The Cleantech Group’s Smart Grid practice covers the increasing sophistication and intelligence of the energy grid from the point of generation to the point of use. While smart grid has become synonymous with smart metering (or AMI, advanced metering initiatives), the installation of two-way communicating meters are only one piece of a wide range of solutions intended to make energy transmission and distribution more efficient and reliable. The Smart Grid is an increasingly diverse value chain from solutions tying utilities more closely to users to enable energy management or demand response to vendors developing distribution automation solutions and more comprehensive control systems.
Cleantech Group’s Smart Grid Value Chain
The market is home to a variety of vendors competing for a slice of increased utility spending on smart grid applications:
Legacy power systems vendors: GE, ABB, Schneider Electric, Siemens, Itron, Landis+Gyr, and many others who have large established customer bases and are expanding throughout the value chain through acquisitions, investments, and product development.
Venture-backed Entrants: Companies such as Silver Spring Networks, OPower, Tendril Networks, Trilliant, and SmartSync have raised significant amounts of capital to provide new solutions to utilities sometimes in partnership with incumbents, other times in direction competition.
IT Stalwarts: Global IT and data networking companies such as Cisco, Oracle, IBM, and SAP all see large potential business in building the networks and intelligence that power future utility networks.
Cleantech Group has covered this entire spectrum of competitors extensively and was selected to produce the Department of Energy’s Smart Grid Vendor Ecosystem Report in 2010. We continue to monitor developments in the sector closely, cataloging the key transactions reshaping the market and the key partnerships forming throughout the grid.
Greg Neichin, VP of Research and Advisory
Greg is the Head of Cleantech Group’s Research & Advisory business, as well as serving as the company’s lead of Smart Grid. Greg has personally authored a variety of publications including the U.S. DOE’s 2010 Smart Grid Vendor Ecosystem Review. Greg brings to his smart grid research an extensive background in software and data communications having helped build two successful venture-backed software-as-a-service companies (GetActive Software and PlaceVine), as well as managing Strategy & Business Development for Redback Networks. Greg has a B.A. in Economics and Government from Dartmouth College and an M.B.A. from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.
Sheeraz Haji, CEO
As CEO of Cleantech Group, Sheeraz Haji is one of the world’s most influential cleantech thought-leaders and trusted advisors to global companies and executives. Prior to joining the company, Sheeraz served for eight years as co-founder and CEO of GetActive, a venture-backed software-as-a-service, customer relationship management company. He led GetActive’s merger with Convio, then as Convio’s president built a company with 1,200 clients and 300 employees.
Sheeraz has also worked as a strategy consultant for McKinsey & Company; entrepreneur-in-residence (EIR) for El Dorado Ventures; operations executive for GMO, a global management investment firm; and product manager for Digital Impact (acquired by Acxiom). Sheeraz launched his career as an environmental engineer with Environ International. He has Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in environmental engineering from Brown University and Stanford University respectively. Sheeraz also holds dual U.S. and French citizenship.