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8 Leading Smart Grid Companies: Discover the Future of Energy [2024 Edition]

Many energy grids throughout the world still depend on old technology, which results in a high amount of energy loss and is not well equipped to handle multiple energy sources.

Many top smart grid companies are integrating new technologies capable of harnessing renewable energy and seamlessly streamlining energy distribution.

Smart grid technology is designed to make energy more affordable, more secure, and more sustainable.

There are great benefits that come with smart grids, but initial investment is extremely high, and energy storage poses some unique challenges of its own.

We have put together a smart grid companies list from around the world, highlighting their efforts to transform old grids into new and reliable smart grids.

We have included some inspiring startups in our list who are making an impact on how energy can be better monitored and managed for a greener energy future.

Let’s jump right in!

What is a Smart Grid?

A smart grid is essentially an upgraded conventional electricity grid that integrates digital technology and software to improve the efficacy and performance of existing grids while supporting a low-carbon future.

Broadly speaking, a smart grid is a digitalized, decentralized, and decarbonized electricity network capable of managing generation and consumption while efficiently incorporating new clean energy generators into the grid.

Smart grids function with digital technology to provide two-way communication between the utility provider and consumers, and sensing along the transmission lines is what makes the grid smart.

In contrast to traditional power grids, a smart grid integrates intelligent devices, sensors, and monitoring systems for the continuous collection of real-time data.

This functionality enables more effective management of energy resources. Notably, digital technology enables two-way communication between utilities and consumers, fostering informed decision-making, enhanced energy conservation practices, and the seamless integration of renewable energy sources into the grid infrastructure.

The technology incorporated into a smart grid also isolates problems on the grid to prevent large-scale blackouts.

Consumers can manage their own electricity usage, particularly during peak periods and times when costs are elevated.

Watch this video by Scientific American to see how smart power grids were established in the United States:

Looking Ahead: Smart Grid Market Forecast

Electricity generation and consumption are increasing exponentially to meet the needs of ever-growing global populations and the industries that service them.

Electricity generation worldwide is expected to be more than double the current rate by 2050.

Smart grid networks allow the exchange of real-time information between suppliers and users through the deployment of smart meters.

In 2022, the worldwide smart grid market had an estimated worth of 49.7 billion U.S. dollars. The market is predicted to witness a steady growth rate of around 17.4% per annum and is projected to attain a value of nearly 130 billion U.S. dollars by 2028, as per the forecast.

In order to accomplish the aim of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, there is a necessity to increase investment in smart grids by over two times by 2030.

The digital infrastructure targets electricity transmission and distribution, with investments in smart meters, automation and management systems, networking and communications, analytics, transformers, and public charging units for electric vehicles.

Smart meters, automation, and management accounted for the largest investment of 13.7 billion U.S. dollars.

Annual global investments in smart meters increased steadily between 2015 and 2021 when they amounted to 21.4 billion U.S. dollars.

Pros & Cons: Smart Grid Benefits and Challenges

Implementing a smart grid is a slow and meticulous process that presents many challenges but is highly rewarding.

Pros: Smart Grid Advantages

The advantages of transitioning to a smart grid are not immediately noticed but once the technology has been implemented and tested, these advantages become more apparent.

  • Automatic load balancing: This is one of the main advantages of converting to a smart grid, as automatic load balancing reduces the likelihood of equipment failure based on varying load conditions. Controlled Demand-Response reduces stress on the smart grid system during peak conditions, which reduces the probability of failure.
  • Increased Efficiency of Electrical Transmission: Smart grids regulate electrical transmission using intelligent technologies that reduce power wastage during distribution. This streamlines the efficiency of electrical transmission and is a cost-saving exercise that also reduces meter reading costs and maintenance costs.
  • Utilization of renewable energy: Smart grids are designed to integrate renewable energy into the grid better. This helps to provide power to localized areas without congesting transmission lines from power stations.
  • Reduces electricity theft as transmission lines are monitored.
  • Reduces sustained outages and reduces associated restoration costs.
  • Reduces emissions, which benefits the environment.
  • Reduces oil usage and prevents wide-scale blackouts by containing issues as they arise.
  • A smart grid is capable of meeting increased consumer demand without the need to expand the infrastructure.
  • Reduced blackouts and forced outages.
  • A smart grid can detect and identify equipment that is on the verge of failure. It performs continuous self-assessments to detect, analyze, respond to, and restore grid components or network sections.

Cons: Smart Grid Challenges

Some fundamental challenges impede the transition to a smart grid.

  • The initial costs to transition to a smart grid are high and require significant investment. This includes creating transmission networks to enable continuous two-way communication between the utility and customers.
  • Smart grid technologies create vast amounts of complicated data that is mostly unstructured and needs to be stored and analyzed for critical insights.
  • During emergencies, network congestion or maintaining optimum performance can create challenges.
  • Some smart meters can be tampered with and hacked, potentially placing strain on the power demand.
  • Installing smart meters is expensive compared to traditional electricity meters.

8 Best Smart Grid Companies to Watch in 2024

Itron, Inc. logo

Itron, Inc.

HQ Location
Washington, USA
Founded
1977
Num. of Employees
5,001-10,000
Itron, Inc. Homepage

Itron, Inc. is a U.S.-based company that provides technology and services. It is headquartered in Liberty Lake, Washington.

The company assists utilities and cities in reliably delivering critical infrastructure solutions to communities in more than 100 countries.

Their portfolio of smart networks, software, services, meters, and sensors helps utilities better manage electricity, gas, and water resources.

Its smart grid solutions provide measurable benefits. These smart grid solutions are used to forecast about 80% of electricity demand and usage in North America.

On the 5th of January 2018, Itron, Inc. completed its acquisition of Silver Spring Networks, a provider of smart grid products.

With this acquisition, Itron has strengthened its ability to deliver a broader set of solutions to smart city and industrial IoT markets and provides their customers with greater choice and flexibility to improve operations and services.


Siemens logo

Siemens

HQ Location
Munich, Germany
Founded
1847
Num. of Employees
10,001+
Siemens Homepage

Siemens is a global technology conglomerate headquartered in Munich and Berlin, Germany.

The company provides intelligent energy solutions to integrate old power grid technology with new smart grid technology to ensure a more flexible, sustainable power grid.

In 2022, Esri, a global company that specializes in geographic information systems and location intelligence, teamed up with Siemens Smart Infrastructure, which is based in California.

The partnership aims to broaden Siemens’ ecosystem of partners for its grid software business.

To keep up with the evolving grid, Siemens employs digital technologies and IoT solutions.

Siemens Xcelerator forms the architecture of all applications in the Siemens Grid Software Suite, which focuses primarily on ensuring reliable and consistent grid management, which translates to a more reliable, cost-effective, flexible, safe, and sustainable smart grid.

One of Siemens’ key innovations is the Siemens Smart Infrastructure Digital Grid.

This comprehensive platform integrates multiple technologies and systems to create a seamless and intelligent network.

The Digital Grid is designed to optimize the performance, efficiency, and reliability of energy, transportation, and water systems.

The system utilizes the Internet of Things (IoT), big data analytics, and collecting and analyzing real-time data from various sources using AI.This data is then used to enhance the performance of related infrastructure systems.


Cisco logo

Cisco

HQ Location
San Jose California, USA
Founded
1984
Num. of Employees
10,001+
Cisco Homepage

Cisco is based in San Jose, California · U.S., and offers a portfolio of technology innovations that includes networking, security, collaboration, cloud management, and much more.

Cisco’s Distribution Automation solutions use data communication infrastructure to remotely monitor and control the electrical distribution grid.

Operators collect and analyze Real-time power distribution and consumption data, and predictive data is forwarded to utilities.

Cisco also provides threat protection, detection, and remediation for the grid and related assets.

In 2009, Cisco launched a Smart Grid Ecosystem with more than 25 partners geared to facilitate the adoption of Internet Protocol (IP)-based communications standards for smart grids.

This initiative enables the development of an end-to-end, highly secure smart grid communications infrastructure.

This assists utility companies and their customers in optimizing energy supply and demand, improving smart grid security and reliability, and reducing operational costs.


AmpereHour Energy logo

AmpereHour Energy

HQ Location
Maharashtra, India
Founded
2017
Num. of Employees
51-200
AmpereHour Energy

AmpereHour Energy is based in Pune, Maharashtra, India, and provides state-of-the-art, plug-and-play Li-ion-based energy storage systems in various configurations.

AmpereHour’s energy management platform, ELINA, allows continuous remote monitoring and control of energy storage and mini-grid assets.

AmpereHour’s Ah-Stack is a Li-ion energy storage stack that can be customized to meet different power and energy needs.

It is portable and scalable and has been used in various applications such as rural off-grid microgrids, distribution networks, behind-the-meter solar systems, and standalone setups.


SparkMeter logo

SparkMeter

HQ Location
Washington, DC, USA
Founded
2013
Num. of Employees
11-50
SparkMeter Homepage

SparkMeter is a company based in Washington, DC that offers enabling technology for utilities and governments to design and implement plans that deliver decarbonization and universal access to electricity.

They provide low-cost metering systems for rural microgrids and existing urban central grid utilities.

AmpereHour’s energy management platform, ELINA, allows continuous remote monitoring and control of energy storage and mini-grid assets.

AmpereHour’s Ah-Stack is a Li-ion energy storage stack that can be customized to meet different power and energy needs.

It is portable and scalable and has been used in various applications such as rural off-grid microgrids, distribution networks, behind-the-meter solar systems, and standalone setups.


Syndem logo

Syndem

HQ Location
Willowbrook, Illinois, USA
Founded
2017
Num. of Employees
2-10
Syndem Homepage

Syndem is a startup based in Chicago, U.S. The company develops and provides technologies that strengthen all power electronics-interfaced suppliers.

The company’s vision is to make power systems stable, reliable, secure, and sustainable worldwide.

In 2020, Syndem was selected by the U.S. Department of Energy for collaboration on a project titled “Synchronized and Democratized Smart Grids with High Penetration of Solar Energy.”

Syndem was commissioned to develop a new grid architecture that can enable high levels of solar integration without compromising grid stability and security.

The Syndem smart grid research and educational package serves as a power electronic converter, contributing to the improvement of grid integration research and education across various renewable energy sources.


EdgeGrid logo

EdgeGrid

HQ Location
Telangana, India
Founded
2022
Num. of Employees
11-50
EdgeGrid Homepage

EdgeGrid is a smart grid startup headquartered in Telangana, India, that delivers clean energy using its digitally connected energy network.

The company is focused on clean, renewable energy, and its mission is to have one platform and create a shared-energy ecosystem to transition to climate-friendly power.

Its clean-tech platform connects utilities with individuals, businesses, and distribution companies that require energy services.

With their apps, organizations can take control of their consumption, supply possibilities, costs, new income opportunities, and impact on the climate.


Octopus Energy logo

Octopus Energy

HQ Location
London, UK
Founded
2018
Num. of Employees
1,001-5,000
Octopus Energy Homepage

Octopus Energy is based in London, England, and powers homes in the UK, Germany, the USA, Japan, Spain, Italy, France, and New Zealand with green energy.

They manage over 400 green energy generators, predominantly wind and solar farms. At full capacity, Octopus sites currently generate enough green energy to power 2.1 million homes.

Octopus Energy developed a cloud-based smart grid platform. It provides fair prices to consumers in the form of greener energy from the UK’s largest investor in solar generation.

The company uses an innovative AI and data-based platform to balance loads on the grid. They install affordable heat pumps, EV chargers, smart meters, and smart energy hardware to build the homes of the future.

Conclusion

Smart grid technology is changing the face of electricity management. This has given old grid infrastructure a new lease of life as the strain on these systems is greatly reduced.

Thanks to the two-way communication between the utility provider and end-users tapped into smart grids, energy is more affordable and less prone to outages.

The technological advancements introduced by many top power grid companies go beyond simply supplying electricity.

These technologies provide hope for future generations as their central focus is on sustainable, clean, and renewable energy.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are smart grids important?

Transitioning to clean energy increases electricity demand placing greater demands on power grids. Smart grid technologies help to manage this transition while reducing the need for costly new grid infrastructure. Smart grid technologies also help to make grids more reliable.

How does the smart grid work?

Smart grids use the Internet of Things (IoT) technology and other technologies to add intelligence and monitoring to every node. The real-time sharing of data allows the system to know when and how electricity is being used, and provide an immediate response to grid conditions.

What is FLISR and what is a “self-healing” grid?

FLISR stands for Fault Location, Isolation, and Service Restoration which refers to the grid's self-healing ability. A smart grid can identify faults using communication diagnostics, isolate a failure accurately, and react. It can then reconfigure the flow of electricity, and re-energize parts of the grid, while protecting the power infrastructure.

References

UK Power Networks: What is a Smart Grid?

SmartGrid.gov: The Smart Grid

RF Wireless World: Advantages of Smart Grid / Disadvantages of Smart Grid

Itron: Itron Completes Acquisition of Silver Spring Networks to Drive Innovation and Growth in IoT

Power Grid International: Cisco launches Smart Grid Ecosystem with more than 25 partners

Statista: Smart grids worldwide – statistics & facts

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