The U.S. Department of Energy has launched the first of what will be a four part American Energy Data Challenge, which will award over $100,000 in total prizes for the best ideas, apps, and visualizations that use energy data to help address some of America's biggest challenges.

The first challenge, the Energy Ideas Challenge, which runs from November 6 through November 29, is focused on generating new ideas for using energy data to create high value products, applications, services and research. $10,000 is up for prizes for the best ideas in three campaigns – the best idea for using an existing Department of Energy dataset, the best idea for a “wish list dataset” that would be extremely valuable if it existed, and the best “killer idea” for a new energy-related application or service.

“Through challenges over the next 12 months participants will use the DOE’s publicly available datasets to create new tools for consumers,” said Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, launching the Challenge. “We want to solicit your best ideas on how energy generation, distribution and consumption could be transformed to better serve a modern economy.”

The submitted ideas will be judged and open to public review from December 2 – 13, with prizes to be based on the judges’ selections and a popular choice prize to be awarded based on public votes.

The three subsequent challenges – Apps for Energy II, Energy Data by Design, and The American Energy Challenge – will be rolled out in the coming months, culminating in a call for bold ideas to re-imagine America’s energy infrastructure.

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