Big Data is getting popular, fast. As electric utilities accelerate their smart-grid rollouts, a potentially massive market is growing at the intersection of cleantech and IT. Hardware vendors, software vendors, and utilities themselves are rapidly moving beyond the notion of their core business of distributing electric power efficiently to consumers.
The trend that will shape the market in 2012 and beyond lies in analyzing the massive amount of data that is being collected about energy consumption. As Jeff St. John noted, “Simply put, smart meters were never meant to just serve as two-way communicating digital cash registers.”
Data and analytics is also the topic of Thursday night’s Clean Energy Connections panel, “Power in Numbers: Capitalizing on the Data of Cleantech.” Moderated by Greentech Media’s President, Rick Thompson, speakers include:
- Domenic Armano, Director, Strategy & Innovation, Johnson Controls
- Mark Smith, Director of Marketing, Efficiency 2.0
- Michael Harrington, Manager, Targeted Demand Side Management, Con Edison
We will be live-streaming the panel in this article and on Greentech Media.
Intelligent analytics has helped to evolve industries -- and associated products and services -- from IT to healthcare to air travel. The same will hold true for the electric power industry, as data is becoming the currency for market transformation. Now that intelligent communications networks and nodes are being deployed throughout our nation’s distribution grids, large amounts of new data need to be collected, stored, managed, and analyzed.
From grid infrastructure analytics to consumer analytics, the true power of this data is yet to be realized. Along the way, as seen in other markets, there will be privacy and security issues, as well as questions regarding the ownership of the data itself and ultimately how the data can be used to the advantage of service providers and consumers.
Questions surround the emergence of this industry. What does this influx of data mining mean for the future of cleantech? How can innovative companies harness smart grid data to grow their businesses? How can data make existing clean-energy technology better?