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


Thursday, January 31, 2008

Upcoming Conferences and Studies on ICT and Global Warming

[Interest in ICT and its impact on global warming seems to have exploded in the last 6 months. There is a number of upcoming reports and conferences on the subject that I would highly recommend. Most of these events and studies are looking at energy efficiency and carbon abatement (tele-presence, tele-commuting, etc) as the primary mechanisms how ICT can mitigate effects of Green House Gas (GHG) emissions. But I don't know how many of them are taking a systemic view and looking at issues of Jevons paradox or the issue of "zero carbon" versus "carbon neutrality". Also I don’t think any of these studies are addressing the new business and economic opportunities that may be possible with a zero carbon ICT strategy that may result in a virtuous feedback cycle to further stimulate GHG reductions in other sectors of society. It is my belief that there are huge economic and business opportunities with a zero carbon ICT strategy which will fundamentally reshape ICT industry, broadband, etc and create new wealth and employment to first mover countries and businesses--BSA]


http://www.itu.int/ITU-T/worksem/climatechange/call.html
Call for papers, speakers and contributions
ITU Symposia on ICTs and Climate Change
Kyoto, Japan, 15-16 April 29008
London, UK, 17-18 June 2008
Deadline: 29 February 2008

Since 1970, the production of greenhouse gases has risen by more than 70 per cent, and this is having a global effect in warming the planet, causing changing weather patterns, rising sea-levels, desertification, shrinking ice cover and other worrying long-term effects. The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) foresees a further rise in average global temperatures of between 1.4 and 5.8° centigrade by 2030.

Climate change is a concern for all of humanity and requires efforts on the part of all sectors of society, including the information and communication technologies (ICTs) sector. Although ICTs contribute only an estimated 2.5 per cent of total greenhouse gases, this share is set to grow as usage of ICTs expands globally, growing at a faster rate than the general economy. ICTs are thus part of the cause of global warming, but they can also be part of the solution, for instance through the promotion of carbon displacement technologies. ICTs are also vital in monitoring the spread of global warming.

As part of a major new initiative on the overall topic of ICTs and climate change, ITU is organizing two Symposia on ICTs and Climate Change. The first will be held in Kyoto, Japan 15-16 April 2008, hosted by MIC Japan, and the second in London, UK, on 17-18 June, hosted by BT. Initial proposals developed in Kyoto will be finalized in London. These symposia will bring together key specialists in the field, from top decision-makers to engineers, designers, planners, government officials, regulators, standards experts and others.

To contribute to this work, you are invited to submit an abstract, of maximum 300 words, for a paper or presentation which is relevant to one of more of the topics below.



Canadian Green IT Forum: You, Me and Green IT Conference http://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=IDC_P16849

Apr 09-10, 2008
Toronto, Ontario Canada


Canadian Telecom Summit
Green IT
http://www.gstconferences.com/conference_program?



http://www.gesi.org/media/press-releases/new-global-climate-change-study-focuses-on-ict-industry.html

New Global Climate Change Study Focuses on ICT Industry

The ICT sector currently accounts for less than two per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, though this number could more than double by 2020. The independent research study will assess current carbon impacts of the ICT sector and analyse ICTs’ role in catalyzing transformation to a low-carbon economy.

The study will quantify the direct and indirect impacts of computing, telecoms, software and services, and assess business opportunities going forward to 2020. The study will commence in November 2007 and will report in March 2008.

In addition to identifying ways to limit direct impacts of the sector, the study will explore the opportunities for ICTs to drive efficiencies both in developed countries and in emerging economies, where growth of ICTs is over 10 per cent.

Steve Howard, CEO of The Climate Group says: “The ICT sector is rapidly growing and energy dependent. If the sector gets it right, it can achieve sustainable growth and deliver smart solutions that will help enable the low carbon economy.”

Luis Neves, Chair of the GeSI initiative, says: “IT and communications companies are looking for the best way to take responsibility for the future. This study will provide the definitive scientific evidence we need to choose the right course and play a positive role in climate change solutions. This is an excellent opportunity for the IT industry to examine how the application of IT can, not only deliver energy savings and carbon reduction, but do so in a way that drives even greater economic growth and productivity.”

Balancing the wider benefits against the direct impacts of the industry, covering both developed and emerging economies, the study aims to:

* Deliver the first globally comprehensive picture of direct and indirect carbon emissions of telecoms, computing, services and software.
* Define common themes and issues across the ICT lifecycle, identifying critical trends, scenarios and impact assessments for the ICT sector to 2020.
* Create a ‘road map’ to allow the ICT sector to act now on reducing global energy usage and greenhouse gas emissions.

More information

For more information contact:

Tom Howard-Vyse, The Climate Group
Head of Media, Europe
Dir: +44 (0) 207 960 2991, Mob: +44 (0) 7800 933831 thoward-vyse@theclimategroup.org

Joan Sherlock, Global e-Sustainability Initiative
Head of Communications
Dir: +1 650 948 2544, Mob: +1 650 400 1336
press@gesi.org


Conference on Green Cyber-infrastructure on Campus

[It is good to see that companies like Sun are starting to see the importance of dealing with CO2 footprint of the computational infrastructure on campus. There are now companies that offer offset dollars, as much as $1 million, to universities if they eliminate their cyber-infrastructure CO2 footprint through use of clouds and/or virtualization. The upcoming Canadian Telecom Conference will also have a entire day's track devoted to Green IT. Thanks to Michael Sims for this pointer--BSA]

Canadian Telecom Summit track on Green IT http://www.gstconferences.com/conference_program?

Sun Conference on Eco-computing http://www.events-at-sun.com/wwerc08/track2.html#speakers

WWERC Track #2:
Eco-Computing on Campus
As community participation on the network grows, so does its impact on the environment—and that affects the bottom line. Energy costs for universities have jumped 27% percent since 2005 as the campus datacenter faces heavier demands that are pushing the limits of power, space, and cooling. Meanwhile, institutions are also increasingly concerned about the environmental impact of their datacenters and are under pressure to reduce emissions, energy consumption and e-waste.

So where is the green in green? At the 2008 ERC, you'll hear from leaders in industry, pioneers in education, and experts at Sun on why eco-computing is both important and beneficial to higher education, and the opportunities available today to make a difference.

Note: All speakers subject to change.

Speakers

* Dave Douglas, Vice President, Eco Responsibility, Sun Microsystems
* Paul Frankel, Director, Aquillian Investments
* Larry Penley, President, Colorado State University System


Thursday, January 17, 2008

How Google can save the planet

[As many of you who have been following my Green Broadband Blog I have long argued that there are 2 approaches on how the Internet can help reduce global warming. The first and most obvious is reducing the direct energy consumption of the Internet and ICT (information, communications, technology) industry itself. There is a lot of good work in this area with more energy efficient computers, green grids, zero carbon data centers and so forth. Google and other companies like IBM are exemplary corporate citizens in this regard. But even if the entire Internet industry reduced its carbon footprint to zero, the impact would be fairly negligible on the overall global CO2 output.

The second and more important benefit of how companies like Google, Yahoo, Microsoft Amazon, eBay, etc can have a significant impact on CO2 emissions is through trading "bits and bandwidth for carbon". This is not "pie in the sky" thinking but a common marketing tool that already exists with resale gas and electric companies. But surprisingly the concept has not been taken up or implemented by the Internet industry.

Many gas and electric resale companies have a number of product offerings where customers can get free hot water tanks, furnaces, appliances and other services if they sign up for long term contracts with a fixed price for their rate of energy consumption. Direct Energy for example offers 300 free minutes of long distance per month for those customers who sign up for a 5 year contract of a fixed guaranteed utilization price for gas and/or electricity. With a fixed price per utilization (e.g. 10 cents per kilowatt/hour) customers are free to reduce their overall energy consumption and yet still enjoy the benefits of the free service or product. As far as I know none of the electric gas resale companies have positioned these offerings as a way for consumers to reduce CO2 emissions.

Companies like Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and others have been focusing on the advertising market as their main source of Internet revenue through "click-ad" and products like Ad-Sense etc. While the innovations in this market have been spectacular, they do have limited total revenue potential. The entire advertising market - radio, TV, Internet - is very small part of the overall economy. Even with 100% capture of this market it will not enable the next billion dollars of revenues for companies like Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, eBay, Amazon, etc

But imagine if you could combine the power of click ads and on-line purchases with electric and gas re-sale products and services. Imagine a real time Internet service where customers could buy all sorts of products and services over the network where the cost of the product and/or service is included as part of their overall electric/gas utilization rate (but NOT consumption).

For example a customer could click on an iTunes song and rather than being billed on their credit card, the charge instead would be applied to their electric utilization rate increasing it for example from 10 cents per kilowatt/hour to 10.1 cents per kilowatt/hour for the next 5 days, or something to that effect.

Customers would be encouraged to reduce their energy consumption during that period, so that the net cost of such a purchase could very well end up being zero. The purveyors of the products and services, and the electric/gas resellers can protect and guarantee their profits from the sale of the product or service through forward purchases of energy or averaging out the base utilization rate.

The same marketing concept can be applied to automobiles as well where customers with leases or service plans agree to pay a "utilization" fee based on their mileage they put on the vehicle. Products and services such as music, cell phone charge, congestion charges, etc could be charged to this utilization fee. Again the less the consumer drives the car, the more they benefit in terms of effective zero next cost for the product and/or service.

In many ways trading of "Bits and bandwidth for carbon" is in effect a carbon tax. But rather than governments applying such a tax where there are no direct benefits to the consumer, this mechanism will have the same effect of encouraging consumers to reduce their carbon footprint, but where they are directly rewarded for this behaviour.

Internet companies like Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, eBay, Amazon would have a new marketing tool and a potential source of significant new revenue. At the same time they can be leaders in addressing the biggest environmental challenge facing this planet.

Virtually anyone can become an electric/gas reseller. It is important to note that you DON'T have to be a utility to be an electric/gas reseller. The licensing costs imposed by most states and provinces are less than $2000.00. Throughout North America and the rest of the world there are wholesale energy markets where licensed resellers can purchase energy for resale to consumers and businesses. Most utilities are obligated by law to do the billing and customer collection on behalf of any licensed reseller and then remit monthly the energy charges to the reseller directly. This means that any small innovative Internet companies who want to institute "bits and bandwidth for carbon" marketing schemes can easily become energy resellers and get into the market without huge costs of billing and collection.

For more details see http://green-broadband.blogspot.com

Monday, January 14, 2008

Can the Internet save the Planet

[Some excerpts from excellent article in Information Week article. There are also some excellent pointers to other resources on ICT and global warming -- BSA]

http://www.informationweek.com/news/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=205601559&pgno=1&queryText=



Solar arrays and wind farms grab all the green technology attention, but the Internet is quietly providing ways to save energy.

By Richard Martin
InformationWeek
January 12, 2008 12:01 AM (From the January 14, 2008 issue)

Last October, environmentally conscious Netheads everywhere got some excellent news. The pervasive use of broadband Internet connections and the tools and practices they enable could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by some 1 billion tons over the next decade, according to the American Consumer Institute. Widespread adoption of broadband in the United States alone would cut energy use by the equivalent of 11% of annual oil imports, the group says.

Clearly, though, when it comes to energy use, the Web is both a crusader and a culprit. Server farms and data centers burn mountains of CO2, much of it to keep machines cool. But now a new crop of companies and thinkers is trying to make the Internet "carbon neutral" and find ways to use Web-based technologies to reduce worldwide energy consumption through "demand-response" schemes that give energy consumers more direct control over their energy use.

Internet-enabled capabilities like telecommuting, e-commerce, teleconferencing, and distance learning that have been around for decades are expected to play an increasing role in cutting energy consumption--reducing air travel and the need for warehouses, trips to the mall, and even malls themselves. The American Consumer Institute projects that telecommuting alone will cut CO2 emissions by more than a half million tons over the next decade. Overall, the Internet economy could help reduce growth in greenhouse gas output by 67% over the next several years, the study says, citing data from the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab.

[..]
St. Arnaud believes that Internet companies can slow global warming in two ways: by reducing the energy use of the routers and servers that make up the Internet's backbone, and by "bits-and-bandwidth for carbon" trading schemes that would provide incentives for individuals and companies to reduce their carbon footprints in return for free or reduced-rate broadband connections or downloadable music and films.

Legendary Silicon Valley investors like John Doerr of Kleiner Perkins and Vinod Khosla, who made their fortunes from Internet-based technology, are now focused on slowing global warming, channeling billions of dollars into technologies such as solar power and wind farms.

[..]
Couple the potential of Internet-related technologies with these investment engines and the optimists among us might foresee a significant dent in the energy crisis. But such pronouncements mask the inconvenient truth that the Internet hogs a great deal of power, particularly for big server farms on Google- and Amazon-like scales.

[..]

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Zero Carbon Data Centers being deployed by Google and others


[There has been a number of recent announcements of companies planning to deploy zero carbon data centers. Previously I mentioned the initiative in Iceland in partnership with Hibernia cable

http://green-broadband.blogspot.com/2007/12/new-undersea-cable-to-iceland-to-enable.html

Here is an excellent presentation by Bastion Host which is planning on deploying a renewable energy data center in rural Nova Scotia which will also take advantage of Hibernia Cable and the much shorter great circle route between North America and Europe. The other advantage of locating a data center in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland is the close proximity to US markets. But, as well, being in Canada enterprise customers are largely protected from the prying eyes of the US Patriot Act.

http://www.bastionhost.com/BHslides/BHweb_edit.html


Google considers data center in Lithuania http://www.reuters.com/article/ousiv/idUSL0767120020080107

VILNIUS (Reuters) - Web search company Google Inc. is considering building a data center in Lithuania, business daily Verslo zinios reported on Monday.

The government has proposed locating the centre near a hydro power plant in Kaisiadoriu district, central Lithuania, and the negotiations over investment were to be closed soon, the paper said. [...]

Thanks to viboons for his posting on Internet evolution http://www.internetevolution.com/messages.asp?piddl_msgthreadid=179239&piddl_msgid=152647#msg_152647

--BSA]

Monday, January 7, 2008

Infrastructure as a web service to reduce carbon emissions

[I received several interesting responses on my recent posting on Internet Evolution on Infrastructure as a web service (IaaS). Enabling the IT infrastructure as a Web service allows administrators to virtualize not only computing resources but also a variety of LAN and WAN network hardware and storage devices including routers, switches, application servers, etc.

http://www.internetevolution.com/author.asp?section_id=506&doc_id=142359

As Paul Whyte reports in his response "there is a company in Indianapolis who are pioneering efforts in this direction:http://www.bluelock.com). Going through their website makes interesting reading as they catalogue the financial, technical and business benefits of IaaS."

Eoin Kenney from Heanet comments that "infrastructure as web service ..is happening from a whole bunch of different directions. For example, Amazon have already provide infrastructure web services and you can build your own APN [Articulated Private Network] using Amazon web services as
building blocks.... Putting all these web services together, storage, bandwidth etc and you get your own APN. Its only a matter of time before some student starts providing a simple little GUI that will do all of this for you.

Alan Judge of Amazon gave a great presentation at the recent HEAnet conference on how researchers and educators can use Amazon Ec2/S3 in IaaS applications. A good example is the UC Santa Barbara program: Scalable Internet Services. Course materials, lessons learned, and projects all available online: http://courses.voneicken.com/ucsb-cs290f-fa06

Finally the New Scientist article " Can we stop the internet destroying our planet?" brings this all together by pointing out the new "Green Grid" initiative which is a partnership of Microsoft, IBM, Sun and Dell to explore how data centres can be made more energy efficient to support these new IaaS applications and services.

The New Scientist also reports that IBM "...pledged to invest $1 billion annually in a project called Big Green, which aims to double computing capacity at IBM's data centres without increasing energy consumption.
Like many members of the Green Grid, IBM is making virtualisation software a central part of its greening strategy... virtualisation is now seen as the low-hanging fruit in data centres' green transition."

http://technology.newscientist.com/channel/tech/mg19726372.700-can-we-stop-the-internet-destroying-our-planet.html

The ultimate goal as I have reported in the past is to build zero carbon data centers in order to assist companies and individuals to relocate their energy consuming computers and servers to these facilities. More importantly zero carbon data centers will enable the next generation of high speed Internet applications that will be used to trade bits and bandwidth for carbon.

For more information please see my Green Broadband/IT blog at http://green-broadband.blogspot.com
--BSA]

How R&E optical networks can help reduce CO2 emissions


[I am prompted to write this blog by the recent decision of the BCnet board to adopt a Green Broadband strategy. As far as I know the British Columbia research and education optical network is the first in the world to adopt such a program as part and parcel of their disaster recovery and virtualization planning. Not only will this initiative have enormous benefits for the BC university research community it will also provide significant advantages to BC businesses and government.

BCnet and other optical R&E networks are starting to realize that they can play a critical role in helping mitigate the impact of CO2 emissions from cyber-infrastructure and other carbon intensive facilities on university campuses.

Many universities are spending millions of dollars on building new facilities to host the demand for new cyber-infrastructure equipment that is essential to the future of scientific discovery. A big part of the cost of such facilities is the new electrical and air conditioning systems required to power and cool these systems respectively, which of course has a large carbon footprint.

But rather than building carbon intensive data centers on campuses, some leading edge universities are starting to look at relocating these systems to zero carbon data centers which may be at distant sites off campus, or even sharing these facilities through grids across several campuses. Not only does this reduce the carbon impact of such systems, it also provides for disaster recovery in the event of major disruptions such as earthquakes, fires, etc

Many university computer clusters are often under utilized. But by sharing these facilities though grids and other means their carbon impact can be significantly reduced. And in some cases universities, Virtual Organizations or R&E networks can earn real dollars through carbon offsets, by sharing these facilities and increasing their overall utilization.

Of course, all of this is only possible, if the universities are attached to a high speed optical research network. Relocating or sharing cyber-infrastructure systems off campus only works if researchers and students can still have the same performance and throughput as if these facilities were located next door on campus. This can only be achieved by a high speed optical network.

And yet collaboration and sharing of cyber-infrastructure is often a tough sell to many researchers, even though many recognize it is the future of science and research. The inertia in the way they currently carry out their research can be a powerful disincentive to move to the world of cyber-infrastructure. But saving the climate may provide a more compelling moral incentive to these researchers to encourage collaborate and share these cyber-infrastructure facilities in the exciting new world of eScience and eResearch. So universities and research networks like BCnet who implement green broadband strategies can help accelerate their researchers to move to the world of cyber-infrastructure and leading edge science--BSA]

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