FFE Magazine

Can social media warn us of brownout? It’s Possible


Energy in Europe is being threatened by the crisis in Ukraine, and uncertainty on oil and gas supply has led British energy groups to expect more power outages. But global energy firm General Electric (GE) has noted that social media may be used to warn people and prepare them for power outages — an idea that could be used in the Philippines.


The Philippines is touted as the social media capital of the world, making sites like Twitter and Facebook an effective means of disseminating information to the public. Filipinos have actually already used social media in disasters, and used the concept to co-ordinate relief efforts in areas hit by typhoon Yolanda and typhoon Pablo.


With threats of power outages this summer as power plants shut down, the Philippines can also tap on social media to alert the public on when and where brownouts may hit.


In GE’s system, which it plans to patent in the US and Europe, social media will be used as a source of real-time data to know where and when brownouts will take place. Data will come in the form of posts with relevant hashtags like #poweroutage, #powerout or #noelectric.


The posts with hashtags can then be monitored, collected and used by electricity providers to keep track of their service. The social media output helps the electricity providers identify and locate problematic areas in their service lines and address them.


Tapping social media can help the energy firms to invest little while speeding up response times. But more than that, it empowers the public to monitor how energy providers are serving them.



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