IBM aims to collaborate with Beijing on energy, health issues

IBM's China research team will lead an effort to manage enterprise energy usage better, cut pollution and direct renewables efficiently through the grid.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

IBM said its research labs will aim to help China revamp its energy system and healthcare over the next 10 years via big data, the Internet of Things and cognitive computing. The effort is led by IBM's China research unit.

ibm china
IBM's research lab in Beijing.

Terms of the deal weren't disclosed. IBM said it had a collaboration agreement with the Beijing Municipal Government. The two parties will work on air pollution and try to leverage cognitive computing, optical sensors and other tools to predict weather, climate and the pollution hit.

The project from IBM is called Green Horizon and revolves around air quality, renewables and energy optimization.

Beijing will invest more than $160 billion to improve air quality and cut harmful particulate matter by 25 percent by 2017.

IBM will help monitor the real-time stream of particulate matter and combine the data with sensors and information gleaned from satellites. IBM and Beijing then plan to run the data through supercomputers to create pollutant maps that'll highlight how air quality will change 72 hours in advance.

On the renewable energy front, IBM has developed a forecasting system that aims to manage alternative energy sources through the grid. Utilities will be able to redirect energy, cut waste and predict whether it's better to use solar, wind, hydro or biomass. Renewable energy is variable so something like IBM's forecasting tools could come in handy to predict everything from cloud cover that could limit solar power to wind patterns.

IBM's Hybrid Renewable Energy Forecasting technology has been implemented at 30 wind, solar and hydro power sources.

As for energy optimization, IBM said that it is building a system to optimize energy consumption from enterprises. Seventy percent of China's total energy consumption comes from enterprises. IBM will capture data from energy monitoring devices and identify areas for conservation.

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