most obvious positive outcome arise. Practical Action, an NGO who were in attendance, proposed the setting up of EnergyAid – an organisation analagous to WaterAid whose mandate would be to supply modern, reliable, clean energy to the world’s poorest people. Fabulous.

If the EnergyAid idea were the only positive outcome of Start, IBM could be extremely proud of the event but doubtless there will be far more positive initiatives come out of the 9 days. Watch this space for more…


AMEE lands funding – Green is the new black!

Where there's muck, there's brass

Photo credit nickwheeleroz

I just received news that AMEE has landed funding. We have mentioned AMEE already a ton of times on GreenMonk, but that is because they share our open-source philosophy and they are Green. In fact, AMEE CEO Gavin Starks is the one who came up with the MegaTom concept!

From the press release:

AMEE, the World’s Energy Meter, has secured substantial Series A financing from leading VC funds in the USA and UK.

AMEE is a web-based service (API) that combines measurement, calculation, profiling and transactional systems, representing emissions data from 150 countries and regions. As a neutral data aggregation platform, AMEE’s vision is to enable the measurement of the “Carbon Footprint” of everything on Earth. AMEE aims to assist with the development of energy and carbon as a global currency, assisting governments and companies that need to account for and trade internationally in CO2 emissions.

The collaboration between O’Reilly Alphatech Ventures (OATV), Union Square Ventures (USV) and The Accelerator Group (TAG) will enable AMEE to expand its reach by enhancing its data, and extend globally.

The AMEE platform is already used internationally by many organisations including; UK Government (Defra/DECC), Morgan Stanley, Google, Radiohead, Nesta, the Irish Government, the Welsh Assembly, the Energy Saving Trust, BRE, Sun Microsystems, plus numerous other IT, business services and software companies.

Gavin Starks, Founder and CEO of AMEE commented, “AMEE’s growth over the past 12 months has been quite remarkable. We are delighted to have the financial and strategic support of such experienced investors to take our business forward.

AMEE’s is driving change by increasing the accuracy and transparency of emissions and consumption in a manner that has not been achieved by any legislation, market or service to date. We have developed and demonstrated a forward-thinking and innovative business model. It is based around neutrality, scale and collaboration. This reflects the dramatic changes that will impact our societies, their financial and social systems in the years to come.

The execution of the Climate Change Act in the UK last week, combined with President Elect Obama’s forward-looking Federal Cap & Trade statements are indicators of the scale of change approaching us.”

Bryony Worthington, Head of International Policy at AMEE added, “As one of the authors of the UK Climate Change Act, I am delighted to be bringing dedicated solutions to industry and consumers. The time to act is now.”

Mark P. Jacobsen, Managing Director of O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures (“OATV”), commented: “AMEE’s vision to aggregate all of the energy data in the world fits OATV’s mission to invest in stuff that matters. With the recent sea change in America’s political climate, we look forward to AMEE bringing its platform-based data service to clients in the States.”

Ablert Wenger, Partner at Union Square Ventures, commented, “We believe that emissions information is critical to better decision making by individuals and companies. We are excited that AMEE’s service helps to substantially improve the timeliness and accuracy of emissions measurement.”

Great news, congrats Gavin and team. With the slew of funding announcements in the Green space, despite the trying financial times (because of…), Green is quickly becoming the new black!