Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Encana's Clean Thinking

I was interested to see that Encana Corp. invested in a venture capital round for start-up company Alphabet Energy.  From the web site GigaOm.com (linked above):
"Alphabet Energy, founded in 2009 as a spin-out from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, makes a next-generation thermoelectric material, which is a semiconductor that can convert heat to electricity. When thermoelectric materials come in contact with heat it causes the electrons to move from the hot side of the material to the cold side, and the difference in temperature causes the material to produce electricity."
What's in it for Encana?  Alphabet is working on a process that converts waste heat into electricity.  Encana sees uses for the process in its natural gas drilling and processing operations.  It sounds very cool.

What strikes me more than anything is the process and speed of innovation that we are witnessing on a daily basis. Five years ago (this month) the vast majority of us had never heard of shale gas.  Now companies have developed technologies and techniques to extract gas very efficiently in quantities far greater than we can handle.  I can only imagine what innovations we will see in the next five years.

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