More SWAN Forum: Cleantech Insights
Greg Neichin, of the cleantech group, just blogged here about his experience at the SWAN forum.
Greg begins by mentioning that more investment should go into water, since water is a big problem and the market is big. However, this hasn’t happened, with water investments at less than 5% of total cleantech investments. Greg argues that this is about to change – and to turn into a “steady rain” of investment…. (not a flood :-))
One of the reasons Greg cites are that smart water investments will lower the risk of investment – which makes sense. Instead of laying pipes in the ground, smart water lets you track the ROI of your water nework and optimize it, by the mere fact that you can track and monitor your investment, even in underground assets. Among the other reasons in Greg’s blog post, I’d like to point out his mention that some of the innovations from the smart electric grid are influencing the water sector. Here’s how he puts it:
“Many of the same issues that utilities have tackled in the electricity business – smart metering, distribution system monitoring, more sophisticated presentment of usage data – are beginning to get talked about in the water business. Not only are the problems the same, but many of the larger vendors are the same. Schneider Electric, Sensus, GE, Itron, Telvent, and others all work across multiple sectors. Even startups such as OPower that have built customer solutions for the electricity world are eyeing water from an interested distance. Helge Daebel, from Emerald Tech Ventures, one of the sharpest venture investors I’ve met in the water sector, astutely pointed out that construction of water infrastructure is perhaps the largest spend in the industry and is ripe for material innovation in areas like piping.”
We’ll continue posting about the SWAN forum and our SWAN insights of the smart water networks of the future.
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