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


Monday, February 25, 2008

Green Data Centers - the scary facts

[At this weeks NANOG there was an excellent presentation on the challenges of the electrical power consumption and cooling for modern data centers. Some very scary data and you can see why the ICT industry carbon footprint will easily exceed that of aviation industry -- BSA]

http://www.nanog.org/mtg-0802/presentations/Snowhorn-Power.pdf

By 2008, 50% of today’s Data Centers will have insufficient power and cooling;

By 2010, half of all (Enterprise) Data Centers will have to relocate or outsource applications to another facility.

Some organizations are in the unenviable position of paying more to power and cool a rack a servers than they paid for the rack and the servers themselves.

The Bottleneck of the Internet is the Colo!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

ICT and Global Warming - Opportunities for Innovation and Economic Growth

[A draft of my paper on how Information, Computation and Telecommunication (ICT) solutions to mitigate against Global Warming can create opportunities for innovation and economic growth is now available. All comments, suggestions, changes and criticisms most welcome--BSA]

http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=dgbgjrct_2767dxpbdvcf

There has been considerable interest recently about how ICT (Information, Computer, Telecommunications) technologies and how they can address the global challenges of protecting the environment and supporting sustainable development. The subject of ICT and the environment covers a wide range of fields such as sustainable development, using ICT to improve practices in agriculture and forestry, monitoring atmospheric and water pollution, waste management and recycling, improved energy efficiency and, of course ICT as a source of toxic waste in its own right. Although these are all important areas of scientific research and public policy the intent of this report is not to address the various areas on how ICT can address global environment challenges such as the emission of Greenhouse Gases (GHG). Instead the purpose of this brief report is to focus on the opportunities for innovation and economic growth that might arise through the use of ICT to address the challenge of GHG emissions.


To date most approaches for using ICT to reduce GHG emissions have focused on "sackcloth and ashes" approach of reducing energy consumption or emission abatement techniques such as tele-commuting, tele-presence, etc. Various industry consortia and government programs have been set up to promote innovation in these areas. Although these may be worthwhile endeavours, they have been in existence for some time and so far, have made little progress in reducing energy consumption or GHG emissions. Rather than focusing on energy efficiency or abatement techniques this document will hopefully demonstrate that ICT can provide much greater opportunities for innovation and economic growth through a strategy of "zero carbon" for the ICT industry itself and using ICT e-products and e-services as a reward mechanism to encourage consumers and businesses to reduce their overall carbon footprint including heating, transportation, etc

[..]

Consumers control or influence 60% of CO2 emissions

[I highly recommend a report by Confederation of British Industry titled "Climate Change: Everyone's Business". There is a number of excellent statistics and charts on GHG (Green House Gas) emissions. But the one that struck me the most significant is the fact that consumers control or influence 60% of CO2 emissions. Emissions under direct consumer control such as home heating, private car transportation and personal electric consumption constitute 35%. Consumer influenced sectors such as retail, food and drink, agriculture etc constitute another 25%.

Finding ways to encourage consumers to reduce their carbon footprint will have a dramatic impact on overall global GHG emissions. Past attempts at such a strategy have focused on efforts like smart meters, tele-commuting or tele-presence. Although these continue to be worthwhile initiatives, they suffer in their appeal due to externalities such as basic inconvenience, insufficient broadband bandwidth and lack of incentive to counter the clearly inferior technique of interacting with colleagues and workers.

On the other hand, one of the outstanding success of the Internet over the past decade has been the growth in electronic products and services such as music, film, advertising , photography on line searches and so on. Many business processes are also moving to the Internet through such applications as Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) and Web 2.0 applications. The portion of the economy dedicated to e-products and e-services is expected to grow significantly over the coming years. Already multi-billion companies have been built around this business model such as Google, Apple iTunes, etc


Therefore, as I have argued in the past, one area of possible innovation and economic opportunity is to "mash up" these two separate economies and business models to see if new applications and services can be developed to encourage consumers to reduce their own GHG emissions. Companies like Google, Yahoo, Microsoft Amazon, and eBay, with their close consumer relationships could possibly have a significant impact on CO2 emissions through exchanging their e-products and e-services for consumer reduction in 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. -- BSA]

Climate Change: Everyone's Business http://www.avtclient.co.uk/climatereport/


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Greater energy efficiency may increase CO2 emissions

[I highly recommend a recent a report by Jeff Rubin of CIBC World Markets who documents the Khazzoom-Brookes postulate, also known as the Jevons Paradox where greater energy efficiency may result in increased energy consumption and resultant Green House Gas emissions.

Currently the ICT industry is largely focused on energy efficiency as the primary mechanism for limiting the impact of ICT on global warming. I argue in an upcoming paper that this may be a wrong headed approach (draft copies of this paper are available on request). To avoid the Khazzoom-Brookes postulate it may be necessary for the ICT industry to focus on a "zero carbon" strategy as opposed to energy efficiency. It is my belief that the ICT has the technological ability to target a zero carbon strategy through the use of next generation optical Internet networks linking zero carbon data centers, hosting clouds and grids using latest Web 2.0 and SOA applications. -- BSA]

Does Energy Efficiency Save Energy? http://research.cibcwm.com/economic_public/download/snov07.pdf

"Much is being banked on the notion that
improvements in energy efficiency will be the
answer to both oil depletion and greenhouse
gas emissions. But is it a realistic economic
premise that technological change can
reduce energy usage, and by implication, its
carbon trail?

The OPEC oil shocks spawned huge
improvements in energy efficiency, particularly
insofar as oil was concerned. But three
decades later, we find that the net effect of
all of those efficiency initiatives has been to
increase the world’s appetite for crude. While
oil per unit of GDP has fallen impressively in
large energy-consuming economies like the
United States, total oil consumption, and
indeed, total energy consumption, continue
to grow by leaps and bounds. The increase
in energy usage has dwarfed the gains in
economic efficiency. Hence, instead of
capping energy demand, what we observe
is that improvements in energy efficiency
lead to ever and ever-greater levels of energy
usage.

Following the OPEC oil shocks, a few renegade
economists argued that improvements
in energy efficiency would perversely
lead to increases in energy demand. The
Khazzoom-Brookes postulate, as it has
come to be known, is based on the standard
substitution and income effects that result
from any change in the price of a good. The
standard theory of the consumer argues
that a reduction in energy costs (due to
improvements in energy efficiency) can
lead to an increase, not a decline, in energy
demand. Moreover, to the extent that
overall economic growth would benefit from
cheaper energy prices, there is an additional
macroeconomic stimulus to energy demand,
all contributing to a very powerful rebound
effect. The postulate suggests that energy
intensity targets, commonplace in most
countries’ energy strategies, are effectively
incapable of limiting future growth in
either energy-demand growth or carbon
emissions.

To date, there has only been one sure-fire
way of reducing energy consumption—
shrink the economy. But even small
reductions in the level of global GDP would
lever huge increases in human hardship.
But at the same time, reducing energy
consumption per unit of GDP has not been a
viable policy option. From gasoline demand
to the energy requirements of the average
American home, the legacy of energyefficiency
improvements is ever-greater
energy consumption (see pages 4-7).

In the past, the efficiency paradox has
been used as an argument against efforts
to promote greater energy efficiency and
conservation. That is not our intention here.
On the contrary, for a world facing the
twin challenges of oil depletion and global
climate change, there has never been a
more urgent need for both. But in order for
total efficiency to actually curb total energy
usage, as opposed to energy intensity,
consumers must be kept from reaping the
benefits of those initiatives in ever-greater
energy consumption. Otherwise, energy
usage will be the beneficiary of our best
efforts towards greater energy efficiency.
The road to hell is paved with good
intentions.