By James Bales
Fortunately for many, Juno, the blizzard that hit the Northeastern part of the United States last week, was not the storm of the century the U.S. National Weather Service predicted. However, there was still a lot of planning and precaution taken by utilities companies to ensure citizens, as well as road crews and linemen stayed safe on the job while working around the clock to restore power. With their best workers on standby and ready to respond, utility companies across the Northeast scheduled all personnel to report to work immediately.
By Brad Gammons
The energy grid is a 20th century engineering marvel and continues to be a core element of economic vitality for nations around the world. In order to continue to innovate, the utility industry must transform to meet the demands of new variable forms of energy and the shifting desires of how consumers use and interact with energy.
Investment is needed to transform the grid while continuing to deliver safe, reliable and cost-effective energy. This is a daunting challenge given the massive size of this infrastructure. Industry leaders are now beginning to use advanced data analytics to mine for vast amounts of data to help with this transformation. Continue Reading »
By Laurent Auguste
With more than half of the world’s population living in urban areas, cities have proven to have the winning model.
But the massive influx into cities leads to higher population densities, greater complexities and increased pressures on local resources, such as water.
In the future, successful cities will be those that have created local and global access to Big Data as sources of new game-changing dynamics. New city models will turn the passive pipes of city infrastructure into active ones, transcending their current use and freeing up yet untapped value.
By Mark Thorsen
No matter where you look, the amount of information worldwide is exploding and the area of renewable energy is not immune. As the use and deployment of renewables grows, so too, is the amount of data the technologies surrounding these energies are generating.
Everything from solar panels to wind turbines are creating vast amounts of new data that require collection, extraction, warehousing, analysis and statistics, all to make it available in the right way.
Such functions are creating an enormous amount of information, all of which is starting to flood into utilities at a high rate. This information must be analyzed and followed up on. At the same time, more utilities are hanging onto more data than in the past, making retention and retention costs critical issues going forward. Continue Reading »
By Xiaowei Shen
China’s economic development story is truly incredible. With an average GDP growth of 10% over the past 30 years, China has emerged as the world’s second-largest economy and largest manufacturer.
But as a nation we realize that for China to sustain rapid growth some things have to change. One of the most central and widely discussed issues is ensuring growth while protecting the environment and the health of our citizens. We understand that our success should not come at the cost of future generations. Continue Reading »
By Wayne Balta
Businesses operate in a competitive global marketplace – where they must not only deliver value and be efficient, but also must operate responsibly. That includes responsibility towards the environment.
In my view, environmental sustainability must transcend whether or not the topic is popular at any given time, and regardless of short-term business cycles.
Environmental sustainability should be a strategic imperative that anticipates and prevents, rather than reacts and fixes. It should be systemic, not an episodic fad. It’s much more than a demonstration project, or a marketing campaign. Continue Reading »
By Martin Fleming
In a recent New York Times article, reporter James Glanz asks: “Is Big Data an Economic Dud?” Mr. Glanz seems to answer his own question skeptically. The “data era,” he suggests, will not match the earlier revolutions in manufacturing, domestic life and transportation.
In addition, the Wall Street Journal posted a blog discussing that Big Data is at, or near the peak of the Gartner “hype cycle” and “big data technologies are now soon to be due for a fall into the ‘trough of disillusionment.’” Continue Reading »
By Vince Ward
What started out as a community-based energy project on the Isle of Wight has morphed into a bona fide social movement.
Encouraged by the work of IBM Distinguished Engineer, Andy Stanford-Clark, who created a “smart” house that monitored, managed and optimized energy use, three years ago the Village of Chale created the Chale Community Project, which seeks, among other things, to reduce home energy costs by up to 50 percent. While the project has indeed raised awareness and helped residents lower costs, it has also had a serendipitous outcome – it has brought the community together.
From the very beginning of the Chale Community Project – during planning and roll-out phases – we worked on ensuring the local community was on board. Going from door to door, the team would communicate with residents about the plan of action, encourage participation and try to boost morale. Continue Reading »
IBM today christened a new generation of technology innovators, naming 66 new Distinguished Engineers from across the company. The DE rank recognizes people for their outstanding technical accomplishments, as well as their potential for breaking new ground in key areas such as cloud and mobile computing, Big Data analytics, social business, and many more.
This year’s class includes Dr. Anna Topol, IBM’s Chief Technology Officer for the Energy and Utilities sector. A native of Poland and mother of two young boys, Topol holds a doctorate in physics from the State University of New York Albany College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering and has earned nearly two dozen patents. She joined IBM in 2001. The Smarter Planet editorial team recently sat down with Topol for an inside chat with one of the company’s newest DE’s.
Smarter Planet: Where do you see the biggest potential for breakthroughs in your current area of specialization?
Anna Topol: There is a lot of innovation happening in the energy and utility sector. What has been learned from other industries such as telecommunications and retail, where the use of data analytics has had transformational benefits, is now being applied to help us be smarter about how we generate, consume and conserve energy. Right now, there is a focus on automation and the use of smart meters, devices and sensors. For energy consumers, this translates into a decrease in change-related outages through increased efficiency and reduced mean time to repairs. Continue Reading »