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:
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
Thursday, November 13, 2008
The multi-trillion dollar business opportunity in reducing global warming with IT
I recently attended a Green IT conference in Lisbon and was blown away how countries like Portugal of grasped the significance of Green IT and its potential to create economic wealth for their country. Both the President of and the President of the EC spoke very knowledgably on this subject at this conference. They understand that future growth of their economies, and the creation of jobs will be increasingly dependent on reducing global warming by developing alternative energy sources and the use of IT in all sectors of society to reduce or eliminate Green House Gas (GHG) emissions.
I highly recommend looking at some of the presentations that were given at this conference. In particular Dr Chris Hope of the Judge Business School at Cambridge University has done some excellent analysis for the UK government Stern report that showed for the UK alone the revenue opportunity of reducing GHG emission would be in excess of 600 billion euros!! Worldwide the potential is hundreds, of not thousands of trillions of dollars in the coming decades!!
While most policy makers advocate that this revenue is so large it should be captured through carbon taxes (balanced against tax reductions in other sectors) or cap and trade (through auctioned permits), there is a concern that these policy tools may not significantly reduce CO2 emissions but instead simply increase the cost of doing business. As well there is a genuine fear that these tax revenues will be used to fund politicians favourite projects or be captured by dirty emitters such as the “Clean Coal” coalition. Additional tools are needed in the toolbox to directly address the challenge of global warming such as mandated carbon neutrality and carbon “rewards” (rather than carbon taxes). These later tools are the ones that have the potential to create significant new business opportunities, as investments to reduce GHG emissions flows will directly between consumers and businesses without being intercepted by the sticky fingers of government . More importantly they will directly address the reduction of GHG emissions as such initiatives require direct measurement of GHG reductions through standard such as ISO 14064.
Several governments already have mandated carbon neutrality such as the governments of British Columbia and New Zealand where public sector institutions are mandated to be carbon neutral. Other governments are also looking at requiring suppliers to government to carbon neutral or include the cost of carbon in the products and services they sell to government. Some university funding agencies are also looking at the possibility of researchers including the cost of carbon in all research proposals.
For many examples of carbon rewards please see my blog at http://green-broadband.blogspot.com
The following excerpt from a blog on the recent Web 2.0 conference I believe further highlights the business opportunity Green IT – BSA]
Portuguese conference on Green IT
Web Firms Step Into Green Shadow in the Valley
At last week’s Web 2.0 Summit — the annual convention that has come to represent the new web boom –- a leading web industry journalist asked me if green technology was here to stay, or if it is just another fad that would die at the hands of dropping gas prices and a recession. “I think it’s one of the world’s biggest opportunities,” I responded, and what I wish I’d have added is this: It’s also trumping the web in terms of excitement, innovation and inspiration for the next generation of entrepreneurs.
That cleantech is, at the very least, what people are excited about was obvious at last week’s Summit. Green startups — even those that had little to do with the web — took over large parts of the show. Former Vice President, Nobel Peace Prize laureate and Kleiner Perkins cleantech investor Al Gore received a standing ovation for his keynote. The CEO and Chairman of high-profile electric vehicle startup Tesla Motors, Elon Musk, and the CEO of electric vehicle infrastructure startup Better Place, Shai Agassi, both had long fireside chats with the conference-organizers. And half of the startups in the launchpad section of the show were green companies — Carbonetworks, GoodGuide and Sungevity.
Perhaps the biggest indicator at the show, though, was when John Doerr, partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers, declared green technology to be “the growing thing in Silicon Valley” and said kick-starting energy research will be President-elect Barack Obama’s most important task. Kleiner was responsible for Internet investments like Google (GOOG) and has now allocated a third of its fund to green investments — equal to the amount it’s pumping into digital media/web plays. Doerr even told the audience that Kleiner partner Bill Joy would be a good choice for Obama’s Chief Technology Officer; Joy has stated for the past year that he is staying away from most Internet investments and focusing entirely on innovations to fight climate change.
But the overall cleantech industry will survive a downturn. The opportunity for entrepreneurs and innovation is large — and just starting to be realized. Energy alone is a $6 trillion market, compared to $100 billion for the Internet. And the industries that cleantech entrepreneurs are trying to tackle — power generation, the power grid, the water system — have been largely neglected in terms of technology innovation. As Thomas Friedman points out in “Hot, Flat, and Crowded,” paraphrasing GE’s CEO Jeffrey Immelt: Over three decades GE has sold eight or nine generations of medical devices, but only one generation of energy technology.
There’s also the fact that the underlying problems that have lead to the ascendancy of cleantech are still persistent. The price of gas might fluctuate wildly, but the planet is still growing increasingly warm, and the population is still expected to boom to more than 9 billion people in the next three decades — largely in developing countries like India and China. Cleantech is about figuring out smart, sustainable ways to allocate resources like energy, water, and raw materials; the need for which won’t disappear in the face of temporarily cheap fuel.
The recession could also turn federal legislators green in the coming months. President-elect Obama is calling for the creation of 5 million green jobs in a decade and has pledged to provide more support for renewable energy than any other previous administration. Josh Green, managing partner at MDV thinks that Obama’s cleantech plan will make up part of the economic recovery package, as does Al Gore. If green jobs really can help ease the pain of the recession, the cleantech industry would find even more government and private sector support when we eventually get to better financial times.
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