Technology giants IBM and Cisco recently announced that they are going to collaborate on a smart grid project in Amsterdam. The Dutch utility Nuon will work with the duo to find ways to make customers more informed about their energy usage. The pilot scheme will fall under the broad umbrella of the Amsterdam Smart City initiative where residents, businesses, and the government are working together to use energy and resources more efficiently to guarantee a sustainable future.
IBM and Cisco will provide a smart metering and home energy management platform that will grant 500 households the ability to gain insight into how they are consuming energy so they can make informed decisions and alter wasteful habits. Customers will save on their energy bills as a result and a CO2 reduction of more than 14 percent is expected.
The high-tech systems will be installed in about 500 homes. Nuon and IBM, utilising secure Web applications and intelligent information systems, are developing the software to support the energy management system. Cisco will develop the networking solution based upon Internet protocol (IP) allowing for secure communications to be shared in real time throughout the household and externally with the energy system.
“When you give consumers insight they will change their behaviour,” said project spokesman Rob Jelsma. He added that in addition to the smart meters about 100 homes would also receive “smart plugs” that will monitor and manage individual appliances.
The goal is to demonstrate how a smart grid can significantly enhance the reliability of the electrical system, increase efficiency, and handle future demand cost effectively.
“Now that more than half of the global population lives in cities, we need to acknowledge that achieving a sustainable future lies in our urban centres,” said Guido Bartels, general manager of IBM’s Global Energy & Utilities division.
“Smarter energy initiatives are foundational for other critical infrastructure systems that make up a city – this project will enable the City of Amsterdam to leverage integrated, intelligent and interconnected technologies to transform their systems and optimise the use of finite resources,” explained Bartels.
“Giving the citizens of Amsterdam more information and better control over their energy use will cut down on costs and consumption as well as reduce their overall impact on the environment,” said Marthin de Beer, senior vice president of the Emerging Technologies Group at Cisco.
“Innovative cities like Amsterdam recognise the opportunity in using the standards-based intelligent communications network as a platform for economic development, better city management and improved quality of life for citizens,” continued de Beer.
“With this pilot, we hope to demonstrate how smart and connected communities can be more energy conscious and more green.”
The largest city in the Netherlands has established the aggressive greenhouse gas reduction goal of 40 percent below 1990 levels by the year 2025.