IBM Expands Green Horizons Effort to Fight Pollution Globally

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2015-12-10 Print this article Print
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IBM has additional clean air projects in China with the Environmental Protection Bureau in Baoding -- one of China’s most polluted cities -- to support the city’s environmental transformation; the city of Zhangjiakou, host to the 2022 Winter Olympics, to improve air quality for the outdoor sporting event, and Xinjiang Province in northwest China.

"Air pollution and climate change are global challenges that require stronger action by government and business," said Bob Perciasepe, president of the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES), in a statement. "To get to a clean energy future, we need accurate data about emissions, air quality and power generation. Advanced technologies can provide crucial insights about our impacts on the environment -- today and in the future."

In addition, IBM’s Green Horizons program is delivering on its promise to help increase contributions of wind, solar and other renewable energy sources to national grids. New customer engagements include:

--UK energy giant SSE is piloting IBM technology to help forecast power generation at its wind farms in Great Britain. The system is able to forecast energy for individual turbines and includes visualization tools to show expected performance several days ahead.

--In Japan, IBM is working with the Toyo Engineering Corporation and renewable energy company Setouchi Future Creations LLC on the Setouchi solar project. IBM’s monitoring systems will help Setouchi control energy from the plant's 890,000 solar panels.

--Through the United States Department of Energy’s SunShot initiative, IBM is making renewable energy forecasting technology available to government agencies, utilities and grid operators to support supply and demand planning.

--IBM is working with Chinese wind power solution provider Xinjiang Goldwind Science & Technology Co. to use IoT, cloud computing, big data analytics and other technologies. Also in China, Shenyang Keywind Renewable Company is using cognitive forecasting technologies to help integrate more energy into the grid.

--The Zhangbei Demonstration Project, managed by China’s State Grid Jibei Electricity Power Company, is tapping the power of Green Horizons renewable energy forecasting technology to integrate 10 percent more alternative energy into the national grid, enough to power more than 14,000 homes.

IBM’s Green Horizons initiative is based on innovations from the company’s research laboratory in Beijing, with contributions from leading environmental experts across IBM’s global network of research labs.

“In the past two decades China has been at the center of global manufacturing and economic growth,” said Dr. Xiaowei Shen, director of IBM Research, China. “However, this great progress has come at a cost and today the Chinese government has placed air pollution and climate change high on the national agenda. With Chinese investments into green innovation worth billions of dollars and with a new budding generation of environmental scientists coming to the fore, China is the natural starting point for IBM’s Green Horizons initiative which is now being exported to other parts of the world.”

To support China’s clean air action plan, IBM has entered a number of collaborations across the country. Building on their existing relationship, IBM and the Beijing Environmental Protection Bureau are launching a new Joint Environmental Innovation Center that will provide decision support capabilities to the Beijing government.

Using scenario modeling, the government will be able to optimize its emission reduction strategy and seek a balance between clean air and continued economic growth. Measures include short term limitations on urban traffic and construction activity as well as long term improvements to industrial production and power generation. These include switching to cleaner energy sources and installing filtering systems. The Beijing EPB also uses a colored alert system to warn citizens when harmful levels of pollution are forecast for the coming days.

“Our environmental engineers are working on a daily basis to tackle Beijing’s complex and challenging pollution problem and protect the health of citizens,” said Dawei Zhang, director of Beijing’s Environmental Monitoring Center, a department of the BEPB.


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