Building the next generation of smart cities

Open data standards, low-cost sensors, and internet of things connectivity are helping cities create new technology platforms to manage social interactions, the environment, health, transportation, water management, and utilities.

Siemens and Teradata team up over grid big data

Utilities are increasingly embracing the tools needed to manage big data, and on Monday data warehouse software firm Teradata said it’s teamed up with power grid giant Siemens for a better way to manage the massive data flowing off the smart grid.

As Nokia Siemens shrinks the 4G network, its prospects grow

Nokia Siemens Network just turned a big quarterly profit, all thanks to its recent LTE momentum. The infrastructure vendor is trying to build on that momentum by pushing into future LTE technologies like small cells and HetNet, which it claims will increase network capacity 1,000-fold.

5 smart energy projects with big potential

Today’s itinerary takes us to Arizona, where researchers have developed a mirror technology they hope can make solar competitive. Next stop is a city in Massachusetts, which is a poster child for energy efficiency savings that other cash-strapped cities may find instructive; Plus three other projects.

China building super highway for clean power

China likes to do things on a grand scale, which allows it serve its vast population spreading out in huge regions and brag about its technical advancements. Here comes another one: the country is now building a transmission line with a whopping 800-kilovolt of capacity that will ferry wind and solar power over 2,210 kilometers (1,373 miles).

Siemens, ABB make major grid gear plays

Not all the opportunities in the smart grid are about big data and analytics. Power gear giants Siemens and ABB unveiled separately that they plan to make large grid gear acquisitions. Siemens will buy RuggedCom, and ABB will buy Thomas & Betts Corp.

Tendril test-drives its electric car software with BMW

After a variety of strategies and around $100 million in funding, startup Tendril is now largely a software company, and on Tuesday at the DistribuTECH conference in San Antonio, Tendril announced a big partner in its play to provide the software layer for electric vehicles: BMW.

Landis+Gyr snaps up Ecologic Analytics for grid big data

Meter giant Landis+Gyr has snapped up smart meter data management company Ecologic Analytics, the companies announced on Tuesday. Ecologic Analytics has been around for over a decade, and Landis + Gyr was already a minority shareholder in the firm. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

7 ways the military is embracing cleantech

The U.S. military has stepped up efforts to invest and use more cleantech at its bases and battlefields, including renewable electricity, energy storage and a host of energy efficiency technologies. Here is a list of plans and projects underway.

First GSM call was made 20 years ago today

Today is the 20th birthday of the first GSM phone call, which in many ways was the start of the global wireless revolution. GSM was adopted in 1987 as a standard. More than 4.4 billion people use phones based on GSM today.

Siemens invests in solar startup Semprius

Power gear giant Siemens has bought a stake in startup Semprius that makes solar concentrating photovoltaic tech, which use mirrors and lenses to concentrate sunlight onto highly efficient solar cells. Solar concentrating PV is a sort of hybrid between solar panels and solar thermal tech.

Siemens backs home energy startup Tendril

Power gear giant Siemens announced on Monday that it has invested in, and will also market technologies from, home energy startup Tendril. Tendril sells software and devices that monitor and manage the home energy consumption of consumers.

Schneider Electric to Buy Smart Grid Firm Telvent

Power gear giants continue their smart grid shopping spree. Schneider Electric is bidding to buy software maker Telvent for about $2 billion. The acquisition would give Schneider, which is a massive power equipment maker, more software and IT capabilities for the power grid.

Feds Blow $50M Into Offshore Wind Research

Offshore wind power will get a $50.5 million research boost and dedicated “Wind Energy Area” in the mid-Atlantic region under a new federal plan. Google and co-investors in a $5 billion offshore wind transmission project will be pleased.


7 Things That Spell Growing Pains for 2011 Greentech

The greentech industry’s 2010 showing wasn’t so bad, especially for a year that saw the world recovering from a once-in-a-generation economic meltdown. But despite this, venture capitalists won’t be investing in the sector like they used to, solar startups won’t see a great growth year in 2011 and a real home energy management market doesn’t really exist yet, despite the numerous companies and technologies blossoming in the space. Here are some predictions about what not to expect in next year’s greentech market.

Smart Building Buys: Schneider Gobbles up Vizelia & D5X

The buying spree in the smart grid-smart building nexus keeps going, this time in France, where Schneider Electric has bought building energy management software providers Vizelia and D5X. Chalk it up to what’s set to be the biggest greentech acquisition trend of 2011.

How Lockheed Martin Is Tackling the Smart Grid

Lockheed Martin has turned to the smart grid with a vengeance. The gigantic defense contractor has been helping utilities design, manage and secure smart meter networks, distribution grid sensor systems and microgrids for years, but in the past year has ramped up its efforts.

Building Energy Management for the Mushy Middle Market

Big buildings already have plenty of energy management technology, and household energy efficiency is the focus of dozens of VC-backed startups and IT giants alike. But who’s tackling the small and mid-size commercial building market, or the “mushy middle?”

Report: Smart Grid Outspends Smart Meters

Smart meters get all the attention, but smart distribution grid and substation projects are actually taking the lead in smart grid spending across the nation, and corporate giants are reaping the benefit. That’s the gist of a Cleantech Group report released by the DOE Thursday.

Echelon Takes the Smart Grid to the Edge

Echelon has launched a new software-hardware combo to control the distribution portion of the grid. The product has two notable aspects: it’s open to third-party developers, and its first customer will be utility Duke Energy.

Is Amazon Looking to Rumble With Netflix?

Like it or not, TV and film streaming on a subscription basis has been Netflix’s turf for a while now (sorry, Blockbuster). But Amazon may change that with a proposed web-based subscription service that it’s been pitching around to major studios.

Siemens Moves Into Electric Vehicle Smart Charging

Add electric vehicle smart charging to the long list of products that German energy and engineering giant Siemens wants to tackle for the smart grid. Siemens says it will partner with startup Coulomb Technologies and jointly sell Siemen’s smart grid IT products with Coulomb’s EV charging stations.

ABB Throws Down Over $1B for Smart Grid Software Maker Ventyx

Swiss electrical equipment giant ABB has jumped feet first into the smart grid with the plan to purchase software maker Ventyx (from Vista Equity Partners) for over $1 billion, the companies announced this morning. Ventyx makes software for energy analytics, operations, and forecasting, among other applications.


Demand Response Gets a Boost from Proposed FERC Rulings

The idea behind demand response is to reduce energy use (instead of generating more energy) at moments of peak demand, in order to save utilities money and improve the efficiency of the power grid. It’s already a big business, but a proposal from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) could make it even bigger, by setting rules that would offer companies the same price for both generating electricity (measured in megawatts) and reducing peak energy use (measured in “negawatts”). That, in turn, could lead to new and interesting ways for broader energy-efficiency technologies to pay for themselves.

How Samsung Is Tackling Greentech

Just over six months have passed since Samsung unveiled a multibillion-dollar push to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from its factories and slash the amount of emissions resulting from its consumer products. Now the company is diversifying its efforts.