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Today in Cleantech

Does the future of energy-smart cities lie in the cloud? IBM certainly seems to think so. The IT giant has just launched a software platform to integrate and manage city operations such as police, fire and emergency responders, along with modules to add water and sewer management and transportation and traffic planning — and IBM is using a cloud computing platform to run those platforms for certain select test cities, Chris O’Connor, IBM vice president of industry solutions, told me this week. While IBM hasn’t made its cloud-based smarter cities platform broadly available, O’Connor suggested that this wouldn’t be too far in the future. The news follows word of Cisco’s plan to use its cloud services platform to deliver a host of city services to mobile devices in the South Korean city of Busan, along with news that certain smart grid partners, including home energy automation player Control4, will be developing to deliver its services over Cisco’s cloud. In Europe, Microsoft is using cloud technologies to help French power giant Alstom collect and analyze energy data to better manage city sustainability. While all these projects are in their early stages, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a full-blown “green cloud city” platform emerge some time this year — what are your thoughts?