The Global View

Is IBM reinventing itself as a green giant?

ibmThis blogger has an interesting post that speculates about whether tech giant IBM is slowly recasting itself as something of a major player in the green business.

It highlights several points to back up this claim: investment in smart grid technologies centred on energy efficiency, clever in-car systems partly aimed at cutting fuel use, and the development of new photovoltaic technologies, among other things.

But perhaps the most compelling clue that Big Blue could diversify comes in the form of reports that it is investing heavily in developing photovoltaic technology. According to a recent story over at the Cleantech Blog IBM is using its expertise in semi-conductors to make rapid progress in developing photovoltaic solar technology and while it is more likely to work at the component level than become a branded supplier of solar panels the company expects to become a serious player within the market within 18 months. Furthermore, the site points out that IBM has recently filed for over a dozen US patents for solar and photovoltaic technologies.

Of course, IBM is a very, very large company, so all of these things are, currently, minuscule parts of an enormous business. And it would be silly of the firm to not respond to the surge in demand for all things green. But interesting to note, nonetheless.