Danbo with his laptop.

Photo credit: Laptop by JaredVanderzell

As a part of Philly Tech Week, I decided to attend the Green Tech Showcase. Here, four different groups spoke about different innovations they were doing for the environment. The speakers included Micah Gold-Markel of Solar States, Christine Knapp of GPIC, Deb Boyer of Azavea, and LJ Petroni of Mark Group.

Solar States installs rooftop solar panels on buildings in Philadelphia. They lease the space on the rooftops from the owners, then sell the energy back to the organization. Their most recent project was an 81kW solar array on the roof of the Crane Arts building and is the largest in center city Philadelphia.

GPIC is the Greater Philadelphia Innovation Cluster for Energy-Efficient Buildings. Ms. Knapp spoke about their focus on energy efficient buildings and integration of production retrofitting for current buildings. They are located in the Navy Yard in Philadelphia and use that area as a hub for energy innovation in an effort to create energy independence and create jobs for the region. They received $122 million from the Department of Energy for their work, plus addition grants. Their goal is to improve energy efficiency by 50% over the next 10 years.

Azavea partnered with the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, and the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission to create the PhillyTreeMap, a website to create a collaborative inventory of trees in the Philadelphia urban environment. The site allows users to add new trees, upload pictures of existing trees, view information about trees in the database and promote tree planting throughout Philadelphia.

The Mark Group provides energy efficient upgrades to homes and businesses to provide them savings in the form of reduced energy bills. They are also located in the Philadelphia Navy Yard. They are originally based in the UK, but now have a US presence. The services they provide are an assessment of the current location, recommendations and priority of upgrades and implementation of conservation measures. They use non-invasive, state-of-the-art technology to capture thermal images of the location to determine how to better insulate it to reduce energy waste. Their typical customer sees 15-20% savings in utilities and reduces their overall carbon footprint.

All the groups were very informative and provided great information on how technology can be used to help the environment.

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