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Building a Smart Future

Smart Grid event

Building a Smart Future, the first in a planned series of smart grid events organised by Cleantech Investor, takes place on 3rd October 2013. The event will explore the key technology areas within the broad smart grid sector and the drivers for adoption, with a particular focus on the UK market.

Within smart meters alone, GBI Research anticipates that market penetration is set to rise from current levels of around 5% to at least 55% - or 719.3 million meters - globally by 2020. Other key technologies include HVDC transmission, broadband over powerline and energy storage – with the latter permitting the integration of increased levels of renewable energy into the grid.

Research undertaken last year on behalf of SmartGrid GB forecast that the UK could be at the forefront of smart grid technology if it takes an innovative approach and acts quickly. It estimated that it could help create around 10,000 jobs and contribute £13 billion to the economy, creating a £5 billion export market.

Yet, to date, the success rate of smart grid projects has been mixed, with many energy storage projects still at the pilot stage. While the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) announced the preferred bidders for its smart grid infrastructure competition in mid—August,  the mass roll out of smart meters has been delayed. In May DECC announced that the first stage of the introduction of smart meters would be pushed back to autumn 2015 (completion due by 2020), in order to provide suppliers with more time to design and test their systems.


2011: A Review of Cleantech Equity Deals - Energy Management

Published in: 2011 - A Review of Cleantech Equity Deals, January 2012

This section comprises companies which are involved in smart grid applications and the related area of grid monitoring technology. It includes companies with applications for both domestic and commercial buildings as well as those which focus at the utility level.

Amongst VC investors there was significant interest in the sector, at least in terms of the number of deals. However, a rush of merger and acquisition activity in the space might indicate that VCs are struggling to continue to fund some of the larger players in the sector in the absence of exits via the IPO route.

In terms of M&A activity, this sector was extremely busy. The $2.3 billion acquisition of Landis+Gyr by Toshiba Corp was a key deal in the smart meter industry.

Other significant M&A deals in energy management included the purchase of Powercorp by ABB, Siemens’ acquisition of eMeter, the US$3.2 billion purchase of Converteam by GE, Schneider Electric’s acquisition of Telvent for US$2 billion and the purchase of Agilewaves by Serious Energy.

The investments by GE and its venture capital partners, Emerald Technology Ventures, Foundation Capital, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Rockport Capital, as part of the second round of funding for the GE ecomagination Challenge, accounted for a significant number of deals in the space.

Energy management firms which secured ecomagination funds (not featured in the following list) included Ember (low-power chips), GMZ Energy (waste heat to electricity), Hara (resource management), On-Ramp Wireless  (low power wireless communications), Project Frog (sustainable buildings technology), Viridity Energy (power management software), VPhase (voltage optimisation technology), WiTricity (wireless battery charging) and Nuventix (which is featured in the lighting section).



5 questions with Willem van Putten of KEMA

First published on the Cleantech Investor website, October 2011

Mr Willem van Putten leads KEMA activities in Asia Pacific, particularly in smart grid initiatives, research, design and developments. He will be speaking at Asia Smart Grid, which is part of the Singapore International Energy Week taking place from 31 Oct to 4 Nov 2011. For more information, visit www.siew.sg

Willem van PuttenHow would you define the KEMA smart grid vision/what is a 'smart grid' and what does it mean for all involved? Can you also explain the role of SmartGridSherpa?

The smart grid is a dynamic system modernising transmission and distribution, which intelligently relays energy and information both ways between utilities and end users. Smart energy grids will be required for the transition to an energy system using renewable energy sources and the associated decentralised electricity generation facilities. Mature smart grids require a transparent coordination mechanism which allows these various energy sources and appliances to be interconnected on a non-segregated and plug-in basis. In essence, smart grids should seamlessly combine distributed generation with demand response.

This transition is largely perceived as the greatest disruption to the energy industry in a century and KEMA’s services allow for reliable consulting, testing, and certification of the many and varied technologies involved.

SmartGridSherpa is an online knowledge base designed to provide information and engage parties in dialogue around smart grid issues. It is a hub for content developed by KEMA (including podcasts, white papers, e-books and other articles), as well as for outside experts to share news and views. The site engages and educates existing and potential customers, media, and other stakeholders.


Smart Grid/Smart Buildings: Deals of the Year 2010

First published in Cleantech Infocus: 2010 - Equity Deals of the Year, January 2011.  Copyright Cleantech Investor Ltd

Smart grid investment continues to attract the attention of venture backers, with 2010 seeing fund raising by OPOWER, Trilliant and Accent. And October saw the listing of German smart meter company Elster on the NYSE.

Smart building materials are attracting growing levels of investor interest. Venture deals in energy efficient materials included funding for French electrochromic glass manufacturer, Sage Electrochomics, from glass company Saint-Gobain, alongside venture investors. Hightex, a UK company which designs large area membrane roofs and facades, raised funding in the first half of the year. And Denmark’s PhotoSolar, which has developed technology for integrating solar shading into facade glazing, raised funds in the second half.


ZigBee Aliance names new office head

Cleantech People Moves in association with Climate Human Capital – September 2010

ZigBee Alliance, an association of technology companies, has named Larry Taylor as the head of its new European Officer and Director of European Standards Development. Taylor will lead a Cambridge, UK based team in expanding efforts in addressing the European Union’s needs in energy management standards and smart grid activities.
Renewable Energy Generation| EUROPE

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