Here in Malta, IBM is building the world’s first smart grid to govern electricity and water. It will also make environmental measures easier to promote through pricing options that reward conservation and solar energy; solar panels are a viable alternative on these sunstruck islands. Malta’s political and geographical circumstances make it a uniquely challenging place to institute new water and energy policies. Unlike Singapore or China, where a word from the top decides all matters, the Maltese have a vibrant democracy, one where issues are debated in public and decided on election day, often by razor-thin margins. That’s where the smart grid will help. With the vast amounts of data it generates, government officials, the utilities, and citizens will be able to make more informed decisions.

A smart grid is an electricity network enabling a two-way flow of electricity and data with digital communications technology to detect, react and pro-act to changes in usage and multiple issues. Smart grids have self-healing capabilities and enable electricity customers to become active participants. Smart grids leverage more technologies but aren’t just about IT nor even technologies. An electrical grid or electric grid is a network to deliver electricity from the producer(s) and places where it’s generated and transformed (power plants and substations) to the final destinations where electricity is ‘consumed’: households, businesses, various facilities, and the consumer in general.

Key Activities: Smart grids

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