There is no question that GE’s “Ecomagination” program encourages innovation in sustainability and responsible business. Their open call for ideas is a chance for every day people to make the case for renewable energy and have their ideas funded by the energy industry’s leading company.

The first phase of this program called for ideas to revamp the power grid. The contest garnered over 4,000 ideas with the winners being Solar Roadways and Clarian’s plug-n-play, which each received tens of thousands of dollars from GE.

The next phase calls for ideas to change the way we manage energy at home; the “Powering Your Home” challenge invites innovators to design the ‘green home of the future’, and vy for some of the $200 million GE has allocated for this program. CMO Beth Comstock had this to say about this phase of Ecomagination:

“”Powering Your Home” will focus on technologies that consumers can touch and feel. It is being launched as a response to the overwhelming level of engagement and passion for big energy issues we saw in the first Challenge. To date, we have received more than 1,000 ideas in the home energy management space, which is why this new phase of the Challenge is ripe for innovation and investment to drive growth. We will be looking for new ideas and also re-examining ideas from the initial phase through the lens of innovative power use in the home.” (Fast Company)

This next phase of the contest begins today and ends March 1 with voting to follow. Winners will be offered varying amounts of cash as well as investment, development, distribution and growth opportunities from GE.

Ecomagination is a good idea in theory, but what about in practice? While Solar Roadways’ innovative roadway panels to recharge electric cars as they drive is a clever idea, how would a city or municipality realistically fund this type of renewable energy? It’s quite a big investment even for an NYC or LA.

What is GE’s ability to put the most practical ideas into action? In the world of sustainability, lofty goals and ambitions are often established, with the intent of coming down to earth in the short term and striving for perfection in the long term. Do you think this is a fair assessment? Do you think GE will choose a more realistic idea as the winner for this phase of the contest? Discuss!

To read the full article please click here.