The four big utilities in California get together every year to check some of the latest solutions developed by start-ups. PG&E hosted the Emerging Technology Coordinating Council (ETCC) Open Forum in San Francisco last week. It was an opportunity to get a heart beat in the smart grid sector while private investments in start-ups have taken a dive.
I was expecting to see a mixture of utility strategy executives and product managers along with investors, similarly to the Telecom Council that used to meet regularly in Silicon Valley ten years ago. Apart from a few angel investors, the room was packed with technical personnel. The Q&A discussion following the presentation of the fourteen selected companies was of high quality as a result, but it got me thinking about where the smart grid sector is going.