Green IT Wrap-up: Q1 2009

Table of Contents

  1. Summary
  2. Smart Grid
    1. Standards Development
    2. Security and Privacy
    3. Smart Meters
    4. Wireless Networks
    5. Consumer Devices
    6. Smart Appliances
    7. IBM’s Smarter Planet
  3. Green Data Centers
    1. Resource Management Tools
    2. Cooling
    3. Energy Efficiency
    4. Cloud Computing
  4. Renewable Energy
    1. Semiconductor Companies Tackle Solar
    2. Growth Trends
  5. Energy Storage
    1. Fuel Cells
    2. Nanotechnology
    3. Ultracapacitors
  6. Vehicles
    1. Electric Vehicle Progress
    2. Hybrids and Plug-Ins
    3. Infrastructure
  7. Green Sites and Services Sluggish
  8. Manufacturing Gets Greener
  9. Stimulus Supercharges the Sector
  10. Key Takeaways

1. Summary

Despite the renewal of energy tax credits and the election of a president dedicated to green jobs, first quarter cleantech investments plummeted in the face of the faltering economy. Total venture investment was down 48 percent from the previous year. By the end of the quarter, however, the stimulus package and an ambitious draft energy bill making its way through Congress appeared to be breathing a bit of life back into the sector, particularly in those areas championed by the administration: smart grid, energy, and transportation (both public and private).

Between federal attention and the drive of some of the country’s largest utilities to modernize the grid, opportunities abound for companies making the wireless sensors, smart meters, energy management software, and smart appliances that could eventually make up a “smart grid.”

Part of helping the grid modernize is making room on it for the next generation of electric cars and plug-in hybrids, a monumental task that some companies and government agencies began taking on in earnest in first quarter.

Meanwhile, state and federal policies mandating green power will create new opportunities for renewables — and new challenges for utilities, which will need to manage an increasingly distributed and variable supply of electrons.

What remains to be seen in the coming quarter is how effectively the stimulus package is applied and what happens to an important piece of legislation — the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 — as it makes its way through Congress. The bill contains provisions that could establish a cap-and-trade carbon market (effectively monetizing carbon-saving measures), mandate energy efficiency, create green jobs, and promote clean energy, all of which spells more money and innovation in Green IT in the year to come.

Full content available to GigaOm Subscribers.

Sign Up For Free