The global smart energy market will see seven vendors rising up above the rest, to capitalize on the new era of clean energy production with an added layer of digitization as the Industrial Internet of Things. The seven leading vendors were determined by a study done by Technavio, which considered energy companies that provided services in "smart-grid, HEMS, digital oil fields" and leading solar technologies, all in the name of clean and smart energy production. The efficiency of these power companies was also considered. Technavio estimates that these seven vendors will lead the market from 2016 to 2020. Thus, we begin our series titled Global Smart Energy 2016 to 2020 and catch up with these seven energy companies to see the work they are doing in energy sectors and to see what qualifies them as the top vendors for global smart energy. 

GE Energy (General Electric)

The company has set a Guinness World Record for the most efficient combined-cycle power plant in the world. The plants use steam and gas turbines to produce energy with little to none carbon emissions. Heavy duty gas turbines are being utilized more than ever due to the political discouragement in using fossil fuel technologies. The company, in collaboration with EDF Energy, opened the plant in France on June 17, 2016. The plant is able to achieve full output in 30 minutes, providing energy to those who need it with minimal outages. It converts gas to electricity with 62.22% efficiency. 680,000 homes will be powered by the plant. It's called the HA gas turbine and produces 605 MegaWatts at a low cost. Combined-cycle power plants are able to produce 50 percent more electricity than the conventional power plants utilizing fossil fuels today. 

EIT Stock ImageGE Energy vision for the future is automated substations that produce energy around the clock and do it with unbridled efficiency. The company says: "The Digital Power plant is GE's vision for the future of power generation. The Digital Power Plant combines the world's most adaptable and reliable gas turbines with an exceedingly agile digital infrastructure, and leverages a suite of highly innovative, intelligent apps for the could and the edge built for the Industrial Internet." 

GE recently launched GE Ventures. The "offshoot" of GE announced that they had purchased a stake in a German battery company named Sonnen GmbH. The joint venture between the two companies is a strategic move for GE, who want to create what they call the "utility of the future". 

The company has also recently announced IoT-enabled air conditioners that consumers can monitor and change with a smartphone app.