The Smart Grid needs Silicon Valley and the traditional ‘cleantech’ now demands ‘cleanweb.’
Cleanweb is the software side of green energy required to interconnect traditional ‘cleantech’ devices. Without connectivity enabled by software apps, we can’t realize smart grids or smart buildings, and we cannot empower smart consumers.
This has become evident as traditional energy companies have realized the need for advanced software applications and begun gobbling up IT companies — sometimes referred to as “softgrid” companies — through mergers and acquisitions. This is a recent phenomenon over the past few years.
We’re also seeing more traditional emerging-market catalysts get involved. Just as government incentives helped stimulate the semiconductor industry, the White House and Department of Energy (DOE) are now stepping in with programs — including Green Button and the DOE’s Apps for Energy contest — to catalyze energy-application development.
The result: a ripe market for Energy 2.0, which has potential to provide abundant, clean, affordable energy — by delivering real-time automation and analytics across the grid, and it’s only possible with IT.
As information and communication technologies evolve and rising energy costs lead to customer-demanded control, Energy 2.0 is inevitable.
Anto Budiardjo has held executive-level marketing and product development positions with various building-controls companies. He has more than three decades of experience in energy, connectivity and IT, and is a recipient of Frost & Sullivan’s Building Technologies CEO of the Year award. He is a founder of Clasma Events Inc., which organizes key conferences and events for the emerging intersection of energy and IT.