Tag Archives: innovation

DOE Seeking to Spur Energy Storage Innovation

According to a brief from the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI), a Department of Energy program could provide wider opportunities to implement storage technologies.

 

Currently, the $120 million program helps spur innovation and encourage utilities to implement energy storage technologies. The program is seeking to provide five times more the energy storage supply at one-fifth the cost of today’s lithium ion storage by 2017.

 

“Effective energy storage can help utilities deal with intermittent power supply, shortages and interruptions, but the high cost of research has been a detriment to developing them.”

 

The program’s efforts will help develop advanced versions of compressed air, pumped hydroelectric, and flywheel energy storage.

 

The brief notes that legislation has been introduced to Congress to provide a 30 percent investment tax credit for businesses that install storage technology.

 

Source: Energy Manager Today

Washington D.C. Seeks the Lead in Energy Efficiency

 

The nation’s capital city has some bold plans to be the greenest city in the U.S. The city’s Energy and Sustainability Office recently launched Build Smart D.C., a new website and tracking system that details and shares energy consumption information for every District-owned facility.

 

As part of the Sustainable D.C. initiative, the city has a goal of reducing the energy use in more than half of the 30 million-plus square feet of municipal facilities by 20 percent in twenty months.

 

“We’re trying to embrace truly transparent data to create tremendous savings,” said Sam Brooks, the associate director of the city’s Energy and Sustainability office. “The goal here is to eliminate energy waste and create effective cash flows back to the city.”

 

Source: GreenTechMedia

How to Drive Innovation in a Small Business

 

Energy efficiency doesn’t always come so easily. So how do you get your small business on board to drive innovation?

 

According to some new research, “innovation can show up in almost any of your company’s operations, including how you design, package, and promote products; how you hire and train employees; and even the type of business you run. Innovation can be free and simple or expensive and complex.”

 

Innovation can involve a lot of things including improving employee health and safety, increasing revenue, and lowering energy costs. By doing this, small businesses can receive a stronger reputation and make changes in their industry.

 

The tips to drive innovation include:

  • Change where you’re headed by setting big goals, using back-casting, and ensuring the whole company is on board.
  • Change what you know starting with asking employees for ideas, scan unfamiliar places for inspiration, get inspired by nature, and “unlearn” outdated knowledge.
  • Change how you work by rethinking your business model, replace products with services, and turn garbage into gold.
  • Change who you work with by broadening your networks, embracing “co-opetition”, and continuing education.

 

Read more about the research conducted by GreenBiz.com.

Sustainability Innovation in Three Parts

The easiest way to spur innovation in your organization is to set some challenging sustainable business goals.

If you’re looking to add sustainability innovation to your company, GreenBiz has an informative blog series on how to do it. The articles, from the Network for Business Sustainability (NBS), is a great guide for companies who know that innovation and sustainability to be the key to their company’s success.

But how do you implement it? Innovation and sustainability aren’t mutually exclusive, and reinforce each other. “The easiest way to spur innovation in your organization is to set some challenging sustainable business goals.”

According to the NBS, there are three types of sustainable companies or stages. The first is operational optimization – doing the same things better; organizational transformation – doing good by doing new things; and systems building – doing good by doing new things with others.

There are also three steps for sustainable innovation for business:

“Innovation involves reaching out beyond the walls of your own organization. Done right, it can push your company to the pinnacle of sustainable business practice.”

The series is a great read for any business looking at implementing sustainable and innovative practices to guide their sustainability policies.

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