While a lot of the attention has been focused on gadgets, software and services that will convince the consumer to engage with home energy management, an untapped area for opportunity for startups and incumbent players alike will be utility applications. That was one of the themes that came out of our Smart Grid Bunker Session we held last week in San Francisco (see videos here) and which I’ve focused on for an article on GigaOM Pro (subscription required).
Here’s the idea: Utilities will be faced with managing 3,000 times more information on a daily basis when smart grids are built out, said Warren Weiss, Managing Director of Foundation Capital. This massive amount of data will force smart grid networks to ultimately be based on distributing computing and machine-to-machine networks, like most modern broadband and communications networks. That’s a big leap from the mainframe, point-to-point, often times manual, systems that utilities currently have, pointed out Andy Tang, Senior Director of the Smart Grid for PG&E last week.