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 and at the same time reduce our carbon footprint.

Linking renewable energy with high speed Internet using fiber to the home combined with autonomous 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. These new energy architectures will also significantly reduce our carbon footprint. For more details please see:

Using autonomous eVehicles for Renewable Energy Transportation and Distribution: and

Free High Speed Internet to the Home or School Integrated with solar roof top:

High level architecture of Internet Networks to survive Climate Change:

Architecture and routing protocols for Energy Internet:

How to use Green Bond Funds to underwrite costs of new network and energy infrastructure:

Monday, April 27, 2009

More on the paradox of energy efficiency and becoming "IT resource positive"

[Jay Gill, Doug MacLeod and Rod Tucker have made some thoughtful comments on the paradox of energy efficiency that need re-emphasizing and may not have been stated clearly in my original posting . In email correspondence Jay points out that although efficiency may lead to greater consumption –“ this effect is only true to the extent that efficiency is pursued without corresponding policies to limit CO2.” And as Rod Tucker points out, rather than wasting energy, a carbon neutral homes should be feeding energy back into the grid, something which Doug Macleod refers to being as being resource positive. This begs the question not only can ICT be used for GHG abatement as outlined by SMART 2020, but also perhaps be resource positive in actually reducing demand for dirty energy – BSA]

Dear Bill,

I read with interest your April 21, 2009 post titled “The fallacy of energy efficiency, green data centers and smart grids”, in which you argue that energy efficiency is not the most important consideration. I agree that ultimately a reduction of global CO2 emissions is paramount. But it is a mistake to translate this notion to a requirement that every individual system on the planet should be independently carbon neutral.

Take, for example, your closing comment about carbon neutral homes, where you state that “Once you are zero carbon you can be as wasteful or efficient with energy as your heart desires”. In a socially-responsible context this misses the point. There is a limited supply of renewable energy on the planet (e.g. solar cells, wind turbines etc.) and the only responsible treatment of this energy requires that it is used efficiently. Rather than wasting energy, a carbon neutral home should be feeding energy back into the power grid, or in some other way providing neighbors with the surplus energy.

Energy efficiency is just as important as carbon neutrality. The only way to save the planet is to combine renewable energy with energy efficiency in everything. One severe limitation of the Khazzoom-Brookes postulate is that it is not reversible. In other words, while the Khazzoom-Brookes postulate shows us how increased energy efficiency can result in increased energy usage (e.g. wide-bodied jets) it provides us with no advice on how to solve the inverse problem, which is to reduce energy consumption.

In the context of the Internet and cloud computing, last year’s Smart2020 report from the Climate Group showed that even though the greenhouse footprint of Information and communications Technologies (ICT) will increase by a factor of three from 2002 and 2020, the carbon abatements resulting from clever usage of ICT (e.g. travel replacement via video conferencing) could result in a global reduction of 7.8 Gtonnes of CO2 per annum. This reduction in CO2 is equivalent to five times the direct ICT footprint in 2020. So growth of the Internet and ICT can lead to very beneficial outcomes.

My conclusion is that network engineers have a responsibility to focus on improving energy efficiency in every part of the network. Wherever possible (but realistically, not everywhere), one should use renewable sources of energy to power the network. And in situations where improvements in network efficiency result in a surplus of renewable energy, that surplus renewable energy can be used to replace polluting power sources that power other infrastructure.

Rod Tucker

Bill – I wanted to thank you for your recent posting on alternative energy and energy efficiency. You end by mentioning the value of a net zero approach and I wanted to share with you an emerging idea called “resource positive” design that suggests that the things we create should improve the environment. This means, for example, that a building would generate more energy than it needs or that a community would purify more water than it uses. A resource positive approach would also have enormous economic impact including in areas such as networking and connectivity. One of your previous posts mentioned the sharing of cellular towers and we all know of the example of overlapping wireless networks in residential neighbourhoods. What if our communities took on the responsibility of sharing connectivity through wireless mesh networks and for connecting to other communities nearby? What if we also acknowledge that the current generation is beginning to produce more content than they consume (albeit often in recycled form)? In effect we would be reversing many of the economic equations which currently see consumers paying more and more for utilities, content and services and getting less and less.

I have included the url to a recent article I wrote for Canadian Architect on the subject which will provide more background and examples – please feel free to share it with others if you find it of interest.

Douglas MacLeod
Executive Director

Okanagan Science & Technology Council
Suite 320, 1632 Dickson Avenue, Kelowna, BC V1Y 7T2
Phone: 250.712.3343 Fax: 250.861.4728

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