Ed Lu, Program Manager for Advanced Projects at Google:
Influence: Lu leads a team of engineers working to develop Google’s energy information software tool PowerMeter.
While Google’s PowerMeter is still in the development phase, it’s already started to have an interesting effect on the energy business. Some utilities, like San Diego Gas & Electric, have reached out to partner with Google, while other utilities have seemed to shy away from working too closely with such a well known brand. For companies looking to sell energy management software — from startups to big firms — the fact that Google is offering PowerMeter for free isn’t such good news for their business models, but smart meter makers like GE have chosen (to some extent) to work with the search engine giant.
Lu himself has an interesting background. Before joining Google, the electrical engineer was a NASA astronaut for over a decade and manned two Space Shuttle missions, including a six-month stint at the International Space Station.