Published on November 17th, 2017 | by Joshua S Hill0
WattTime & Microsoft Combine To Provide European Consumers Choice Of Clean Energy
November 17th, 2017 by Joshua S Hill
Announced last week, WattTime and Microsoft are combining to provide European consumers the opportunity to better understand and reduce their carbon emissions by providing real-time information on the precise carbon emissions caused by using or generating electricity.
Announced at the COP23 climate conference held in Germany, Bonn, earlier this month, WattTime — a Rocky Mountain Institute subsidiary — and Microsoft teamed up to launch a new way for customers in Europe to continually monitor their electricity usage and the associated emissions. Using Microsoft’s free and open-source platform, WattTime will now allow European consumers to access real-time carbon emissions caused by using or generating electricity at any given time and place in Europe.
In other words, consumers both large and small — from someone using a phone to a large-scale data center — can access up-to-the-date, real-time information on carbon emissions, and choose when to generate or use electricity so that they can adjust their behavior to instantly reduce emissions levels.
The new tool will first be available to customers with Norwegian utility Agder Energi with further rollout across the rest of Europe to follow soon after.
“Emerging cloud-based technology is increasingly challenging the old paradigm that reducing emissions has to require costly, time-consuming approaches like building new physical infrastructure,” explained Gavin McCormick, WattTime cofounder and executive director. “It’s exciting to see new software tools capable of automatically, effortlessly cutting carbon footprints, integrating renewable energy and balancing grids at the click of a button.”
The new tool is not just useful for consumers, either, but can provide policymakers with options to incentivize people for charging electric cars at times of lower emissions, or introducing automated charging to match up with times that reduce consumer costs and emissions.
This new European version of the tool is based off a previous collaboration with Microsoft on the Smart Energy Azure Demonstration open-source platform that provides data including generation source, average carbon emissions, and marginal carbon emissions, as well as pulling in global weather data and forecasts from the Wunderground API.
“We’re seeing the advancing capability of data, machine learning and IoT technologies coupled with the reducing cost of distributed energy resources to decarbonize electricity grids and reduce consumer costs,” said Conor Kelly, software engineer in energy analytics and automation at Microsoft.
“WattTime’s offering is a great example of how technology can lower the cost and increase the possibilities for emissions reductions globally,” added Jamie Mandel, principal at Rocky Mountain Institute. “By unlocking new ways for customers to reduce emissions, WattTime can empower customers to accelerate the transition to a cleaner electric grid.”