Start with why

Last month I had the great pleasure of attending energy efficiency sales training with Mark Jewell at EEFG in San Francisco, and let me tell you--it's a-may-zing!

The very first class began with a TED talk (we've thoroughly covered my TED obsession here and here) from Simon Sinek on how leaders inspire action. Why are some people just better able than others to lead? Sinek says he codified what 'it' is and he calls it the golden circle of communication--why, how, what. What do we do, how do we do it, and why do we do it. What Sinek says is that truly effective leaders, companies, messages have in common is that they start with the why.

This got me thinking, why do we, the Clean Energy Organization do what we do? Well, we do it because we believe that energy efficiency can provide a better quality of life for all people, especially rural and under-served communities.
That's easy, we talk about it all the time. But why do I, Courtney, do what I do?

"Something you love better than me, though you may not know it. 
Tara. It's this from which you get your strength. 
The red earth of Tara." 
To start, I love my home; I love the San Joaquin Valley. I find peace in driving the 99 and more so the back roads that runs along the foothills in the east and across the flat lands to the west. I love every single inch of the 27,000 square miles that make up this region. I'm not blind to the problems, the imperfections that others move away from. Yes, our air quality is horrendous, our land is drying up, our people live in greater levels of poverty than almost anywhere else, our energy is expensive and our pay is low. But I love the land--like all 27,000 square miles are my own Tara.

That's why I do what I do.

So, why do you do what you do? For my fellow energy evangelists out there, why do you do it? Is it passion? Is it pay? Leave a comment and remember, always start with why. 
Video: YouTube, Simon Sinek: How great leaders inspire action, http://youtu.be/qp0HIF3SfI4

Photo credit: Photo Credit: Selznick, David O. (Producer) & Fleming, Victor (Director). 1939. Gone with the Wind [Motion picture]/ United Sates. Seiznick International Pictures. Lowes Inc.

Believe it or not: liquid batteries make energy storage real and affordable

The headline from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) says, "It's Official: Wind Energy Can Be Stored Cheaply"' but gosh--cheap just sounds so...cheap.  Energy storage is more than just a cool advancement in technology, it is the Holy Grail. Grid level storage will make alternative and renewable energy available to the mass market with regularity and at a truly affordable rate. It's energy storage that will make harnessing temperamental energy sources like wind and solar plausible as a solution to our world energy needs.  It's energy storage that is the missing link.  To include cheap in the sentence seems somewhat demeaning ( although it is a press release from MIT and if Good Will Hunting taught me anything it's that those MIT guys know their stuff!).

Turns out one MIT guy in particular knows his stuff about grid level electrical storage and how to make it cost effective. Professor Donald Sadoway has developed the liquid metal battery; a device as he says, invented to the price point of the electric market.  Professor Sadoway's TED talk about his liquid metal battery is entertaining (colored chalk!) and actually makes simple sense of something that should be much more complicated.  

Donald Sadoway: solving energy's biggest challenge, like a boss.