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IBM has opened a lab in Beijing to address the smart grid needs of Chinese utilities. The Energy & Utilities Solutions Lab within the IBM China Development Labs, will have a team of developers, IT architects and subject-matter experts who will work with utilities and business partners. It is the first lab of its kind from Big Blue.
China has allocated $7.3 billion to rework its energy system and IBM expects at least $400 million in smart grid revenues from that country over the next four years. Changes include improving the existing grid and boosting the use of renewables. Energy demand in China is expected to grow 5.5%/year through 2020, IBM said.
One focus at the lab will be China’s distribution network. IBM is working with the China Electric Power Research Institute — part of the State Grid Corporation of China — to improve distribution decision-making, resulting in energy savings, loss reduction and greater reliability. The work is being used now in a pilot by one of State Grid’s subsidiaries, it said.