One small island nation off the coast of Italy is about to become the test case for countrywide smart-grid technology. Malta and IBM have agreed on a plan to digitize the country's electrical grid and water system.

In a place with over 1700 vehicles per square mile, climate change is a very relevant topic and Malta believes that the upgrades to their power and water infrastructure will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Half of Malta's water requires the energy sapping desalination process and all of the country's electricity is made with foreign oil. The improvements to the power grid will include replacement of the country's power meters with interactive versions that can monitor electricity use in real time. This will allow Malta's power company, Enemalta to offer incentives to users who limit power consumption.

The new grid will also provide for advanced data collection enabling Enemalta to distribute electricity more efficiently and identify problems sooner. The upgraded water system will provide similar benefits, including the ability to detect and locate leaks remotely.

Improvements in the power grid may set the stage for adoption of plug-in electric vehicles which would address Malta's most obvious energy conundrum - vehicles.

Source: Green Wombat