Makani Power's Airborne Wind Turbine

Most conference expo halls are light on the academic papers, but not at the MIT Energy Showcase.

Yesterday, the MIT Energy Conference kicked off with a range of activities, including the Energy Showcase, a chance for local energy companies and academics to show off their innovations. The format gets to the heart of what makes the MIT Energy Conference so special. It convenes the local (and non-local) business community alongside the deeply technical expertise and research coming out of MIT.

In addition to the MIT research on display, the Showcase featured both local companies like XL Hybrids, which is retrofitting commercial vans with electric motors, and non-local ones like OPower, the behavioral energy analytics firm out of Arlington, Virginia. I bumped into a great mix of entrepreneurs, technologists, investors and even policy wonks as I walked around, and only wished I could have spent more time to explore some of the MIT technologies on display.

Above is a display by Makani Power, a company working on airborne wind turbines. Click this link for a better view of what this technology looks like.

I’m headed to today’s Conference now, but here are some photos from last night’s event: