Blog Post

Meet the Money Behind the Smart Grid at Green:Net ’11

Stay on Top of Enterprise Technology Trends

Get updates impacting your industry from our GigaOm Research Community
Join the Community!

The smart grid has one of the hottest acquisition markets in cleantech right now, and both power gear companies and large IT firms have started to wake up to buying smart grid innovation by purchasing it. French power gear company Schneider Electric alone announced in recent days that it plans to purchase both data center equipment provider Lee Technologies as well as the assets of Indian cable equipment company Digilink from Smartlink Network Systems.

At our third annual Green:Net event on April 21 in San Francisco, we’re bringing together the pieces of the ecosystem around smart grid M&A. That includes potential acquirers like Schneider Electric, GE (s GE), ABB (s abb) or Cisco (s CSCO), hot startups like OPower and BuildingIQ (and our 10 Big Ideas companies), and the investors that have backed some of the innovators early on like Foundation Capital and Claremont Creek Ventures.

ABB has bought three smart grid software companies over the past year, including the massive, $1 billion-plus, Ventyx acquisition, along with Insert Key Solutions, and Obvient. ABB has a young venture arm that it uses to inject some Silicon Valley spirit into the power grid player, as Andy Tang, ABB Venture’s managing director and former founding managing director at DFJ DragonFund, recently explained to me. (Tang will be speaking in a fireside chat about tools for maintaining grid health at Green:Net 2011.) ABB has invested in electric car charging startup Ecotality, smart grid network player Trilliant (a Green:Net sponsor), and data center efficiency company PowerAssure.

Analytics for finding value in large energy data sets could prove particularly valuable for energy players and utilities. Meter maker and meter data management company Itron (s ITRI) bought analytics company Asais in December. Home energy management company Tendril bought Grounded Power for its behavioral analytics tools.

Building energy efficiency has finally started to deliver some acquisitions, including Alstom recently buying UISOL, a key player in the open-source demand response standard OpenADR. In a similar move, Honeywell (s hon) bought Akuacom, a startup selling servers and services based on OpenADR. Cisco bought building and IT networking system Richards-Zeta Building Intelligence back in 2009, and Serious Materials bought energy software company Valence Energy for its building energy management product last year. Most recently IBM (s IBM) acquired Tririga partly for its smart building software.

The smart grid isn’t just about building energy; it’s about using networking to connect all energy resources across a city. At Green:Net, Cisco SVP, TelePresence, Emerging Technologies and Consumer Business Marthin De Beer, will talk about “smart cities,” Silver Spring Networks will host a panel on smart communities and the consumer, and Microsoft’s (s MSFT) Environmental Strategist Rob Bernard will focus on how software and connected devices are making our world more efficient.

Buy tickets to Green:Net 2011 before they sell out as previous years have. I’ll see you there!

Image courtesy of GigaOM Events.

3 Responses to “Meet the Money Behind the Smart Grid at Green:Net ’11”

    • RobertWilliams


      Why don’t you comment on the Karolinska institute putting out the health warning on wireless smart meters.

      Why don’t you comment on the Berkeley and Columbia Scientists (and the other scientists that actually do the laboratory tests on the wireless signal radiation).

      Why don’t you comment on the easiest-to-challenge insurance company scientist who similarly found some of the same damages and based on that the insurance companies won’t underwrite liability of the smart meter manufacturing and distribution companies.

      “sigh” is cute and if you enjoy that, well that’s great, but I would be more interested in a response to the information that was offered, the same information that is part of the reason that 36 cities and counties in California are objecting to smart meter installation. And Maine legislators are similarly objecting and supporting lawsuits demanding installation moratoriums.

  1. RobertWilliams


    And Insurance companies don’t sacrifice insurance premiums ($$$) for no reason.

    TV NEWS VIDEO – Insurance Companies Won’t Insure Wireless Device Health Risks (3 minutes, 13 seconds)

    2. WIRELESS SMART METERS TRANSMIT RADIATION APPROXIMATELY 25,000 TIMES PER DAY, 24/7, not 45 seconds per day as claimed by Utility Company.

    VIDEO – Radiation Measured From Smart Meter Mounted On A Home (6 minutes, 21 seconds)

    3. CELL DAMAGE, DNA BREAKS & BREACHES IN THE BLOOD-BRAIN BARRIER observed in laboratory tests from low levels of pulsed RF signal radiation as emitted by Wireless smart meters – reported by Top Wireless radiation scientists in the world at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco Nov 18, 2010:
    VIDEO –

    2-page Press Release: