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Open source is the heart of innovation. It allows software developers to quickly bring ideas to the marketplace faster.

The U.S. Department office of Energy and Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s (EERE) is dedicated to moving America towards clean, affordable and secure energy. To accomplish its mission, EERE relies, in part, on open source projects. The organization’s documented Open Source Strategy is indicative of the energy sector’s reliance on open source software solutions.

In addition, renewable energy is the fastest-growing global energy source, according to the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions. In 2015, 24% of the world’s energy came from such sources as biomass, geothermal, solar, hydro, wind and biofuels. Economists predict the industry will increase to 31% by 2040. A number of energy companies and Open Invention Network members — including Hitachi, Johnson Controls, Yaskawa Electric Corporation and Pepperl+Fuchs are currently building solutions, which rely on open source tools to optimize their operations and reduce costs.

Industry News

The Linux Foundation Launches LF Energy to Improve Worldwide Renewable Energy and Grid Modernization
The Linux Foundation— a member of Open Invention Network and the organization of choice for the world’s top developers and companies to build ecosystems which accelerate open technology development and industry adoption — has announced its formation of LF Energy.

With support from other organizations dedicated to open source and patent non-aggression, LF Energy begins with four projects which will advance everything from smart assistants for system operators to smart grid controls software.

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Open Source is an Essential Part of APS’s Vision to Create a Sustainable Energy Future
Arizona Public Service (APS) — the largest electric utility in Arizona and the principal subsidiary of publicly-traded S&P 500 member Pinnacle West Capital Corporation— uses a balanced energy mix which is nearly 50% carbon-free.

With headquarters in Phoenix, Arizona, APS is the Southwest’s foremost producer of clean, safe and reliable electricity. The company is also a proven leader in introducing technology and services that offer customers choice and control over their energy consumption.

Why the Open Charge Alliance is Joining the Open Invention Network
By joining OIN, the Open Charge Alliance (OCA) is demonstrating its commitment to Open Source Software (OSS) as an enabler of electric vehicle (EV) charging and infrastructure systems. OCA will draw on OIN’s wealth of experience in enabling patent non-aggression in key markets to establish an OCA working group whose mission will be to enable patent non-aggression and spur higher levels of innovation across the EV infrastructure community. Through its collaboration with OIN, OCA is expected to reduce risk for developers and companies building and contributing to open standards for EV charging stations, which contributes to interoperability among stations and increasing consumer adoption of EVs.

The Open Charge Alliance is an international nonprofit organization advancing open standards for electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

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Hitachi Joins Open Invention Network
“Open source technology, especially Linux, drives innovation in areas that are critical to the customers that we serve, including technologies such as servers, storage, cloud, converged applications, big data and the Internet of Things (IoT),” said Norihiro Suzuki, Vice President and Certified Technology Officer (CTO) of Hitachi. “By joining Open Invention Network, we are demonstrating our continued commitment to open source technology and supporting it with patent non-aggression in Linux.”

Hitachi, Ltd. — headquartered in Tokyo, Japan — delivers innovations which answer society’s challenges, combining its operational technology, information technology and products by deploying Social Innovation Business and using digital technologies across a broad range of sectors, including Power/Energy, Industry/Distribution/Water, Urban Development and Finance/Social Infrastructure/Healthcare.

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Open Invention Network Demonstrates Its Leadership as the Largest Patent Non-Aggression Community by Surpassing 2,000 Licensees
Solar City Corporation and Yokogawa Electric Corporation have helped Open Invention Network’s community reach another milestone. Within only 18 months, OIN doubled the size of its community, which became 2,000 members strong. This reveals the growing importance of open source software, as well as the increased expectation for patent non-aggression in core Linux and open source technologies across industry sectors, including energy.

A subsidiary of Tesla, Inc. and headquartered in San Mateo, California, Solar City Corporation specializes in solar energy services, manufactures and installs residential and commercial solar panels throughout the U.S.

Founded in 1915, Yokogawa — a leading provider of industrial automation, test and measurement solutions — engages in broad-ranging activities in the areas of measurement, control and information by providing vital products, services and solutions to such industries as oil, chemicals, natural gas, power, iron and steel, and pulp and paper. The firm co-innovates with its customers through a global network of 113 companies across 61 countries.

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Yaskawa Joins Open Invention Network
Yaskawa Electric Corporation is a proponent of open source software solutions and a member of Open Invention Network. Its Robot Operating System (ROS) is one among one of the most successful platforms for robotics in the world, largely because it is an open source project.

Yaskawa is a Japanese manufacturer of servos, motion controllers, air conditioning motor drives, switches and industrial robots. The company also provides system engineering for energy systems, including energy conservation, disaster prevention, mega-solar systems, hybrid electrical generation systems and energy management systems.

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Pepperl+Fuch Joins Open Invention Network
Pepperl+Fuchs’ sensors are embedded in many of today’s renewable energy applications, including both wind and solar. The company uses open source software to make its innovations the industry’s “best” automation solutions and maintain its position in the marketplace as the world leader in sensing technology, intrinsic safety and explosion protection technology.

Pepperl+Fuchs — headquartered in Twinsburg, Ohio — began as a small radio workshop in Mannheim, Germany, based on the principles of inventiveness, entrepreneurial foresight and self-reliance. Seventy-three years later, it continues to embrace the same values.

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  • What the industry is saying…

    The Electric Vehicle Charging Industry is booming and has benefited greatly from the freedom to use open source software such as Linux in our systems. The Open Charge Alliance stands for open collaboration, open standards and is a strong supporter of OIN. We can’t have patent aggression slowing down innovation and market growth in this exciting new industry.
    Lonneke DriessenDirector, Open Charge Alliance

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