IBM joins EU smart grid trial

Oct 14, 2011 12:00 AM

IBM has announced it will join a European Union trial of a new smart grid system in Denmark that allows households to buy electricity from renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power in near real time, using a Web-based app that runs on smartphones, tablets and PCs.
2000 residents on the Danish island of Bornholm will have sophisticated smart meters installed in homes and businesses during the two-year trial, which will become a test case for the roll-out of an intelligent energy network across Europe.

The smart metering system allows residents to automate power usage of select home appliances like dishwashers, hot water systems and heat pumps, in addition to receiving up-to-the-minute updates on electricity consumption and prices.
50 % of the energy supplied to the EcoGrid EU network will come from renewables, combining solar, wind and biogas. The EU consortium behind the project hopes that by providing eco-conscious Danes with the ability to shop around for power, they will purchase renewable energy over fossil fuels, which will result in cost savings.

The pilot scheme is in support of the European Commission’s progressive 20/20/20 plan to cut greenhouse emissions by 20 %, reach a target of 20 % renewable energy supply, and to reduce energy consumption through improved efficiencies by 20 % by the year 2020.
"EcoGrid EU is an incredibly promising pilot project, in which Bornholm will become a test island in the future intelligent electricity system," said Lykke Friis, the former Minister for Climate and Energy, Denmark. "The results will not only be usable in Denmark and Europe, but all over the world."

In 2009 IBM worked to establish the EDISON (Electric Vehicles in a Distributed and Integrated Market using Sustainable Energy and Open Networks) smart grid test case in Bornholm, aimed at increasing the use of the island’s wind energy resources for charging electric vehicles.

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