“Energy… is one of the key cleantech subsectors that will help lead to future manufacturing and job creation.” Wise – and true! – words from Jon Dogterom, Practice Lead for Cleantech at MaRS. On January 25, Jon moderated the discussion at the event, MaRS Market Insights – Ontario Smart Grid Opportunities in the Electrical Utility Sector.

The event saw the launch of an infographic that highlights the entrepreneurial technologies that promise to transform our electricity grid, helping to make it more efficient and reliable, and resulting in the growth of manufacturing and job creation. The infographic is part of Ontario Utilities and the Smart Grid: Is there room for innovation? – a white paper that highlights where utilities’ smart grid policies and technologies now stand and where they are heading.

Panelists at the event included Brian Warshay of Lux Research, Alex Bettencourt of SmartGrid Canada, John Mulrooney of PowerStream Inc., and Jon Norman of the Ontario Ministry of Energy. All panelists gave great presentations on the future of the grid and how new technologies fit into it.

Some of the key takeaways:

  • There are global market opportunities for smart grid technologies that will be implemented on the grid
  • There is a thirst for data, which will drive adoption
  • Utilities are the focus of a lot of research since, in the coming decade, they will be providing almost three-quarters of the investment in smart grid technologies around the world
  • Our infrastructure is aging; conservation is key and required for a clean economy; outages cost money
  • The smart grid sets the foundation for future technology

Jon Norman wrapped up the panelist presentations on a hopeful note. He said, “In Ontario alone…[it is] estimated that we would be investing about $390 million per year over the next five years on smart grid projects…[there is] a lot of tremendous innovation that we’ve seen and is represented here.”

The smart grid is evolving. The white paper and infographic demonstrate what the future of the industry holds. Check out the video of the event to see for yourself where we’re headed!

Sarah Lenarcic

Sarah helps make sure our cleantech clients have a great experience with our cleantech practice at MaRS. See more…