I’m encouraged by many of the end-of-year stories coming out of the greentech community. Most of them argue that the “smart grid” will be a major story in 2009, and as my own year-end musings show I couldn’t agree more. In fact, my final story of the year is about the smart grid and its inevitable coming into being. Much of my story is through the seasoned eyes of Marzio Pozzuoli, founder and CEO of Woodbridge, Ontario-based RuggedCom Inc., the leading supplier of hardened communications gear to utilities around the world. In other words, RuggedCom sells routers, switches and wireless equipments for electrical substations. As more of this gear is installed we begin to see the grid as an extensive two-way communications network, able to collect and transmit information to where it’s needed. The next step? Creating the software and setting up the systems that can organize, analyze and ultimately act on the information collected in a way that improves the efficiency, reliability and self-healing capability of our electricity system and makes integration of renewables and distributed generation much easier. No wonder the likes of IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Cisco, Oracle, Microsoft, Google and other giants of the IT sector are beginning to take notice and position themselves in what promises to be a massive market.
Anyway, check out the story. Also, here are two other recent stories about the smart grid you might enjoy: Greentech Media and Technology Review. For your further reading pleasure, check out a new report from the Electric Power Research Institute and an excellent smart-grid technology overview released in September by the U.S. Department of Energy.
UPDATE: Perhaps it’s just a coincidence that this happened with the publication of my smart grid story, but RuggedCom’s stock shot up 25 per cent today and hit a 52-week high. There are not many companies ending 2008 who can claim they’re trading at a 52-week high!