IBM CEO calls on world to embrace smart grid

IBM’s CEO, Sam Palmisano, has called on the world to embrace smart metering saying that the smart grid is “the internet of things”.

In a speech at the GridWise Global Forum conference the Big Blue head honcho said that we need a digital energy grid to address both the environment and the economy. It can help tackle global warming, cut energy costs, and provide more energy for areas with poor energy provisions.

He called for a substantial modernisation of energy systems throughout the world instead of “piecemeal” efforts that are currently being employed. He argued that governments and energy providers need to do more to convince consumers that smart metering is the way forward, particularly amidst concerns regarding security and privacy, which he said would need to be addressed.

The world has not yet shown consumers the full benefits of a smarter energy system, says Palmisano, and until then the full potential of the smart grid will not be realised.

However, he was not in favour of forcing consumers to employ energy dashboards for monitoring their energy usage, but rather called for an approach that inspires consumers to take “a more active role” in controlling their energy use.

He said that we are capturing data at “unprecedented volumes”, but it’s more important what that data tells us, not how much of it there is, which a smart grid can address.

He closed by saying: “Smarter energy is not some futuristic ideal. For one thing, there are real examples being deployed around the world. Smarter energy is practical because it’s not ideological.”