Energy Internet and eVehicles Overview

Governments around the world are wrestling with the challenge of how to prepare society for inevitable climate change. To date most people have been focused on how to reduce Green House Gas emissions, but now there is growing recognition that regardless of what we do to mitigate against climate change the planet is going to be significantly warmer in the coming years with all the attendant problems of more frequent droughts, flooding, sever storms, etc. As such we need to invest in solutions that provide a more robust and resilient infrastructure to withstand this environmental onslaught especially for our electrical and telecommunications systems.

Linking renewable energy with high speed Internet using fiber to the home combined with eVehicles and dynamic charging where vehicle's batteries are charged as it travels along the road, may provide for a whole new "energy Internet" infrastructure for linking small distributed renewable energy sources to users that is far more robust and resilient to survive climate change than today's centralized command and control infrastructure. For more details please see:

Using eVehicles for Renewable Energy Transportation and Distribution: http://goo.gl/bXO6x and http://goo.gl/UDz37

Free High Speed Internet to the Home or School Integrated with solar roof top: http://goo.gl/wGjVG

High level architecture of Internet Networks to survive Climate Change: http://goo.gl/juWdH

Architecture and routing protocols for Energy Internet http://goo.gl/niWy1g


Friday, November 30, 2007

Replacing electrical transmission lines with optical networks

One of the challenges of delivering renewable energy such as wind power or solar systems is the high cost of the electrical transmission lines to carry the power to where it is needed. Unfortunately ideal solar and wind power sites are rarely located near major urban centers. Most renewable energy systems produce relatively small amounts of power compared to a coal and nuclear power plants, and as consequence the cost of the electrical transmission line given the distances to reach renewable energy sites can completely undermine the business case for deploying a renewable energy system in the first place.

But maybe there is another solution of rather than building expensive electrical transmission lines to link these remote renewable energy sites to the electrical grid we instead move our cyber-infrastructure servers, storage and other facilities to the renewable energy sites themselves and link them with optical networks to the global information grid - the Internet.

One of the fastest growing energy consuming sectors is information communication technologies (ICT). It is estimated that ICT consumer upwards of 9% of all the energy output in North America through direct electrical consumption and cooling. Cyber-infrastructure facilities, corporate server farms, etc are major sinks for electrical power and cooling and are putting enormous strains on the electrical systems of our cities, universities and businesses.

With today's modern telecommunication facilities, there is no reason why these cyber-infrastructure facilities and server farms need to be located in close proximity with their users. High speed optical networks allow these facilities to be located anywhere. In fact many large corporations like Google, Microsoft, Amazon and others are already starting to collocate their server farms to low cost energy sites around the world.

The obvious next step in this evolution is to collocate cyber-infrastructure equipment and servers directly to the renewable energy sites themselves. And rather than building expensive electrical transmission systems to connect these renewable energy sites to the electrical grid, we instead build much cheaper optical networks to the servers to interconnect them to the global information grid - the Internet.

One downside of this approach, is that these cyber-infrastructure facilities and servers will not be connected to any electrical grid, and as result they will experience a lot more outages and down time dues to the waxing and waning of the wind or the diurnal cycle of the sun. But the beauty of ICT is that we already have the technology to do rapid load balancing of servers due to outages, and of course, the Internet from day one has been designed to route around outages.

We have the technology at hand to build "follow the wind" or "follow the sun" computing grids using optical networks to ensure extreme high reliability information systems and computing grids regardless of whether or not components of the underlying physical computational network and/or storage facilities are available and on line. The mesh of global optical networks around the world will further help provide load balancing due to varying wind and solar conditions.

Ben Bacque of Alcatel-Lucent has even suggested that we locate these renewable energy/server farms in Canada's remote artic regions because this would also help address the cooling challenges of todays modern servers. Up to now it has been impractical to locate renewable systems in Canada's high north because of the high cost of building transmission lines over immense distances across inhospitable terrain.

Building optical networks to remote renewable energy systems will also allow governments to achieve an important social objective of delivering high speed Internet to remote and rural communities and would provide much needed jobs for the maintenance and care of these server farms and renewable energy systems.

Optical networks can be also used to interconnect micro-power systems that provide power to peer to peer storage and computing grids. As with renewable energy systems, the existing electrical grid is ill suited for connecting hundreds, if not thousands of small micro electrical power systems located at our homes and businesses. The interconnection to the grid requires costly and expensive switches and meters that must be installed by professional electricians, and the distribution system must be re-configured to handle power origination from those who were traditionally consumers of electricity.

So rather than connecting the micro-power systems to the electrical grid we can perhaps use them to power locally hosted servers and storage facilities. And as before these servers and storage facilities can be interconnected via a well proven peer to peer grid over the Internet.

Robin Chase sent me an interesting pointer to a talk given by John Holdren (Director of Woods Hole Research Center) to the UN in September 2007, John Holdren's slides had a stunning number: If worldwide CO2 emissions peak in 2015 – that’s seven years from now – we have a 50 percent chance of avoiding catastrophic effects of climate change.

http://networkmusings.blogspot.com/2007/10/closing-climate-change-window-of.html

Most scientists already think we are at a tipping point in terms of CO2 emissions.

To my mind the ICT industry and research community as a whole has a moral responsibility to help address this problem. If the ICT industry and research community consumes 9% of the global energy budget, we can safely assume that ICT contributes to 9% of the worlds global emissions of carbon dioxide. But as opposed to any other sector in society ICT community has the means and tools to virtually eliminate this entire carbon footprint (and possibly more) through the many techniques I have outlined in this blog and previous postings. A 9% drop in carbon emissions over the next decade would dramatically mitigate the threat of global warming.

We need a call to action by the ICT industry and research community. We need to start immediately testing and experimenting with these ideas and many more that I am sure will be thought of in the process of identifying possible solutions. We need to immediately freeze the carbon budgets of our universities, research centers and server farms. Universities and research centers are the institutions that should be demonstrating global leadership and developing new solutions to address global warming.

New revenue opportunities for R&E networks and cyber-infrastructure

One of the growing challenges for many campuses around the world is how to accommodate the power and cooling requirements of cyber-infrastructure facilities such as high performance computers, storage facilities, etc.

Increasingly the costs of the bricks and mortar, power and cooling to house these facilities significantly outweigh costs of the actual cyber-infrastructure equipment.

In Canada, for example, many universities who are part of the HPC Consortium called Compute Canada will have to make significant investments in the coming year, to install and upgrade power and air conditioning systems to host a range of new computation facilities funded by CFI at various institutions.

The carbon emission impact has yet to be even taken into consideration in many any of these plans. The carbon footprint of a modern HPC facility can easily exceed the average use of several SUVs.

Global warming in not only a problem to be solved by politicians. It is a global issue in which we all have a personal responsibility to address regardless if we are an average joe citizen or world leading computer scientist.

Researchers and funding bodies need to take into consideration the carbon dioxide emission impact of all these cyber-infrastructure facilities. Building the fastest and best supercomputer regardless of its environmental impact is simply not an option any more. Universities and computing science researchers should be playing a leading role in identifying new cyber-infrastructure solutions which not only address their research requirements but also take into account the carbon emission impact of these facilities. Perhaps deploying energy efficient grids, sharing under-used computational facilities, or utilizing virtual computing is a better answer than building a physical cyber-infrastructure facility at every campus.

We also need to address the ongoing proliferation of computer clusters throughout various computer departments. Unfortunately most of these departments do not pay for the power and cooling costs associated with these facilities and so do not appreciate their true impact on the overall energy use of the university or the associated carbon emissions. As I mentioned on this blog before using Amazon's EC2/S3 service in many cases can be cheaper than the power costs alone of a modern computational cluster, never mind the operational and overhead costs of operating such a facility.

This is where regional and national research networks can play an important role. There are now many carbon offset companies who will audit programs that are designed to reduce carbon emissions. They will also broker payment of real dollars for the carbon reductions that result from the program. If an organization setups a tele-commuting program and demonstrate real and auditable reduction in carbon emissions they can earn revenue through the sale of carbon offsets to energy companies and other organizations. A good example is where IBM is working with a carbon offset company which is offering up to $1 million in carbon offsets for organizations to move away from their physical servers to high energy efficiency virtual servers operated by IBM.

R&E networks are ideally positioned to negotiate and implement these carbon offsetting solutions. Network organizations are essential for implementing any carbon offset strategy. As well the carbon impact of an optical R&E network is miniscule compared to the carbon footprint of many high performance computers and other facilities. The more we can use network bits and bandwidth for advanced science instead of physical facilities the greater the potential for earning valuable offset dollars (and I would argue the better the science community will be served).

Another potential carbon offset revenue opportunity is with distance learning and tele-medicine. Although the jury is still out on the pedagogical value of distance learning, encouraging students to undertake some of their course program work at home can be just as effective as tele-commuting in terms of earning carbon offset dollars. The same goes for tele-medicine. If companies can earn carbon offset dollars to implement tele-commuting programs, universities and R&E networks should be able to earn carbon offsets for offering distance learning and tele-medicine programs. (But as I argued in previous posts, rather than exchanging dollars in terms of carbon offsets, I would recommend exchanging other "zero carbon" awards such as offering participating students free eTextbooks, free music video, etc)

Finally R&E optical networks have an important role in redefining the entire value chain of the network itself. Many R&E networks are largely underutilized in terms of traditional measures of traffic volumes etc. Given these traffic volumes (and slowing growth) it would have been far cheaper in some cases for universities or funding agencies to purchase managed bandwidth from the carriers rather than build their own R&E networks.

But nobody yet has measured the carbon impact of these various optical, wavelength and customer owned networks. I would argue that in fact the carbon footprint of dark fiber, wavelengths and customer controlled network with optical switches is significantly less than a traditional carrier with expensive high end switches and (especially) routers which collectively consume the power of a small nuclear reactor. British Telecom for example has announced an initiative to use renewable energy sources as it is one of the biggest consumers of energy in the UK.

Instead of measuring the value of a network in terms of "bits per second", we instead should be using "bits per carbon". And while the utilization of R&E network may be low by traditional measurement standards of "bps" its impact on the environment may be significantly less when measured by "bpc" compared to a commercial network. And once again, the R&E networks can help develop a new business model through carbon offset trading by demonstrating that an optical lightpath mesh network has significantly less of a carbon footprint than a traditional electronic routed network.

An even more interesting and radical concept is to replace expensive electricity lines with optical networks. Instead of "wheeling" expensive power to physical servers at universities we can instead "wheel" inexpensive bits between virtual servers, grids located at renewable energy sites around the world.

For example the global community of optical research networks (GLIF) could build a "follow the sun" grid infrastructure. Solar powered high performance computing facilities could be located at remote desert locations throughout the world. But these systems would not be connected to any electrical grid, and instead be linked by a global high speed optical network. As the sun starts to set on any given HPC site, the currently running jobs and OS images would immediately transferred over the optical network to the next HPC site that is just starting to come active with the rising sun.

Bottom line is that I believe research and education networks can play important leadership role in defining these new business and network models related to trading "bits and bandwidth for carbon". They could also be working with universities to freeze, if not decrease, the carbon output of these institutions. To my mind universities should at the forefront in our society in finding solutions and new business models to address global warming. At least they should not be the worst offenders in terms of all these high carbon emission cyber-infrastructure facilities that are now being deployed at our campuses.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The next big eCommerce opportunity for Google, Amazon, eBay - carbon trading


[Google, Amazon and eBay are classic examples of the best of what America is good at- ingenuity and entrepreneurial capitalism. They dominate the global eCommerce marketplace.

Although the ecommerce economy has grown leaps and bounds over the past decade the eCommerce activities of these companies is still a relatively small part of the overall economy.

While click advertising, etrading and selling merchandise over the Internet has done wonders for the bottom line of these companies in the past decade, these markets are now maturing. The entire global advertising market is still very small compared to other economic activities. As well large portions of society still do not use eBay or Amazon for a variety of reasons including security, cross border shipping issues and so on. It is unlikely that these companies will be able to continue their spectacular growth of the past decade without some fundamental new business paradigm shift. Mobile eCommerce may provide some incremental revenues but I think its contribution to the bottom line will be miniscule at best.

The big challenge for these companies and many others like them is to move to the next wave of eCommerce which I believe will be carbon trading in exchange for bits and bandwidth.

There is a growing consensus that global warming is one of the greatest threats facing humanity. Increasingly governments and citizens are becoming aware of the severity of this threat and are clamouring for solutions.

To date the most obvious approaches to mitigate against global warming is to impose carbon taxes or implement various forms of carbon trading such as cap and trade or carbon offsetting.

Carbon taxes however, even if revenue neutral, are going to meet with stiff political resistance. Rather than imposing taxes can we instead provide carbon "rewards" where consumers and businesses are rewarded for reducing their carbon footprint, rather than being penalized if they don't?

To date carbon trading has been associated with various government mandated cap and trade systems or unregulated carbon offset trading. In cap and trade systems large carbon emitters are allocated carbon emission targets and can only exceed these targets by purchasing carbon permits from organizations who produce far less carbon. In offset trading there are a number of independent companies that audit and trade carbon offsets of individuals and businesses for high carbon emission activities such as air travel offset against telecommuting and other energy saving practices.

However these markets are very immature and relatively small.

Instead of trading carbon emission for carbon reduction, perhaps a better scheme would be to trade bits and bandwidth which have an extremely small footprint against activities that have a heavy carbon footprint.

A couple of simple examples come to mind which have been mentioned before on this blog:

(a) Amazon could work with public transportation systems and offer free eBooks with its new Kindle eReader to people who buy public bus and subway passes. Amazon would get a small percentage of every bus pass to pay for its ebooks and consumers would have a new incentive in which to take the bus or subway. Even if consumers still drive their SUV to work they would be helping out by providing a new revenue source to public transportation

(b) Free broadband Internet could be offered to consumers who are willing to pay a carbon premium on their gas and/or electric bill. See http://green-broadband.blogspot.com

(c) University students could be awarded with free cell phone, music and or videos if they agree to pay a carbon premium on their parking passes.

Etc

To my mind the trading and exchange of bits and bandwidth for carbon represents an entire new eCommerce business model with significant revenue potentials. Companies that are first movers in this space will quickly dominate this new market.

Carbon credit trading does not need to be limited to simple bilateral transactions, but like money can it can create multiplier effects, where consumers of bits and bandwidth can purchase other products and services with their carbon credits.

For example, universities could offer voluntary programs where students pay a premium on anything that creates a carbon footprint such as parking fees or residence power consumption etc. In exchange the students would be granted free access to the music and film industry libraries.

The "bits for carbon" fee would encourage students to reduce use of their automobiles and/or reduce their energy consumption within their residences or other activities. The university could also undertake energy audits on the students activities to earn additional valuable carbon credits, in the same businesses now earn carbon credits for promoting tele-working, tele-presence etc

But instead of paying the record and music industry actual money for the designated authorized music and video services, they instead would be paid in equivalent value of carbon credits, or the university would only purchase "originating" credits that were produced by the music/video industry through their own carbon reduction activities. The music and motion picture could then possibly double down their money by instituting their own carbon reduction schemes and trade in these credits or they could sell them to a variety of carbon trading brokers.

As one start to think about these concepts it becomes apparent there could be a whole range of business opportunities in trading bits and bandwidth for carbon.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Free the Music at our universities and Save the Planet


[Once again the MPAA and the RIAA are up to their dirty tricks of trying to block downloading of music and videos to students at universities by attempting to restrict funding to universities unless the institutions agree to alternatives such as paying monthly subscription fees to the music and motion picture industry.

One possible solution is for the universities and Educause to call the MPAA and RIAA's bluff and take the high road by instituting "bits for carbon" trading programs at their respective institutions.

Universities could offer voluntary programs where students pay a premium on anything that creates a carbon footprint such as parking fees or residence power consumption etc. In exchange the students would be granted free access to the music and film industry libraries. As well, part of the "bits for carbon" fee would be used by the university, working in partnership with the national research and education networks to set up an extreme high speed bandwidth connection to distributed content servers to enable fast download of the RIAA and MPAA approved content.

The "bits for carbon" fee would encourage students to reduce use of their automobiles and/or reduce their energy consumption within their residences or other activities. The university could also undertake energy audits on the students activities to earn additional valuable carbon credits, in the same businesses now earn carbon credits for promoting tele-working, tele-presence etc

But instead of paying the RIAA and MPAA actual money for the designated authorized music and video services, they instead would be paid in equivalent value of carbon credits. The music and motion picture could then possibly double down their money by instituting their own carbon reduction schemes and trade in these credits or they could sell them to a variety of carbon trading brokers. -- BSA]





[Note: This item expands on the call to action from EDUCAUSE that I
posted earlier. DLH]

Democrats: Colleges must police copyright, or else

By Declan McCullagh >

Story last modified Fri Nov 09 18:19:33 PST 2007


New federal legislation says universities must agree to provide not
just deterrents but also "alternatives" to peer-to-peer piracy, such
as paying monthly subscription fees to the music industry for their
students, on penalty of losing all financial aid for their students. The U.S. House of Representatives bill (PDF), which was introduced
late Friday by top Democratic politicians, could give the movie and
music industries a new revenue stream by pressuring schools into
signing up for monthly subscription services such as Ruckus and
Napster. Ruckus is advertising-supported, and Napster charges a
monthly fee per student.

The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) applauded the
proposal, which is embedded in a 747-page spending and financial aid
bill. "We very much support the language in the bill, which requires
universities to provide evidence that they have a plan for
implementing a technology to address illegal file sharing," said
Angela Martinez, a spokeswoman for the MPAA.

According to the bill, if universities did not agree to test
"technology-based deterrents to prevent such illegal activity," all of
their students--even ones who don't own a computer--would lose federal
financial aid.

The prospect of losing a combined total of nearly $100 billion a year
in federal financial aid, coupled with the possibility of overzealous
copyright-bots limiting the sharing of legitimate content, has alarmed
university officials.

"Such an extraordinarily inappropriate and punitive outcome would
result in all students on that campus losing their federal financial
aid--including Pell grants and student loans that are essential to
their ability to attend college, advance their education, and acquire
the skills necessary to compete in the 21st-century economy," a letter
from university officials to Congress written on Wednesday said.
"Lower-income students, those most in need of federal financial aid,
would be harmed most under the entertainment industry's proposal."

The letter was signed by the chancellor of the University of Maryland
system, the president of Stanford University, the general counsel of
Yale University, and the president of Penn State.

They stress that the "higher education community recognizes the
seriousness of the problem of illegal peer-to-peer file sharing and
has long been committed to working with the entertainment industry to
find a workable solution to the problem." In addition, the letter says
that colleges and universities are responsible for "only a small
fraction of illegal file sharing."

The MPAA says the university presidents are overreacting. An MPAA
representative sent CNET News.com a list of campuses that have begun
filtering files transferred on their networks, including the
University of Florida (Red Lambda technology); the University of Utah
(network monitoring and Audible Magic); and Ohio's Wittenberg
University (Audible Magic).

For each school taking such steps, the MPAA says, copyright complaints
dramatically decreased, in some cases going from 50 a month to none.

The MPAA's Martinez did warn that the consequences of violating the
proposed rules would be stiff: "Because it is added to the current
reporting requirements that universities already have through the
Secretary of Education, it would have the same penalties for
noncompliance as any of the others requirements under current law."

Neither the Recording Industry Association of America nor the
Association of American Universities was available for comment on
Friday.

Monday, November 12, 2007

The Green Grid - the new imperative for grids and VOs

[At the end of the day the big driver for grids and creation of virtual
organizations may not necessarily be eScience or eResearch, but the need for
universities and businesses to reduce power consumption and earn carbon
credits in order to reduce their carbon footprint. IBM has already announced
a virtual computing program where universities and businesses can replace
their existing physical clusters with a much more efficient virtual machine,
while at the same time earning thousands of dollars in carbon credits. I
suspect in a very short time you will see many more companies like Google,
Amazon, Microsoft and others offer similar carbon credit initiatives using
their various "cloud" computing networks to replace a variety of campus
servers such as mail, web, etc etc.

National research funding agencies can play a significant leadership role by
including carbon footprint as one of the criteria in awarding funding to
groups requesting computation and storage facilities. Already it is
estimated that cost of equivalent computational power from services like
Amazon EC2/S2 is less than the power consumption alone of a HPC cluster at a
university.

But in addition to the energy savings and reduced carbon footprint, any
development that encourages the use of virtualized computation and networks
will enable a greater flowering of advanced new applications and services
built around SOA, Web 2.0 and mashups

-- BSA]



http://www.thegreengrid.org/about/overview

The Green Grid is a consortium of information technology companies and
professionals seeking to improve energy efficiency in data centers around
the globe. The Green Grid takes a broad-reaching approach to data center
efficiency focusing on data center "power pillars" that span the gamut of
technology, infrastructure and processes present in today's data center
environments. The consortium's working focus includes research, standards
writing, published studies and continuing education.

Comprised of an interactive body of members who share and improve current
best practices around data center efficiency, The Green Grid scope includes
collaboration with end users and government organizations worldwide to
ensure that each organizational goal is aligned with both developers and
users of data center technology. All interested parties are encouraged to
join and become active participants in the quest to improve overall data
center power efficiencies.

http://searchcio.techtarget.com/tip/0,289483,sid19_gci1281024,00.html?track=
NL-275&ad=612169&asrc=EM_NLT_2533481&uid=1062647


Most machines use 5% to 10% of available computing power. By utilizing
server capacity more efficiently through virtualization, companies can do
the same job with 50% to 60% of their existing server population. This
translates into major savings in hardware, electricity and cooling.

Virtualization enables IT managers to divide a single server, or multiple
servers, into separate environments, each of which can run a different
operating system and serve different applications. Virtual machine (VM)
"images" can be ported from one physical server to another. Central
administrative software can then balance processing loads and allocate
storage capacity on an as-needed basis, across multiple virtual machines and
physical servers. One or more VMs can take up the slack during a planned or
unplanned outage.


http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&arti
cleId=9045278&intsrc=news_ts_head

IBM to let customers sell server energy savings on carbon markets
Another financial incentive for reducing power in data centers

November 01, 2007 (Computerworld) -- IBM will announce Friday a program that
will make it possible for its customers to document server energy savings --
and even trade them for cash, if they want, on emerging carbon markets.

How it works: If you take distributed systems -- for instance, x86 servers
-- and consolidate them on a mainframe, the move will result in an energy
savings. Those savings can be calculated based on reference data, a task
that will fall to Neuwing Energy Ventures, an independent firm verifying and
trading in energy efficiency certificates.

More specifically, IBM said its ongoing consolidation of 3,900 distributed
systems onto 33 mainframes will eventually save the company 119,000 megawatt
hours annually. One energy efficiency certificate is issued for each
megawatt hour saved per year.

In IBM's example, the certificates would have an estimated value of between
$300,000 and $1 million based on market conditions, said Rich Lechner, IBM's
vice president of IT optimization. The certificates can be issued for each
year of the life of the project.


IBM isn't alone in providing a financial incentive for energy efficiency.
Pacific Gas and Electric Co., for instance, is working with major utilities
to expand a program that pays a company between $150 and $300 per server
removed from service. The utility has been encouraging its customers to
adopt virtualization to increase server utilization.

Under IBM's program, a company could keep its energy certificates and use
them simply as proof of corporate responsibility. But other companies might
sell these certificates on one of the emerging carbon markets.

Saving the Planet at the Speed of Light

Saving the Planet at the Speed of Light

[Here is an excellent report commissioned by the EU on how ICT technolgies
can help reduce carbon dioxide emissions. “ICT’s carbon dioxide reduction
impact is 10 times more than its direct carbon dioxide reduction”. And we
have hardly started to look at making ICT technologies themselves more
energy efficient through use of web services, virtualization, grids, Web
2.0, NGI etc.

Research and education networks and university CIOs should play a critical
leadership role in experimenting and deploying new network and
cyber-infrastructures that minimize the carbon footprint of these
activities. They can also deploy various types of “bits for carbon”
(e-dematerialisation ) trading schemes such as providing free download
music, video, electronic textbooks, and campus wide advanced tele-presence
systems in exchange for carbon fees assessed on student parking,
researcher’s travel, and inefficient high energy consuming computer
systems, etc.

Many of these techniques and practices will also lead to exciting new
business opportunities. Countries that will be the first to deploy ICT
strategies to mitigate global warming will be the new economic powerhouses
of the future global economy. For example companies like Cisco are to be
applauded for taking initiative in this area with their $15m Connected
Urban Development strategy to help cities deploy ICT solutions to reduce
CO2 emissions.

Some excerpts from the report – BSA]

www.etno.be/Portals/34/ETNO%20Documents/Sustainability/Climate%20Change%20Road%20Map.pdf


One of the world’s most pressing challenges is climate change: the need to
radically reduce greenhouse gas emissions, while continuing to enable
economic development, both in the European Union and worldwide is a
combination that requires innovative action.

The EU has affirmed that at least a 15-30% cut in greenhouse gas emissions
by 2020 will be needed to keep the temperature increase under 2 °C, and a
deeper reduction by 60-80% may be needed by 2050.

To achieve these reductions it will be necessary to go beyond incremental
improvements in energy efficiency, current life-styles and business
practices. Improved energy efficiency for existing lifestyles, cars and
domestic appliances may be enough to reach the initial Kyoto targets in
2012, but they will not be enough for deeper reductions. To achieve
dramatic reductions of CO2 additional structural changes in
infrastructure, lifestyles and business practice are necessary.

As demonstrated in this document, there is a potential to allow the ICT
sector to provide leadership. This is a sector that is used to rapid
changes and has many of the most innovative people in the business sector,
and a unique service focus: it can become an important part of the
solutions needed to combat climate change.

The strategic use of ICT can contribute significantly to energy
efficiency, sustainable economic growth as well as job creation. ICT can
reduce the need of travel and transportation of goods by bridging distance
problems. It can increase efficiency and innovation by allowing people to
work in more flexible ways. It can also ensure a shift from products to
services and allow for dematerialization of the economy.


bill.st.arnaud at canarie.ca
http://green-broadband.blogspot.com

Future of the Internet & Cyber-Infrastructure – Reduce Global Warming

Future of the Internet & Cyber-Infrastructure – Reducing Global Warming

One of , if not, the greatest threats to mankind an our planet is global
warming. Around the world there is growing recognition that an
international “call to arms” is necessary if want to minimize economic
dislocation and suffering of unimaginable proportions due to global
warming.

At the same time as we wrestle with the challenges of global warming the
ICT research community is doing some serious soul searching on the Future
of the Internet and the future evolution of Cyber-Infrastructure (SOA,
Web 2.0, Grids etc). To date most of the discussion has been about
technology issues of IPv4 versus IPv6, NGI versus NGN, network neutrality,
Semantic web versus web services and so on

But I would argue that future of the Internet and Cyber-infrastructure
should be less about such technology debates, but more how we can use the
Future Internet and Cyber-Infrastructure to reduce global warming.

There are various estimates that ICT hardware in terms of computers,
routers and switches consumes upwards of 9% of the energy production in
North America. The first challenge for the ICT research community should
be, at least, to reduce this carbon footprint.

Fortunately there is a promising new concept of virtualization that may
considerably reduce the power consumption of ICT equipment. Researchers
and equipment vendors are now talking about building virtual computers,
networks, routers and switches as a key architectural feature of the
Future Internet and Cyber-Infrastructure. Initiatives such as NSF
CYBER-INFRASTRUCTURE, GENI, 4WARD, FREDERICA, MANTICORE and UCLP are all
based around the concept of representing physical resources such as
computers, networks and routers as independent virtual resources.

Large, centralized and extreme high efficiency ICT equipment using
renewable sources of energy such as wind and solar power may be the future
physical architecture of the Internet and Cyber-infrastructure. But no
one wants to go back to the bad old days of large centralized mainframes
and carrier networks. Virtualization allows multiple independently
managed network and virtual organizations to exist on a common very high
energy efficiency network substrate and computational fabric. So all the
modern advantages of intelligence and control at the edge can be
maintained and new applications and service such as P2P, Web 2.0, etc can
be deployed by users without getting permission of the owners of the
underlying substrate.

Next Generation Internet, Global Warming and the Consumer

The second challenge for the ICT research community is to how use ICT
technologies to enable the average consumer reduce their carbon footprint.

Governments around the world are wrestling with ways to get their citizens
to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. The current preferred approaches are
to impose “carbon” taxes and/or implement various forms of cap and trade
systems. However another approach to help reduce carbon emission is to
“reward” those who reduce their carbon footprint rather than imposing
draconian taxes or dubious cap and trade systems. Consumers will
generally change their behaviour and respond more positively to voluntary
reward mechanisms as opposed to mandatory solutions imposed by government
or other authorities.

But what reward mechanisms can we use that will encourage consumers to
reduce their carbon dioxide emissions and yet in themselves not also
create a significant carbon footprint?

As it turns out “bits” are almost costless in terms of their carbon
footprint. The carbon dioxide emissions of making one digital copy of a
piece of music or video is virtually no different than making one million
copies of the same material.

Perhaps digital information and knowledge in terms music, video and myriad
list of applications and services delivered over the Internet should be
the reward mechanism and new currency for reducing carbon emission.

So how do we effect a process of reducing carbon dioxide emissions in
transportation and heating in exchange for delivery of valuable carbon
free products and services over the Internet? What are the new economic
models, business arrangements and network architectures and services that
will be necessary to effect these transactions of reducing “carbon heavy”
energy products for “carbon light” virtual services and products?

One model that has been proposed (Green Broadband) is to provide consumers
with free high speed Internet in exchange for paying a higher premium on
their energy and gas bill – but with the added incentive of encouraging
the customer to reduce their energy consumption with no penalty. And as
we know from Economics 101 the surest way to reduce consumption of a
precious resource is to increase its price. So the additional premium
consumers would pay for on their energy bill would be an incentive to
reduce consumption, and yet if they do so be rewarded with their free high
speed Internet.

Other models include consumers voluntarily paying a premium at the gas
pump when they fill up their car, in order to receive free cell phone
service, or download unlimited MP3 songs to their iPOD.

There endless number of creative possibilities.

For those who are interested information on this topic are welcome to
attend my talks at TRlabs in Edmonton on Friday November 9th or Canadian
Urban Institute on Friday Nov 23

TRLabs Building the Next Generation Internet
http://www.trlabs.ca/trlabs/about/events/ngiwkshp_11092007.html

Canadian Urban Institute
Green Broadband and the Digital Divide
http://www.canurb.com/

Green Broadband
http://green-broadband.blogspot.com

Grids and virtualization can help reduce carbon dixoide emissions

 [There are a number of carbon credit and trading companies that are being
established to measure and audit energy savings and market these as carbon
credits. These carbon credits can be earned from promoting tele-commuting,
reduced air travel, consolidating servers etc etc. This is likely to be a
growing market and offers new commercialization opportunities for academia
and businesses in develop SOA and mashups on networks for the auditing,
automatic trading, of the carbon credit etc. I suspect this will propel
organizations to move to grids and virtual servers from Amazon and the like.
>From a posting on Slashdot. Some excerpts --BSA]




http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&arti
cleId=9045278&intsrc=news_ts_head

IBM to let customers sell server energy savings on carbon markets
Another financial incentive for reducing power in data centers

November 01, 2007 (Computerworld) -- IBM will announce Friday a program that
will make it possible for its customers to document server energy savings --
and even trade them for cash, if they want, on emerging carbon markets.

How it works: If you take distributed systems -- for instance, x86 servers
-- and consolidate them on a mainframe, the move will result in an energy
savings. Those savings can be calculated based on reference data, a task
that will fall to Neuwing Energy Ventures, an independent firm verifying and
trading in energy efficiency certificates.

More specifically, IBM said its ongoing consolidation of 3,900 distributed
systems onto 33 mainframes will eventually save the company 119,000 megawatt
hours annually. One energy efficiency certificate is issued for each
megawatt hour saved per year.

In IBM's example, the certificates would have an estimated value of between
$300,000 and $1 million based on market conditions, said Rich Lechner, IBM's
vice president of IT optimization. The certificates can be issued for each
year of the life of the project.


IBM isn't alone in providing a financial incentive for energy efficiency.
Pacific Gas and Electric Co., for instance, is working with major utilities
to expand a program that pays a company between $150 and $300 per server
removed from service. The utility has been encouraging its customers to
adopt virtualization to increase server utilization.

Under IBM's program, a company could keep its energy certificates and use
them simply as proof of corporate responsibility. But other companies might
sell these certificates on one of the emerging carbon markets.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

How Web 2.0 and SOA could help save electricity

[This a good example of the power and flexibility of SOA and Web 2.0. These tools allow integration with various network services as well. Inocybe, for example, allows web services to interconnect power devices with network services -- www.inocybe.ca and is ideal for integration with Green Broadband initiatives as mentioned in my previous post. Some excerpts from NetworkWorld article--BSA


http://www.networkworld.com/supp/2007/ndc6/102207-pnnl-ibm-soa-case-study.ht
ml?netht=102307dailynews2&&nladname=102307dailynews


Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in Richland, Wash., decided to find out. With IBM as a partner, they built a demonstration network called GridWise that showed how an event-driven service-oriented architecture (SOA) can be used to build a power marketplace that lets residential and commercial customers change their electricity consumption nearly in real time, based on price and other factors. During the yearlong, Energy Department-sponsored marketplace demonstration, customers spent less money on power, and utilities easily accommodated spikes in demand without affecting service levels.

The marketplace, an SOA application ran on an IBM WebSphere Application Server at PNNL and received data in real time from various Web services about electricity's current wholesale price and most recent closing price, as well as whether those prices were trending up or down. It communicated with specialized, "smart" appliances at participants' sites via IBM-developed middleware built within what IBM calls its event-driven architecture (EDA) framework and running on the WebSphere server. The EDA middleware provided the link between the transaction-oriented marketplace and the more physical world of the controls-based appliances. "Using event-based programming, we bridged between the control-systems world and the SOA-transaction world," says Ron Ambrosio, manager of Internet-scale control systems at IBM. "It let us build applications that are more control-like."

Via Web services, the virtual thermostats would bid a certain price into the marketplace based on the current temperature in the house, what the user's preferences were, and how responsive they wanted to be to changing prices.

Every five minutes, the marketplace would take those bids and determine a new clearing price for electricity. The new price would then flow out from the SOA marketplace through an event bus to all the virtual devices, kicking off their reaction.

In fact, Pratt estimates that adopting an SOA-EDA market-based approach across the United States could result in huge savings in power-grid infrastructure. "We are going to build a half a trillion dollars of new generation, transmission and distribution facilities in the United States in 20 years just to meet the load growth of our population and economy," he says. "And we can save at least 10%, maybe 20%, of that investment with these distributed, Internet-type control approaches." .

Cisco's Connected Urban Development to Reduce Carbon Emissions



[I am very excited to hear news of Cisco's Connected Urban Development Initiative and their commitment, in partnership with MIT and the cities of San Francisco, Seoul and Amsterdam, to spend $15 million in support of advanced network solutions to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. This is very much in line with the Green Broadband initiative referenced in my earlier postings. Unfortunately there does not yet exist a web site describing Cisco's initiative. But there is some excellent background material publicly available from either myself or Nicola Villa of Cisco on this initiative. Thanks to Nicola Villa of Cisco -- BSA]

Green Broadband
http://green-broadband.blogspot.com/

Cisco's Connected Urban Development http://www.clintonglobalinitiative.org/NETCOMMUNITY/Page.aspx?&pid=513&srcid
=395

http://newsroom.cisco.com/dlls/2006/ts_092106.html?CMP=ILC-001



Connected Urban Development to Reduce Carbon Emissions, 2006 Objective

-Reducing Global warming with smart environmentally, friendly cities while driving social, economical and environmental values

-An urban communications infrastructure makes the flow of information, people, traffic and energy more efficient

- Showcase how broadband collaborative networks and advanced technologies can transform sustainable cities

- Funding support for thought leadership and proof-of-concepts


Cisco
Commitment Details

* Estimated Total Value $15,000,000
* Commitment Duration 5 years



* Anticipated Launch January 1, 2007
* Geographic Scope Seoul,Amsterdam,San Franscisco
* Geographic Region Global

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