YCombinator's Energy Portfolio

Sam Altman, the president of YCombinator has committed to focus on solving big problems. Here are four investments in the alternative energy & better energy management space.

Helion Energy

Helion’s goal is to develop power plants that would produce electricity by running a nuclear-fusion reaction whereby atoms merge at extremely high temperatures. The promise of this approach is the production of a practically unlimited amount of energy with no waste and no nuclear irradiation. That is in contrast to the fission technology on which today’s nuclear power plants are based. via WSJ

 

Bright

Bright is looking to radically change the way Mexico's homeowners buy solar power. The firm aims to build a software, finance & analytics platform that would allow Mexico's solar installers to provide something like a residential "solar subscription." Thier model will allow them to turn on based on people’s creditworthiness & turn it off in case of default.

 

UPower

UPower founder and CEO Jacob DeWitte describes the company’s first reactor design as a plug-and-play nuclear thermal battery. The idea is that customers will order a reactor that will be shipped in a container with everything needed on the reaction side and then connected to a power conversion method that makes the most sense for the particular application. Some projects might hook it up to a steam turbine, while others might use it in concert with something much closer to a jet engine.

The reactor generates 7 MW worth of heat, which comes out to about 2 MW worth of electricity once converted. That’s enough to power 2,000 homes in places like Alaska and others with lower demand for electricity. It’s also enough to power entire mining operations or military bases in places where constantly having fuel for large diesel generators shipped is too difficult or expensive. via Techcrunch

 

WattVision:

Wattvision makes it easy for you to save money on energy by giving you live feedback on your energy use, on the web or your phone. Wattvision works through a sensor that connects to your electricity meter and your wireless internet connection.

We felt a pressing need to answer a basic question: How much energy am I using right now? In response, we decided to make the easiest, most reliable solution available.