IBM Joins Smart-grid Consortium

by | Feb 25, 2009

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IBM has joined the EDISON research consortium, a Denmark-based collaborative aimed at developing an intelligent infrastructure for large-scale adoption of electric vehicles powered by sustainable energy. EDISON stands for Electric Vehicles in a Distributed and Integrated Market using Sustainable Energy and Open Networks.

Electric vehicles require smart technologies to control charging and billing, and to ensure the stability of the overall energy system, reported the company. The first goal of the consortium, partly funded by the Danish government, is to develop smart technologies and to create a testbed to study how the energy system functions as the number of electric vehicles increases.

The Danish island of Bornholm, with an energy infrastructure characterized by a large proportion of wind energy, was chosen as the testbed site. Researchers from IBM Denmark and from IBM’s Zurich Research Laboratory will develop smart technologies that synchronize the charging of the electric vehicles with the availability of wind in the grid. IBM has also contributed a hardware platform to the Technical University of Denmark that will be used for large-scale, real-time simulations of the energy system and the impact of electric vehicles. Click here for more information about IBM’s smart utilities.

In light of infrastructure investments at the forefront of many global economic stimulus packages, IBM Global Business Services also released a new report, “Lighting the Way: Understanding the smart energy consumer,” that reveals that consumers worldwide are willing to become more involved with managing their energy use.

This translates into technology developments that will modernize the power grid to provide consumers with the information to understand their energy usage and take actions to reduce wasteful use and integrate renewable energy sources, according to the study.

A key finding shows that more than 90 percent of respondents would like smart meters and tools for managing their energy usage. Over 40 percent of consumers are actively seeking new ways to interact with their utility company, and up to 70 percent are willing to at minimum experiment with new programs and services.

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