Getting a Look at the Green Technologies of the Future

The California Climate Cup competition seeks to identify startups that could accelerate the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality and enhance resiliency.

  • By Mary Ann Milbourn
  • September 13, 2018

Michael Burz admitted at the outset his is an uphill battle — making battery technology sexy.

“It’s a battery, not blockchain,” said Burz, referring to the popular technology used as the basis for BitCoin and other digital currency.

Still, the president and CEO of EnZinc Inc. thinks his Bay Area-based company could advance the development of advanced high performance green batteries that are based on zinc instead of the more common lithium ion or lead acid.

California Climate Cup
Michael Burz, CEO of EnZinc Inc., shows the nickel-sized zinc sponge anode used in his company's new battery design.


He believes the batteries, which use a unique zinc sponge design, could one day power electric vehicles and provide energy storage for the power grid with higher energy at a lower cost.

EnZinc was just one of 10 startups touting their green technology at the first California Climate Cup organized by the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator and the California Clean Energy Fund.

“The time to act on climate change is now and these startups are leading the way to a smarter, more resilient, and cleaner future,” said Matt Petersen, president and CEO of the nonprofit incubator, known as LACI.

Edison International, parent company of Southern California Edison, provided a $50,000 grant to support the Climate Cup’s Energy/Transportation Nexus competition, during which Burz gave the EnZinc presentation.

Also competing in the category were EP Tender, a French company that has developed a mobile battery mini-trailer that can extend the range of an electric vehicle, and EVmatch, a Santa Barbara firm with a mobile app that connects EV drivers with people who have a charger available by reservation for charging.

EVmatch ended up winning the Energy/Transportation Nexus competition and will appear in San Francisco at the Global Climate Action Summit to present its plan in the finals. The two other finalists are Wheeli, a New York-based long-distance carpooling app for college students, and Solstice Energy Solutions in the Bay Area, which develops Internet of Things and software for energy management.

The competition finalists won $5,000 and the grand finalist will get $25,000. LACI will give all three startups the opportunity to talk with investors during the climate summit.

Drew Murphy, Edison International senior vice president of strategy and corporate development, said the company’s support for the competition is part of its commitment to helping the state meet its clean energy and clean air goals.

“Technological advancement is going to drive the transformation taking place in our industry now,” Murphy said. “Things like energy storage, advanced electric vehicles and artificial intelligence are going to help Edison lead the transformation of the electric power industry, so we are committed to nurturing up-and-coming companies and technologies.”

Leave a Comment

We welcome your feedback and comments. We ask that you please keep them constructive, civil and respectful. If you wouldn’t say it in front of your mother, then there is a good chance it falls outside of our guidelines. Please read our comment policy here.

Comments

Related Stories

SCE Uses Innovation to Improve the Power Grid

SCE Uses Innovation to Improve the Power Grid

Local Breweries Master Art of Sustainable Brewing

Local Breweries Master Art of Sustainable Brewing

Electricity is the Power of the Future

Electricity is the Power of the Future

Top Stories

Understanding Different Washer-Dryer Settings

Understanding Different Washer-Dryer Settings

What Are Those Balls That Hang on Power Lines?

What Are Those Balls That Hang on Power Lines?

It Takes a Team to Get a Fire Resistant Pole-Setting Job Done

It Takes a Team to Get a Fire Resistant Pole-Setting Job Done

Edison Energy and its subsidiaries are not the same company as Southern California Edison, the utility, and they are not regulated by the California Public Utilities Commission.

© 2018 Edison International

© 2018 Edison International

Download and Use Policy

This Site is owned by Edison International. Unless otherwise indicated, all of the content featured or displayed on this Site, including but not limited to, text, graphics, data, photographic images, moving images, sound, illustrations, computer code, trade marks and logos and the selection and arrangement thereof (referred to in this section as the "Content") is owned by Edison International, its licensors or its third-party image partners and all rights in relation to the Content are reserved. All Content is protected by copyright, trade dress, moral rights, trade mark rights and other laws relating to the protection of intellectual property. You may use the Content for your personal, or news-related, non-commercial use, but you may not otherwise reproduce, modify or in any way commercially exploit the Content.

Accept Decline