January 13 2009 / by Garry Golden
Category: Energy Year: 2010 Rating: 4 Hot
2009 might turn out to be a great year to be a startup involved in 'smart' energy solutions that tap the power of software, sensors, microcontrollers and storage systems.
Energy bloggers are all talking about 2009 as the 'Year of the Smart Grid', and energy analysts expect to see major public-private investments over the next two years in efficiency and energy management.
We have written about visions of a 'smart' planet being promoted by companies like IBM, Honeywell and Johnson Controls. But now we have the first major '09 investment in start up Sentilla, which has raised $7.5 million to deliver solutions for commercial and industrial facilities.
It might be premature to call Sentilla a 'smart energy' startup since its vision is much broader than electricity. It's future growth is based on a vision of an 'embedded object' world often described as 'Pervasive' or 'Ubiquitious' computing. In this future every object has built in awareness, intelligence and networked capabilities (e.g. Zigbee). Sentilla's offerings span energy managment, safety and security, and logistics/asset managment. But in 2009, selling themselves as a 'smart energy' company might be the best route!
Related posts on The Energy Roadmap.com
By Ami Sampat
Ecobee, the makers of the Smart Thermostat announced new sales offices opening in California and New England. The Smart Thermostat allows for the consumer to save time, energy, and money by controlling the thermostat of their home through touch screen programming and a personalized web portal.
Interest in Ecobee’s newest offices is taking off. “Our Regional Sales Managers on both coasts have been very busy due to the company’s phenomenal start,” says Ecobee CEO Stuart Lombard.
Why is this important to the future?
Ecobee’s products symbolize a new wave of the future of appliances where we actively manage our energy appliances. With the Smart Thermostat, consumers have greater awareness and more control of when systems are used, for how long, and at what cost. This type of awareness, knowledge, and control over energy systems is fundamental in making an environmental and energy-centric change.
What to Watch
Keep a look out for appliances to be ‘smarter’ in the near future as companies integrate sensors, microcontrollers, and web-based software to create new levels of control that helps costumers save energy and money. The booming pre-sales of the Smart Thermostat is a positive indicator that people are thinking in the direction of a change.
Johnson Controls is quietly becoming one of the most relevant companies in the new energy world. And while it is often off the radar of most cleantech and eco-enthusiasts it might have the best set of tools and systems to accelerate our shift into a new energy economy based on software, sensors and micro-controllers. And it is possible that by mid century Johnson Controls could be behind some of the most measurable advances in energy efficiencies on the planet.
Reinventing itself for the 21st Century
Johnson Controls is one of those companies that touches our lives every time we drive our cars or step into a building. Yet it remains an obscure industrial brand to most consumers.
But make no mistake about it, Johnson Controls is massive and by most accounts it sees the future quite clearly. Its 140,000 employees stretch across 1,300 locations with clients in 125 countries. It has been around since 1885 and understands the need to change and reinvent itself as the world transforms its major industries.
Today, Johnson Controls touches almost every aspect of mechanical life with its systems used inside vehicles, buildings and industrial appliances. And, without sounding too much like a love fest or a stock endorsement, this is a company that could change the world dramatically in years ahead around electric vehicles, smart infrastructure and building systems.
Electrification of the World’s Vehicle Fleet