A year ago, we reported on an IBM effort called Water Watchers, an android app and portal that makes it possible for citizens to report water issues in South Africa. Now, IBM is at it again, harnessing its core competencies in big data and app development to solve social and environmental issues, while educating citizens and earning
Scientific breakthroughs often follow a collective focus on an issue or problem. When a tipping point is reached, the combination of small solutions across sectors spurs a giant leap forward. Renewable energy development has been a growing focus of international research over the last 3-4 decades and advances in clean energy technology have coincided
IBM is teaming up with the Sonoma County Water Agency (SCWA), which supplies water to more than 600,000 people in Northern California’s wine country, to provide innovative “smart water analytics” solutions for water conservation. IBM’s research center in Haifa Israel has developed a water pressure management solution which enables water pressure adjustments
Electric vehicles offer a green transportation alternative. There have been great advances in the sector after the launch of popular models such as Nissan’s LEAF, which recently won the car the of year award at the Tokyo Motor Show.
However, electric car battery technology is one
At the IBM Smarter Cities forum in Rio de Janeiro last week, I had the chance to go behind the scenes and take a first-hand look at Rio’s smart city project. My main impression is that the project represents one of the purest emerging examples of a smart city project that is simultaneously developing smart solutions on
The numbers surrounding urbanization worldwide are staggering. In 2008, the number of people living in cities, for the first time in civilization, surpassed the number of people living in rural settings. Although urbanization is happening on every continent, the story could not be more dramatic in
IBM saved $26.8 million in energy expenses in 2009 as a result of companywide conservation efforts that surpassed corporate targets. How did they do it? Last year, 1,900 energy conservation projects at 270 IBM facilities around the world helped deliver savings in energy consumption that were equivalent to 5.4
Building management systems do a good job of managing the complex energy and operational processes of commercial and industrial buildings. However, some in the industry are starting to realize that they also leave a lot of value on the table. A new generation of products and services that combines sensor technologies with
Though Smart Water offers equal or potentially greater benefits than Smart Energy, Smart Water isn’t getting equal coverage.
It’s been a great year for the Smart Grid. Entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, analysts, journalists, and regulators can’t stop talking about it. Experts are competing to project greater market potential. Zpryme puts the Smart Appliance market alone at $15.2 billion by 2015, Lux Research talks about $15.8 billion, Cisco estimates the overall opportunity at $100 billion and Pike research uses a whopping $200 billion figure.
IBM researchers have increased by 40 percent the efficiency of a thin solar cell that can be applied like ink and that uses widely available materials.
The new cells can convert solar energy into electricity with an efficiency of 9.6 percent, a significant improvement on the 6.7 percent high for existing technologies and close to the level that would make the cells practical for use in commercial solar panels, according to a report published in the journal Advanced Materials.
The new technology uses a semiconductor material made of fairly abundant elements — including copper, zinc, tin, sulfur and selenium — and utilizes an inexpensive ink-based process in creating the cell.
This is the last of three posts on the Executive Council’s “Value-Based Sustainability” event last week (read previous posts here and here). As official sponsor of the event, CleanTechies raffled off five free tickets to our Facebook fans, Twitter followers (@CleanTechies) and Newsletter subscribers. The author of this article was one of the lucky winners. Fan us and follow us to learn about upcoming raffles like this!
Many companies easily jumped on the ‘green’ bandwagon in 2007 and 2008 when the economy was growing. Now that the U.S. is in a recession, unless sustainability was already a guiding pillar for your company, making the business case for green, clean, and lean initiatives can be challenging. At last week’s Executive Council summit on Value-Based Sustainability: the Business Case for Clean, Green, and Lean, several best-of-breed companies shared their thoughts on sustainability and the role of consumers.
This is the first of three posts on the Executive Council’s “Value-Based Sustainability” event last week. As official sponsor of the event, CleanTechies raffled off five free tickets to our Facebook fans, Twitter followers (@CleanTechies) and Newsletter subscribers. The author of this article was one of the lucky winners. Fan us and follow us to learn about upcoming raffles like this!
First of all, a big thank you to Bob Johnston, Eric McNulty, April Lo and the rest of the Executive Council staff for putting together an excellent event last Tuesday. Value-Based Sustainability: The Business Case for Green, Clean and Lean brought together a high caliber of sustainability professionals and thought leaders from many sectors. Thank you Ceylan Thomson for bringing the event to our attention on www.CleanTechies.com.
This event had excellent speakers throughout. Some of the speakers highlighted what their specific companies were doing and what were the drivers for those priorities. This component provided excellent examples of early wins and highlighted the importance of proper metrics. The keynote speakers, Adam Werbach, CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi S (and author of the book “Strategy for Sustainability” – see cover on the left) and Rupert Davis of MontaRosa discussed more generally, the state of sustainability and what needs to happen to make sustainability viable long-term. Werbach emphasized that sustainability must incorporate social, cultural, economic, as well as environmental aspects in order to withstand the downturn. To be successful, these four elements must be combined into a single corporate “North Star” goal that is transparent, engages stakeholders (at a personal level) and expands networks.
The creation of a smart grid of energy producers, distributors and consumers will undoubtedly be at the center of a sustainable future. Similarly using information and communications technology (ICT) to extend the benefits of urban living to outlying areas will become a much larger business opportunity.
Cisco is one company envisioning that the same principles of sustainability that will reshape the power grid will also be applied to essential services including health care, education, and municipal services.
Turning the country’s vast islands of proprietary utility networks and isolated power equipment into an intelligent grid that manages the power going into homes, offices and factories will take decades and hundreds of billions of dollars. IBM is partnering with veteran energy efficiency and grid communications company Trilliant to ensure that the companies’ grid hardware and software will speak the same language.
The agreement to integrate IBM’s Websphere and Tivoli products for managing enterprise data into Trilliant’s smart grid communications system provides utilities with and end-to-end system for collecting information and administering grid operations.
Trilliant, which currently has more than 200 utility customers, provides technology that can relay information about power consumption and network performance from smart meters in homes, to utility equipment out in the field such as transformers and substations, and then on to centralized (head end) utility servers. The company will build its management system using Websphere’s application server and the Tivoli network management suite.