Is the Smart Grid IT Vendors' New Cash Cow?

Is the Smart Grid IT Vendors' New Cash Cow?

The Smart Grid will certainly help greeen the planet. But increasingly, IT vendors are looking to it for another kind of green --- cash. Multiple billions of dollars are at stake annually.

Cisco, IBM, and other big-name IT vendors have already targeted the Smart Grid. But there are plenty of other vendors in the hunt for Smart Grid market share that might surprise you. Take Siemens, for example. Siemens is in IT as well as industries such as building technology, motors, automation, and others. Increasingly, it's targeting energy as well.

The firm has set sizable goals for itself when it comes to the Smart Grid --- €6 billion annually by 2014, according to the Web site Reliable Plant.

The site notes that Siemens already has Smart Grid-related orders of nearly €1 billion in the current fiscal year. It also claims that:

The market being addressed by Siemens totals around €30 billion over the coming five years. Siemens is aiming at seven percent annual growth and a market share of over 20 percent in the Smart Grid business.

Siemens isn't alone, of course. One bit of proof of that is the response that the U.S. Department of Energy received for federal dollars to fund projects related to the Smart Grid. The New York Times reports that

a Department of Energy program to distribute $615 million to fund projects demonstrating smart-grid technology had attracted 140 proposals requesting a total of $2.3 billion.