The Plenty 20

From small start-ups to Fortune 500 companies, they're pushing the eco envelope and changing the world.

By Danielle Wood

Illustration by Matthew Bandsuch

Last July, the company put in a bid to help develop what will be the world’s biggest geothermal project ever—a $600 million mega-plant in northern Sumatra set to generate another 340 megawatts. Ormat’s still investigating other opportunities, too. It has put significant research toward creating a market to capture waste heat from manufacturing processes, and last fall, the company announced a $63.5 million investment into biodiesel.

16: Ice Energy
Windsor, Colorado
Year after year, air conditioning is the top contributor to peak electricity problems: Last summer alone, heat waves across the nation left many cities with blackouts, and high electricity demand forced the dirtiest of generators to kick in. But this company says that a better solution lies in something laughably low-tech: ice.
Ice Energy’s Ice Bear cooling unit plugs into an off-the-shelf air conditioner. At night, when electricity is cheapest and most abundant, it makes ice. But during the day, when demand for air conditioning soars, the Ice Bear uses the ice—instead of electricity—to cool down the coolant in the air conditioner, reducing electricity consumption for air conditioning by up to 30 percent. Right now, the company sells the Ice Bear only for commercial buildings, but a residential version is being tested now. And many utilities are already offering huge incentives for companies to buy them. Now that’s cool.

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Whoa! Unjournalist conduct! Dr. Berzin,, didn't discover algal technology -- their work is based on the achievements of the (atrociously underfunded) Aquatic Species Program, 1978-1996, Department of Energy, U.S.A. -- and they would be the first ones to give credit where it's due. Ignoring the opposition to this development is a sure-fire formula for failure.

solar power

About Konarka.. the company is named after the famous ancient Hindu temple of the Sun. Also, 3 of the 4 founding scientists appear to be Indian-born. But they are nowhere to be seen in any news about the company. Wonder what happened to them? Did the current management team treat them fairly? It's odd that not one of the 3 is on the board. Hmmm....

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