The smart grid industry is changing for a variety of reasons—including deregulation, proliferation of distributed generation (DG) installations, environmental concerns, and adoption of electric vehicles and energy storage systems. Today, a major component of the smart grid is the participation of proactive consumers who are adopting a DG system which will reshape the smart grid market and profoundly alter the traditional utility business model in the coming years.

Smart grid combines information technology with power transmission to benefit end-users in home, community, and nation. The smart grid’s ability to improve safety and efficiency, make better use of existing assets, enhance reliability and power quality, and reduce dependence on imported energy have a substantial economic value. This vast, interconnected system, with many new and emerging components and applications such as real-time pricing, load shedding, demand management, and integration of distributed, renewable power sources will change the face of energy sector for betterment.

Meanwhile, as the number of connected, internet-enabled devices increases dramatically, the level of complexity in the grid will rise to the point where automated protocols will be needed to maintain stability, and flexible designs will be required to enable the transfer of very large amounts of data while ensuring that the grid remains functional. There are a multitude of vendors who help enterprises with in-depth expertise in embracing smart grid for added benefits. In the last few months we have looked at scores of smart grid solution providers and have shortlisted the ones that are at the forefront of tackling challenges in the arena. A distinguished panel comprising CEOs, CIOs, VCs, Analysts and the editorial board of Energy CIO Insights selected the final 10.