Smart Grid 101: Definitions and Opportunities

June 2, 2009 at 12:59 am Leave a comment

Carolyn ThumbnailPenned by Carolyn

Smart Grid is one of those terms being thrown around the media and the green business sector – and for good reason, as it’s one of the most promising areas for growth even in this economy. In terms of being able to talk the talk in the green sphere, this is a concept you should be able to discuss with some level of intelligence and awareness.

Though there’s no singular definition attached to smart grid, it’s basically the concept of combining a power delivery system with a digital technology/metering system that allows utilities and consumers to adjust their electricity use with an end goal of increasing the efficiency of power usage nationally and globally.

Get familiar with some of the issues around implementing smart grid technologies, and why there’s so much buzz and hope for this growing green sector. Here are some resources to kick off your investigation:
  • The Department of Energy published a 48-page e-book called “Smart Grid: An Introduction,” which explores in layman’s terms the nature, challenges, opportunities and necessity of Smart Grid implementation in the U.S. and beyond. There’s a great glossary of terms in the back.
  • The Demand Response and Smart Grid Coalition has information on the companies in the sector. Its member list (copied below) will give you a sense of some of the big players in the field.
  • This map of 101 Cleantech Startups shows several Smart Grid companies.
  • Smart Grid News gives information on companies in the sector, deals and transactions and trends in the industry.
  • Wikipedia has some basic background and interesting links.

And now, dive in to these companies and see where you might be interested in fitting in. Our usual thoughts on networking apply – run a search through LinkedIn to see who you know there; join some groups that the company’s employees are a member of to get exposed to the industry dialogue; read through the company bios; and check out job openings.

Aclara
Ambient
Amplex
CalAmp
Comverge
Conservation Services Group
Corporate Systems Engineering
CPower
Direct Energy
Echelon
Eka Systems
eMeter
Energy Capital Partners
Energy Curtailment Specialists
EnergySolve
EnerNOC
Enfora
Enspiria Solutions
General Electric
Google
Honeywell
IBM
Ice Energy
Itron
KMC Controls
Landis + Gyr
Lutron Electronics
Oracle
PCN Technology
Sensus
Silver Spring Networks
SmartSynch
Steffes
Tendril
Trilliant Networks
Ziphany

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