The business of energy is a hot topic as of late. With many pushing for cleaner energy and different forms of alternative energy, there are many potential opportunities on the horizon. The Department of Energy is interested in enhancing the resources of clean energy by connecting small businesses focused on clean energy and new technologies with resources that can help them further their research and development. If your small business is involved in new and alternative energy, the Department of Energy may be able to help you find new resources to help.
Clean energy manufacturing initiative
This initiative is designed by the Department of Energy to enhance the U.S.’s competitiveness in the field of clean energy. As part of this initiative, the DoE has also begun the Small Business Vouchers Pilot Program. According to the Small Business Vouchers website, these vouchers make small businesses who are developing clean energy eligible for assistance. The website states, “DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) is putting the world-class resources of the national labs at your fingertips, with the Small Business Vouchers Pilot (SBV). Through 2016, EERE is providing up to $20 million in vouchers so that small businesses can request technical assistance from national labs to help bring the next generation of clean technologies to market.”
Small business utilization
Along with the small businesses chosen to receive funding through the Clean Energy Manufacturing Initiative, the Department of Energy is also dedicated to improving its utilization of small businesses. In a 2013 article in the Washington Post titled, “Why Does the Energy Department Have Trouble Working With Small Businesses?” author J.D. Harrison states, “The Energy Department has been the government’s weakest link in the small-business contracting arena the past two years, failures that agency officials chalk up to the unique nature of the department’s work. Small contractors, on the other hand, say the agency has not taken enough steps to help them compete for prime contracts, nor has it held large firms accountable for offering sufficient subcontracting work.” Since 2013, the Department has taken steps to rectify the situation, encouraging small businesses to apply for DoE projects.
If your business is at the forefront of clean energy, but lacks the resources to further develop your ideas, check into the Department of Energy to see if there are resources available.
This article was written by Alaina Brandenburger for Small Business Pulse