Home > Programs > Innovative Solutions Initiative

Climate Institute actively supports both startup companies that invent transformative renewable energy technologies and creative ideas that facilitate widespread energy efficiency and climate change adaption. We achieve this by linking students and recent graduates who are aspiring clean energy entrepreneurs with cutting edge firms and projects. The Innovative solutions initiative accomplishes its mission by performing the following tasks:


Sustainable Solutions Technologies

Recognizing that the airline industry produces a robust eleven percent of the U.S. transportation sector’s total carbon emissions and that airplanes are the most difficult vehicles to power by electricity, the Climate Institute works to transition the industry to an alternative low-carbon fuel source:  advanced biodiesel.

Partnering with Sustainable Solutions Technologies, the Climate Institute is creating a state-of-the-art biofuels plantation system meant for diverse regions of Latin America that will grow advanced biodiesel, primarily from Jatropha curcas. These plantations will use an intricate and proven intercropping system that restores degraded land and simultaneously grows biodiesel and food crops alongside each other, bringing about greater land use efficiency and a long-term source of wealth to economically disadvantaged areas.

Sustainable Solutions Technologies’s biorefinery will produce thousands of barrels of green fuel per day using the new Ecofining process developed by UOP Products, Inc., a division of Honeywell. The Ecofining process hydrogenates triglycerides and/or free fatty acid feedstocks. The resulting paraffins are then isomerized to create a high quality hydrocarbon known as green diesel. The Ecofining process will be designed to produce a paraffinic green fuel stream which will be blended with fossil fuels to create 50/50 drop-in fuels of biojetfuel resulting in significant greenhouse gas emissions from the airplane.

By using advance agricultural practices and new refining techniques, Climate Institute and Sustainable Solutions are carrying out their joint vision of creating an environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable supply of jet fuel.


Despite the efforts of some leaders to modernize the automotive industry, the electric car has yet to take its rightful place as the most popular type of vehicle. Climate Institute recognizes that Microtron Technologies’s breakthrough battery technology can make the electric car the standard in automotive transportation, rather than the exception.

MOTEV bikeMicrotron’s  ESD (Energy Storage Device) utilizes a combination of ultracapacitors and modified lithium-ion batteries coordinated through our microchip processor to charge or discharge its entire storage capacity rapidly in 16-30 seconds or gradually as needed, while boasting 99.121% round trip charge efficiency. The ESD is non-chemical in nature, which resolves the issue of battery deterioration, and provides a 45-year lifespan or 5,000,000 charge/discharge cycles, while further enabling a healthy and safe society. The ESD system, unlike Lithium-Ion or Lead-Acid batteries, benefits from 100% depth of discharge, as it does not degrade when completely discharged, overcharged, or kept at 100% capacity, eliminating battery replacement as a product life cycle cost for Club Cars. The ESD has an operable temperature range of -40C to 80C, making it suitable for the varying climates around the world. Microtron has converted rickshaws, motorcycles, and full-size sedans to accommodate and utilize its ESD and is now looking to create conversion kits that fit buses and golf carts as well.

The Climate Institute provides Microtron with feasibility studies, economic and political analysis, greenhouse gas impact calculations, marketing plans, and more. These services cover the “soft costs” associated with helping Microtron spread its groundbreaking technology to new markets around the world.

The proliferation of Microtron’s technologies will greatly reduce air and noise pollution in large cities, make transportation more affordable, and cut down on greenhouse gas emissions.

Clean and Secure Grid Initiative

The United States needs to perform a massive overhaul of its electrical grid to phase fossil fuels out of its energy portfolio. The Climate Institute highlights a comprehensive strategy, developed by a team of scientists under the leadership of Dr. Alexander MacDonald, to transform the lower forty eight’s electrical grid in such a way that it can efficiently transport low-carbon energy across different regions through underground high voltage direct current lines.

Dr. MacDonald and his co-authors use weather data with a high spatial and temporal resolution over the continental U.S. to calculate the cost-optimized configuration of variable electric power generators. Their results show that by using a nationally unified grid that employs high-voltage direct current transmission, the U.S. can reduce its carbon footprint by 78% relative to 1990 levels without significantly increasing electricity costs. This plan encompasses large-scale weather patterns to allow for wind and solar power sources to increase in their share of production.

Confident that the grid transformation will bring about unprecedented change to the energy world, the Climate Institute is working to build bridges between the authors of the plan and those who can implement it. We take advantage of our location in the heart of Washington D.C.’s think tank row to present Dr. MacDonald’s plan to the correct policymakers and institutions.

The grid transformation plan is the most effective and ambitious strategy the U.S. policy world has to offer for domestic carbon reduction. For that reason, the Climate Institute has elected to make its implementation a top priority.

For more information, please see the following video.

Oceana Energy Company

Tidal power has yet to be harnessed on a large scale, but has the potential replace fossil fuels as a primary energy source in major energy markets. The Climate Institute recognizes that Oceana Energy Company has developed a game-changing device, poised to provide nonintrusive, predictable, and carbon neutral power to some of the world’s largest cities.

OceanaWhile most ocean turbines simply mimic above-ground windmills, Oceana has developed a design meant specifically to endure the harsh environment of the sea. Their experienced team of engineers made a device that weighs less, generates more power, and requires less maintenance than its competitors. It can also be manufactured in a wide range of diameters to fit the requirement of many current and tidal strengths in diverse locations ranging from free flowing rivers to near shore ocean sites.

The Climate Institute mobilizes its staff of business experts and editors to draft needed business materials for Oceana. We use our vast energy industry network to draw deserved attention to the hydrokinetic turbines. Several founding board members of the Climate Institute were instrumental in establishing Oceana.

Climate Institute supports the proliferation of this technology in order to provide another option for countries to expand their renewable energy portfolio. Oceana’s devices have the potential to generate cost effective power that can drive coal and oil out of the world’s largest cities.