IBM has announced a collaboration with The Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) in India to create the country’s first smart grid project. Together they will create a cost benefit analysis for smart grid activities as part of the National Mission for Enhanced Energy Efficiency (NMEEE).
A BEE project, NMEEE is one of eight national missions that promote innovative policy and regulatory regimes, financing mechanisms, and business models that help sustain the market for energy efficiency.
Through this project, IBM plans to help determine smart grid readiness in India. The company will lay out a strategic assessment framework with an Indian perspective that looks at the adoption of new smart grid technologies, and identifies alignments in policy and regulatory frameworks to make each solution possible. It will help BEE determine global smart grid potential and also create toolkits for regulators and utilities for assessing benefits of smart grid investment decisions.
As a part of this collaboration, IBM will generate the smart grid business case and tools that will help calculate the return on investment for all smart grid projects being rolled out country-wide and also within the ISGAN (International Smart Grid Action Network), of which BEE is a member.
The ISGAN network facilitates cooperation in smart grid policy and standardizes, regulates and finances technology research development and demonstration, workforce skills and knowledge development, including consumer participation at all levels. ISGAN participants include Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, European Commission, France, India, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Sweden, Norway, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
The acceleration of smart grids in an emerging market like India is vital. With an estimated 1 million people around the world moving into cities each week, experts predict population in the world’s cities will double by 2050. Governments, regulators and utility companies need to ensure that our cities and villages will survive under the crush of demand for access to the power grid. Adding generation capacity and building additional analog utility grids is not the most efficient answer. By contrast, smart grids improve energy system performance, reduce energy loss and enhance customer service.
The infusion of digital intelligence also enables the power grids to automate, monitor and control the two-way flow of energy across all aspects of the energy value chain—from power plant to plug. Smart grids use sensors, smart meters, digital controls and analytic tools to automate, monitor and control the flow of energy and providing timely and detailed information on energy consumption, thereby empowering consumers to be more efficient in their energy use. A smart grid will seamlessly integrate all sustainable energy technologies—from electric vehicles to solar systems and wind farms—and also reduce greenhouse gas emissions.