Aug 8, 2014

Top 10 Companies with the Most Smart Grid Patents

Green Tech
Top 10
2 min
Research group Relecura recently release a report of the companies with the most smart grid patents. Here's the top 10, with the number of patent...

Research group Relecura recently release a report of the companies with the most smart grid patents. Here's the top 10, with the number of patents next to each company's name. 

10. Current Tech (146)
The Germantown, Maryland company is putting a lot of stock in smart grid projects. The company’s BPL network integrates with various smart grids to improve energy efficiency through monitoring and analysis.

9. Eaton (150)
Eaton is focused on various aspects of the smart grid, including grid-connected buildings, homes, and factories. Its range of work encompasses both commercial and residential markets.

8. Sumitomo Electric Industries (188)
Sumitomo Electric Industries are focused on micro smart grids. Micro grids are often desirable since they allow power to be generated in a concentrated area not near a large grid.

7. Itron (280)
Itron looks to solve problems with their smart grids and provide businesses and utilities a better energy experience overall. It also believes that smart grids will help support a more energy-efficient future.

6. LG Electronics (390)
LG’s Smart ThinQ products are connecting the home with the grid at large. Be it your fridge, washer and dryer, or over, they allow both consumers and the smart grid to be connected at all time in order to maximize energy efficiency and ultimately savings for the consumer.

5. Toshiba (406)
Toshiba is “aggressively” developing energy systems they call “all-encompassing,” as they will eventually connect all forms of energy, making everything run more efficiently. For Toshiba, this includes integrating the conventional commercial grid with newer, smaller grids and renewable energy.

4. Siemens (526)
Siemens is a major player in the smart grid industry and offers a range of smart grid solutions, from monitoring centers to security. It’s also working to incorporate mass transit onto the grid, as many of the world’s transit systems receive upgrades.

3. Panasonic (882)
Panasonic primarily offers smart grid solutions in the form of PV generation systems and smart meters. They also are a player in power storage.

2. General Electric (923)
GE integrates two different infrastructures with its smart grid: the electrical infrastructure and the information infrastructure. The company is working to make electricity more efficient by using the data collected from the smart grid to analyze and improve its efforts.

1. ABB (1085)
ABB has a number innovative smart grid projects underway. Working around the world, ABB is helping implement smart grid technology for a wide swath of people. ABB is focused on not just grids, but smart cities. Using smart grid technology, ABB hopes to make energy monitoring and usage easier for residential and business customers. They essentially are aiming to take the smart grid beyond just the grid. 

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Mar 20, 2020

Top 10 ways to prepare for COVID-19

Georgia Wilson
3 min
Energy Digital sets out Gartner’s Top 10 ways organisations can prepare for a pandemic, via effective operational risk management
Energy Digital sets out Gartner’s To...

Energy Digital sets out Gartner’s Top 10 ways organisations can prepare for a pandemic, via effective operational risk management. 

As the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to develop, many businesses are left uncertain as to whether their risk mitigation plan is sufficient. 

In a recent webinar conducted by the research and advisory firm just 12% of 1,500 people believe that their business is highly prepared for the impact of COVID-19, while 56% believed themselves to be somewhat prepared, and 11% believed themselves to be very unprepared. 

“Most organizations have done some pandemic planning but still have many unanswered questions about whether they have done everything they can to manage risks,” says Jim Mello, Senior Director, Advisory, Gartner. 

Establish a preparedness framework

Establish a team that represents all critical business functions. These people will report directly to executive management and are responsible for prioritising the importance of business activities and organise them in tiers for response and recovery.

Monitor the situation

It is important to ensure that organisations monitor the rate in which the infection is spreading and its severity. Many rely on the World Health Organisation for information.

Revise finance

Be sure to revise revenue forecasts and communicate with investors, as well as suppliers in regards to any potential finance issues. It is important to ensure that the business has the working capital to ride it out. 

Ways to ensure this include: working capital checks, seeking loans or government-sponsored financial relief.

Extend personal hygiene and cleaning protocols

It is important to comply with any changes to workplace regulations. In addition, it is important to establish protocols for staff returning from infected areas, as well as extending existing hygiene activities.

Review HR 

Ensure close monitoring of absenteeism rates for signs of problems. It is important to identify critical staff in order to make sure the company can continue to function in their absence and be prepared for up to 40% absentee rates.

In addition to reviewing HR policies and procedures, it is important to maintain a level of sensitivity when it comes to engaging with employees and workplace preferences. 


Establish a communication programme

People can feel out of the loop quickly. Establish a spokesperson appropriate for the situation who can maintain lines of communication. In addition, organisations should establish pre-approved messages and scripts for various stakeholders.

Review the impact on the operation

Although this may seem overwhelming, the team established to represent all critical business functions should identify key areas to consider. It is important to maintain a connection with the reality on the ground in countries affected.

Key questions to consider: is transport functioning? Have holidays been extended? Where can operation continue and where do they need to stop?

Review IT 

IT business functions tend to be relatively well-prepared for business continuity. However, it is important to assess the supply chain for critical equipment and keep extra inventory if required.

In addition, organisations should keep in mind remote data centre management and cloud options for critical systems as well as enabling remote working programs and rescheduling any non-essential IT work prioritising key applications. 

Review pandemic plans to identify any gaps in response

Conduct a preparedness exercise by validating roles and responsibilities as well as recovery requirements and procedures, in order to identify any gaps in the recover capabilities and resource needs.

Review after-action

Following the establishment of a pandemic plan, identify three lessons learned, key observations or improvements for the exercise. After establishing these organisations should priorities the short and long term follow up actions.

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