One of the oldest smart grid technology companies, Silver Spring Networks, is set to go public this week after putting off its IPO for almost two years (see “The 50 Most Innovative Companies: 2011”), even as other cleantech companies continue to struggle on public markets.
Silver Spring Networks provides smart meter networking equipment and services to some of the largest U.S. utilities. Though it has had strong sales, it has never posted a profit since it was founded in 2002. Its revenues actually declined from 2011 to 2012, from $237 to $197 million. Some of that struggle has been because smart meter adoption has slowed, an almost inevitable outcome since the major boost the sector received from the U.S. federal stimulus in 2009. In addition to that, according to financial filings, negative publicity, consumer opposition, and regulatory investigations have also hurt smart-grid related sales.
Still, a securely networked grid is viewed to be crucial to the large-scale adoption of electric cars, solar and wind power electricity, and demand-response energy efficiency programs that encourage people to turn their ACs down in the middle of a hot summer day, for example, by showing them pricing information. One way Silver Spring Networks will look to grow is by selling more software and services in these so-called advanced metering areas, because they provide recurring revenue (see “Silver Spring Networks Liberates Smart Meter Data”). Doing so successfully could not only be good for Silver Spring Networks’ current and future investors, but could help boost the broader clean energy market as well.
Here’s how a Twitter engineer says it will break in the coming weeks
One insider says the company’s current staffing isn’t able to sustain the platform.
Technology that lets us “speak” to our dead relatives has arrived. Are we ready?
Digital clones of the people we love could forever change how we grieve.
How to befriend a crow
I watched a bunch of crows on TikTok and now I'm trying to connect with some local birds.
Starlink signals can be reverse-engineered to work like GPS—whether SpaceX likes it or not
Elon said no thanks to using his mega-constellation for navigation. Researchers went ahead anyway.
Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review
Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.