For decades, power was something the average person did not think much about.
Until it went out. And then it was all you thought about...until it came back. Not any more.
In the UK, Government projections show that without new capacity generation, supply will not meet demand by 2016, whilst at the same time billions of pounds are wasted on energy that never reaches a single light bulb.
Climate change, rising energy prices and technology advances are all forces that have been reshaping the collective mindset of consumers, turning many from "passive ratepayers" to highly informed, environmentally conscious customers who want a role in using power. And now, with the emergence of the technologies that make smart grids possible, companies can provide their customers with the information and control they need to actually change their behaviour patterns and reduce usage and costs that show up on the utility bill.
Entering the digital age
IBM is helping utilities add a layer of digital intelligence to their grids. These smart grids use sensors, meters, digital controls and analytic tools to automate, monitor and control the two-way flow of energy across operations — from power plant to plug. A power company can optimise grid performance, prevent outages, restore outages faster and allow consumers to manage energy usage right down to the individual networked appliance.
Smart grids can also incorporate new renewable energies such as solar and wind power, and interact locally with distributed power sources, or plug-in electric vehicles.
A series of conversations for a smarter planet
IBM Smarter Trends
This new resource shares content on key issues such as: transport, energy, water and city development.
The Battery 500 project
seeks a new, "breathing" battery that dramatically increases the range an electric car can travel on a single charge — to at least 500 miles.
Energy Australia: a global intelligent network
See how Energy Australia is giving its 1.6 million customers the most reliable and high quality service.
Powering the City
See why cities must implement a smarter energy system to supply, produce and manage energy more effectively in the future.
Severn Trent Water
See how Severn Trent Water is improving quality and enhancing services while keeping customers’ bills low by running a £2.45 billion asset investment programme over five years.
Smarter Energy Virtual Briefing Centre
Energy companies around the world are implementing more efficient grids and finding creative approaches to saving energy. Register at the Smarter Energy Virtual Briefing Centre to watch presentations that feature industry experts and executives from innovative companies.
The series Transforming your utility network explains how IBM helped Hydro One Networks supply and deploy a Distribution Management System; enabled electricity distributor OnCor to implement a scalable security solution; and worked with CenterPoint Energy on a private wi-max network.
Intelligent Electric Vehicle Enablement discusses the future of electric vehicles and how technology and market development are adapting to integrate EVs with the electric grid.
Knowledge is power: Driving smarter energy usage through consumer education looks at ways utilities and other smart-grid advocates can inform consumers about managing their own energy usage to help meet future needs and expectations.
Recalibrating customer services
Smarter energy in the digital age
Turning the tide
Making the smart grid work
Business Analytics & Optimisation
Smart Grid feature stories
Analytics, asset management and other technologies are making wind farms smarter, adding momentum to this fast-growing industry.
The energy and auto industries are getting ready to take a road trip together toward e-mobility.
Get the latest thinking on strategies and solutions for securing the smart grid.
Micro grids. Smarter nuclear power. Grid security.
Download these three preview chapters to our new book: "Generating Insights — Accelerating into a New Era in Energy"
A collaboration between IBM and Kyoto Publishing
Realising a World Class Infrastructure – ICE’s Guiding Principles of Asset Management
Asset Management creates a holistic focus from inception to decommissioning, viewing our economic infrastructure over its entire lifecycle. It provides the basis for a coordinated and coherent approach to infrastructure development, thereby ensuring appropriate investment and attention, and the necessary resilience to meet new challenges enabling the UK to sustain our economic prosperity.
The latest document from ICE outlines:
Power in numbers: The twelve-member Global Intelligent Utility Network Coalition advances
the smart grid worldwide
In 2007, IBM formed a coalition of innovative utility companies to accelerate the use of smart grid technologies and move the industry forward through its most challenging transformation. The Global Intelligent Utility Network Coalition wants to change the way power is generated, distributed and used by adding digital intelligence to the current systems to reduce outages and faults, manage demand, and integrate renewable energy sources such as wind and power.
The Coalition shares ideas and best practices through in-person meetings and virtual interactions, benchmarks their efforts, shares knowledge on critical issues and undertakes collaborative initiatives. For example, the successful CenterPoint Energy Smart Grid Demonstration Centre gave Country Energy the insight they needed to create their own centre in Queenbeyan, Australia.
The Global Intelligent Utility Network Coalition's first collaborative effort was the creation of a Smart Grid Maturity model (US), which has been used by over 60 utilities from around the world to assess where they are and plan their own smart grid programme. It was recently donated to Carnegie Mellon's Software Engineering Institute for use by the industry. Other collaborations are focused on the impact of the smart grid on climate change, consumer perspectives, standards and interoperability and possible future regulatory models.
How IBM can help
Making the smart grid work - the future of smarter energy
UK Smart Energy Cloud - supporting the UK's Smart Meter Implementation Programme
Smarter Energy for a Sustainable Future
Read the report by the Bathwick Group based on proceedings at the IBM Summit at Start.
Plugging in the consumer
Read the report on how consumers will soon be participating in the energy supply network.