• 31-OCT-2012

Part III: Diary of an Ecoislander: IBM Technology Powers the Ultimate Eco-Region

There is no doubt that energy is a hot topic at moment: climate change, rising energy prices and technology advances are all forces that have been reshaping the collective mindset of consumers. Many have turned from "passive bill-payers" to highly informed, environmentally conscious customers who want a role in deciding how they provide energy for their home. IBM's CTO of Smarter Energy and IBM Master Inventor, Andy Stanford-Clark took this to the next stage and set out on a personal mission to significantly reduce the energy consumption in his home using home automation and energy monitoring technology. As a result of the success of his mission, Andy's home became a living laboratory for the technology which is now being used on the Ecoisland project - an ambitious change programme which aims to turn the Isle of Wight (home to 140,000 citizens) into the ultimate Ecoisland, with a dramatically reduced carbon footprint by 2020.

In the final instalment of a series of three video diary blogs, Andy explains how IBM is working in partnership with Ecoisland on a Smart Grid initiative to integrate the Isle of Wight's future solar, tidal, geothermal and wind power. The initiative will give the island the ability to monitor its electricity network to make best use of renewable generation while managing demand on the Island from the UK mainland grid. IBM technology will be used to collect, aggregate and analyse data, from sensors and energy meters, from houses and energy sources across the island. The data will be used to inform decisions that will lead to equipment and devices being remotely controlled to turn them on and off (with residents permission!). For example an Electric Vehicle might be told to stop charging for a while, at times when there is a need to remove load from the power grid at peak times. Ecoisland is just the first step towards building a sustainable planet and Andy hopes that the technology used on the Isle of Wight can be replicated in other regions of the UK and the world.