IBM to Help China Manage Air Quality, Renewable-Energy Supplies

International Business Machines Corp. started a project to support China in managing air quality and energy consumption as well as forecasting renewable-energy supplies.

Under the project, the Armonk, New York-based company is cooperating with the Beijing municipal government on a system to determine the type, source and level of emissions and predict air quality in the capital, IBM said today in a statement.

The project will enable utilities to estimate the amount of renewable energy that will be available for grid transmission or storage, IBM said. The company is also developing a new system to manage energy consumption of industrial companies that represent more than 70 percent of China’s total energy consumption.

The move comes as IBM seeks to counter declining sales in the world’s second-biggest economy, where revenue fell 20 percent last quarter, dragged down by decreasing hardware spending. U.S. companies have also faced tensions over cybersecurity in China after U.S. prosecutors in May charged five Chinese military officers with allegedly hacking into computers of American companies.

China is reviewing whether domestic banks’ reliance on IBM’s high-end servers compromises the nation’s financial security, Bloomberg News reported May 27 citing people familiar with the matter. IBM said in May it wasn’t aware of any government policy recommending against use of its servers.

The world’s biggest carbon emitter is paying closer attention on renewable energy and air quality after Premier Li Keqiang declared war on smog in a speech in March. The nation has pledged to cut carbon emissions per unit of economic output by as much as 45 percent from 2005 levels before 2020.

IBM is helping Hengqin Island in Guangdong province to cut energy consumption, costs and carbon emissions, it said.

— With assistance by Feifei Shen

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