By some accounts, the build-out of the smart grid could be the biggest driver of wealth within the decade and create an even larger market than the emergence of the Internet. And now, in the early rollout phase, thousands of startups and large tech vendors are moving aggressively to sell software, hardware, and consulting services to utilities that are trying to figure out the best way to design smart grid networks and tap into the Energy Department’s stimulus funds.
Sometimes making deals in this massive land grab can be more a matter of who a company knows than how advanced your product’s technology is. Here’s Earth2Tech’s top 15 most influential people in the smart grid space (listed alphabetically, not order of importance.) If you’ve got any of ‘em in your Rolodex, then you’re probably in pretty good shape.