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, April 28, 2008

Green Internet/ICT will help Japan reach 90% of its Kyoto target


[Another excellent presentation from the recent ITU conference in Kyoto on ICTs and Climate Change. In his presentation Dr. Yuji INOUE, President & CEO The Telecommunication Technology Committee (TTC) demonstrated that it is possible for Japan to reach 90% of it Kyoto target to reduce CO2 emissions (68m tones) through application of ICT to various everyday activities, especially de-materialization and trading eProducts and eServices for their physical counterpart. Even if a more realistic outcome is closer to 50% of the Kyoto target, this is still a significant impact on CO2 emissions for Japan. I believe we can achieve even more significant results by moving all Internet network and computational facilities to zero carbon data centers and using carbon rewards as opposed to carbon taxes, to underwrite the costs next generation last mile networks in order that consumers fully utilize eProducts and eServices --BSA]

ITU - ICTs and Climate Change http://www.itu.int/ITU-T/worksem/climatechange/programme-kyoto.html

Dr Yuji INOUE's presentation http://www.itu.int/dms_pub/itu-t/oth/06/0F/T060F0060080025PDFE.pdf


Thursday, April 24, 2008

Excellent presentations on ICT and the Environment


[Recently the ITU and IDC in Canada held conferences on the subject of the impact of ICT and environment. As well the OECD is holding a workshop on this theme in Denmark on May 21-22. As at any such conference there was the usual mix of bromides and platitudes about energy efficiency, tele-presence, tele-working- to all of which I am remain extremely skeptical. However the GeSI study pointed out that ICT can have a major impact in "de-materialization" and building zero carbon networks and distributed computing architectures. The later will enable the ICT industry to have a zero or negative carbon footprint, and the former can reduce overall CO2 emissions by much as 10%. The challenge is how to promote de-materialization? I have long advocated the equivalent of a carbon tax - but where the revenue from such a tax goes directly to the consumer rather than the government, under the condition that customer is restricted to buying products and services that have essentially a zero carbon footprint such as fiber and high speed Internet to the home, eMovies, eMusic etc
http://free-fiber-to-the-home.blogspot.com/ --BSA]

GeSI presentation at ITU http://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=IDC_P16849&pageType=EVENTPROCEEDINGS

ITU Conference on ICTs and Environment http://www.itu.int/ITU-T/worksem/climatechange/programme-kyoto.html

IDC Conference on ICTs and Environment http://www.itu.int/dms_pub/itu-t/oth/06/0F/T060F0060080003PDFE.pdf


Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The Internet's role in aggravating and alleviating the energy crises

[Another excellent analysis by Andrew Odlyzko on Internet's role in aggravating and alleviating the Internet. I fully agree with his analysis on the limited of possibility of reducing CO2 emission by substituting transportation of atoms with electrons (or photons) through telecommuting and tele-presence. These are useful applications, but the real power of the Internet to affect human behaviour in reducing CO2 emissions will come in other areas - as for example in the (yet unproven) idea of providing "carbon reward" rather than taxes by offering free eProducts and eServices in exchange for consumers reducing their own carbon footprint in other aspects of their lives. Consumers control or influence 60% of human generated CO2 emissions, so the Internet may be powerful tool to induce them to change their behaviour. --- BSA]



http://www.dtc.umn.edu/~odlyzko/doc/internet.energy.crises.txt

The Internet has long been touted as a major weapon in reducing road congestion, through enabling and stimulating telecommuting. More recently, it has been promoted as a means to fight global warming. (An excellent source of information on these topics is Bill St. Arnaud's "Green IT/Broadband and Cyber-Infrastructure" blog at
http://green-broadband.blogspot.com/.) But these hopes fly in the face of centuries of experience. It is likely that the Internet will play a major role in alleviating problems caused by any of several energy crises that we face, but if so, this will not take place as commonly
expected.

[..]

New Al Gore presentation on climate change on TED

[For those who have never discovered TED, I highly recommend taking a look. A wealth of thought provoking video seminars from recognized experts and leaders around the world, such as Al Gore's new presentation - most of which can be downloaded in HD for free.

I concur with Al Gore that we need a carbon tax - but I argue that it should be structured as a carbon "reward" where consumers get free eProducts and eServices in exchange for reducing their carbon footprint in their day to day activities. eProducts and eServices have virtually no carbon footprint. Since consumers control or influence 60% of all CO2 emissions, I think immediate rewards, rather than nebulous taxes will provide a much greater incentive. The danger with carbon taxes, although supposedly revenue neutral, is they create an addiction for governments, much like thy are currently addicted to lottery, gasoline, alcohol and tobacco taxes. My 2 cents worth. See my blog http:/green-broadband.blogspot.com for more details -- BSA]


http://blog.ted.com/2008/04/new_thinking_on.php

In Al Gore's brand-new slideshow (premiering exclusively on TED.com), he presents evidence that the pace of climate change may be even worse than scientists were recently predicting, and challenges us to act with a sense of "generational mission" -- the kind of feeling that brought forth the civil rights movement -- to set it right. Gore's stirring presentation is followed by a brief Q&A in which he is asked for his verdict on the current political candidates' climate policies and on what role he himself might play in future.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Iceland Woos Data Centers As Power Costs Soar


[Some excerpts From Slashdot Frontpage article from BusinessWeek. Northern countries like Canada and the Nordic countries are well positioned to capture some of this data center business. In the past these countries used to lobby hard for large energy consuming industries like aluminum smelters - now the opportunity is with the much cleaner data centers and high tech jobs. High speed optical networks are the key for attracting data centers. There still remains an abundance of tapped renewable power which is uneconomic to ship to more populous areas because of the cost of transmission lines etc. But this power is ideal for date centers, because rather than shipping the power to the data center, with optical networks we can bring the data center to the power. In essence the data gets almost free renewable power because no other industry can access it. See http:/green-broadband.blogpsot for more information--BSA]

http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/08_13/b4077060400752.htm

It's Too Darn Hot
The huge cost of powering—and cooling—data centers has the tech industry scrambling for energy efficiency [...] Haflioason works for Invest in Iceland, a government agency. He's pitching the desolate spot outside of Grindavik as a site for data centers, the sprawling facilities chock-full of computers that tech companies build to handle the swelling oceans of digital information.

It's a testament to the challenges companies face in operating data centers that Google (GOOG), Yahoo! (YHOO), and Microsoft (MSFT) have all checked out this remote corner of the world (although none has made a commitment so far). The reason: Iceland has a rare combination of vacant land, cheap geothermal energy, and chilly climate that makes cooling a data center nearly free.

The tech industry is facing an energy crisis. The cost of power consumption by data centers doubled between 2000 and 2006, to $4.5 billion, and could double again by 2011, according to the U.S. government. With energy prices spiking, the challenge of powering and cooling these SUVs of the tech world has become a major issue for corporations and utilities. "The digital economy is pervasive," says Andy Karsner, Assistant U.S. Energy Secretary for energy efficiency. "The demands for computing will grow exponentially, but electric consumption can't grow the same way."


[...]
Little wonder, perhaps: In the future, the competition between Google and Microsoft in the Web search business might be determined as much by data center energy efficiency as by which company writes the best search algorithm.

Think of the data center as the factory for the info economy. Every day, in thousands of nondescript buildings in the hinterlands or in the basements of office towers, trillions of chunks of information coded in ones and zeros are moved, stored, and assembled into new shapes. Those electronic packets include millions of e-mails, Facebook pages, blog entries, and YouTube (GOOG) videos; vast quantities of electronic transactions; plus an ever-expanding universe of data that needs to be stored, sliced, diced, and analyzed.

[...]
Energy consumption in data centers emerged as a major issue in the past couple of years. According to a January survey of its members by AFCOM, an association of data center managers, 88.5% of them described energy consumption as a serious or very serious concern, up from 36.1% five years ago. "You're realizing the cost of all that power. You look for opportunities to reduce costs, but now the cost of power is soaring," says Sal Cefalu, a vice-president for data center operations at telecom giant Verizon (VZ), which has 18 data centers nationwide. These days, for every $1 spent on computing equipment in data centers, an additional 50 cents is spent each year to power and cool them. About half of the energy is for air conditioning.

Since then, Microsoft has spent more than $2 billion building four gigantic facilities—in Chicago, Dublin, San Antonio, and Quincy, Wash. Now it's looking at locations overseas, including Iceland and Siberia. Its computing needs have doubled each year for the past three years, and Microsoft expects them to continue doubling each year for the foreseeable future.

Energy consumption is a major factor in Microsoft's planning. The company has created what it calls a "heat map" of the globe that takes into account 35 factors in site selection, including cost and availability of power. A group of scientists studies the latest advances in data center design and computing efficiency. And Manos looks for local resources he can take advantage of—such as water from a waste-treatment system that cools computers at the new data center in San Antonio.

Solutions to tech's energy crisis won't come easily. The largest data centers can cost more than $200 million to construct and are expensive to upgrade to the latest energy-saving technology.



Although more progress is needed, there have been some major advances in data center energy conservation. In each case, the breakthroughs were the result of scientists and others questioning the conventional wisdom in their industries.

Even the traditionally slow-moving utility industry is showing signs of surprising change. Take PG&E. Two years ago, after Bramfitt was handed the job of designing conservation incentives for Northern California's tech companies, he came up with a creative solution. He decided to provide financial incentives to companies that decide to use what's known as virtualization software. Without the software, each server computer typically handles only one program at a time, and only a fraction of the capacity is used. With virtualization software, many programs can be run on a single computer.

The result is that managers can pack more programs onto each server, thus burning less electricity and reducing the number of computers needed. Under Bramfitt's incentive program, PG&E pays customers for every kilowatt-hour of energy they save using the software.

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