IBM Helps China Transform Energy System

July 8, 2014 By Karen Henry

IBM-China-energy-manageIBM has launched the “Green Horizon” project, a 10-year initiative to help China transform its national energy systems. Among other things, the project sets out to improve China’s renewable energy forecasting and industry energy optimization strategies.

To support the Chinese government’s goal of decreasing its dependency on fossil fuels, IBM has developed a renewable energy forecasting system to help energy grids harness and manage alternative energy sources. The system combines weather prediction and big data analytics to forecast the availability of renewable energy.

Based on IBM’s Hybrid Renewable Energy Forecasting (Hyref) technology, the energy forecasting system uses weather modeling capabilities, advanced cloud imaging technology and sky-facing cameras to track cloud movements, while sensors monitor wind speed, temperature and direction. It can predict the performance of individual renewable energy farms and estimate the amount of energy several days ahead.

The system has been rolled out to 30 wind, solar and hydro power sources, including China’s largest renewable energy initiative, the Zhangbei Demonstration Project, which is managed by State Grid Jibei Electricity Power Company Limited in the Northern province of Hebei.

China is the world’s biggest energy consumer, with Chinese industrial enterprises consuming more than 70 percent of the country’s energy. To support the Chinese government’s goal of reducing the country’s “carbon intensity” by 40-45 percent by 2020, IBM is developing a system to help monitor, manage and optimize the energy consumption of industrial enterprises.

The system will analyze data generated by energy monitoring devices and identify opportunities for conservation. The system could be used to analyze data from industrial enterprises in different cities and identify which sites and equipment use the most energy. The system will help guide decisions about optimization and investment in industries such as steel, cement, chemical and non-ferrous metal.

IBM is already engaged with China Southern Grid to manage the energy consumption of HengQin Island in Guangdong province.

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