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, October 15, 2009

Fossil Fuel Is the New Slavery: Morally and Economically Corrupt

[Some people may think this commentary is too strident and over the top, but Robin Chase I believe eloquently captures the urgency of doing something about climate change -- bSA]

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robin-chase/fossil-fuel-is-the-new-sl_b_310007.html


Fossil Fuel Is the New Slavery: Morally and Economically Corrupt

A century and a half ago, fossil fuels replaced slaves as the underpriced energy source driving American economic growth. And like slavery, our deep economic dependence makes change difficult, despite the incontrovertible reality that our fossil-fueled system is profoundly wrong. America could not thrive while captured by the slave economy, nor can she thrive while in thrall to a carbon-based economy.

It required almost a hundred years and a devastating civil war to rid the US of slavery. Business interests fought to retain the morally and economically corrupt status quo. Favorable economics prompted blindness and slow response to the moral imperative for ending slavery. Favorable economics today cloud the minds of many legislators and business interests to cling to our system of underpriced fossil fuels. Despite the best efforts of Congressmen Waxman and Markey, the climate bill out of Congress proposed 2020 goals of only 17 percent reductions in CO2 over 2005 levels and passed by the narrowest of margins. Science tells us our 2020 goals need to 25 to 40% reductions over 1990 levels. Senators Boxer and Kerry have proposed 20%, a step in the right direction.

Ownership of another human being and reaping the benefit of their labor is repugnant. While burning fossil fuels is not as intimately observable or viscerally felt, a direct link from our actions to real individual suffering can be traced.

It takes a look back at the past several decades to appreciate the true costs of burning fossil fuel: air, water, and soil pollution, environmental degradation, wars and military entanglements to protect access to the sources, transfer of American's earning to foreign economies, political empowerment of those we buy from, and climate change. Unfortunately, our individual pocketbooks don't feel the true costs of what it takes for Americans to enjoy the energy derived from a ton of coal, or a barrel of oil. And that's why we make so little effort to use it efficiently, conservatively, or wisely. Drill, baby, drill. Burn, baby, burn.

And there will be more casualties. The best estimates of the slave trade's death toll are 15 to 20 million people over its 400-year history. Failure to move to a new low-carbon energy source will result in a similar magnitude of unforgivable suffering and death. The World Health Organization says that climate change was responsible for 300,000 deaths this last year, predicting as many as 9 million excess deaths over the next 20 years alone. Almost all of these initial victims will be among Africa and Asia's poorest who have no voice and no vote with regard to what happens in the US Congress.

Slavery destroyed familial and cultural bonds as well as removed the ability to earn a living. The same goes for global warming. Long-held ways of life are disappearing rapidly as ice melts, rains don't come, and sea levels rise. The Global Humanitarian Forum, recently released a report stating that 2030 will also see 310 million more people suffering adverse health consequences related to increased temperature, 20 million more people falling into poverty, and 75 million extra people displaced by climate change -- in addition to the excess deaths.

Delaying real change is intolerable. Unlike slavery, the global warming legacy will be forever irreparable and unrecoverable. New predictions indicate a good chance of a nine degree global temperature increase this century. What we eat, where we live, how we live, and indeed who lives will be changed. Forever. Again, we face an undeniable moral imperative.

This fall, Congress continues the debate over how quickly our country addresses our broken energy status quo. Just as in moral battles fought before, the correct action and way of life will ultimately prevail. Let's pass a climate bill that reduces CO2 emissions, on a timetable and in a quantity that science dictates, to avert the terrible calamity and suffering that lies ahead if we don't.

Back in 1860, our country was at a frightening and wrenching crossroads as we faced what appeared to many Americans to be an impossibly difficult decision: to accept the line drawn of no new expansion of its morally corrupt energy source and to commit to building America's future on a new economic footing. Today, we are at the same crossroads. Americans will ultimately deliver the correct moral response. The question is, can we do it in time to avert unpardonable suffering around the globe and without tearing our nation in two?

Follow Robin Chase on Twitter: www.twitter.com/rmchase



Read more at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robin-chase/fossil-fuel-is-the-new-sl_b_310007.html

Iceland looks to serve the world

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/click_online/8297237.stm


Since the financial crisis, Iceland has been forced to retreat back from high octane bubble living to nature.

Not, you might think, the most obvious place to stick millions of the world's computer servers which are, for all their uses, rather less attractive.

But the country now wants exactly that - to become home to the world's computing power.

Behind all the large internet companies lurk massive and ever growing data centres chock full of servers churning away.

Google for instance is thought to have around a million of the things, but even less IT intensive operations, banks for example, need hundreds of thousands of servers to store all their data.

Thermal image of a computer
Up to 60% extra energy is required to cool computer servers in the UK

The problem is that while these computers look innocuous, they use a lot of energy.

There is of course the power you need for the servers themselves, but almost as significant is the energy used to keep them cool.

"For every watt that is spent running servers," says Dr Brad Karp, of University College London, "the best enterprises most careful about minimising the energy of cooling and maximising efficiency typically find they are spending 40-60% extra energy on just cooling them."

Cold rush

In Iceland, with its year round cool climate and chilly fresh water, just a fraction of this energy for cooling is needed. It means big savings.

Just outside Reykjavik, work is well advanced on the first site which its owners hope will spark a server cold rush.

In around a year - if all goes according to plan - the first companies will start leasing space in this data centre.

And if this proves successful more sites are planned.

The company expects demand to be huge because as the number of servers around the world grows, a big environmental cloud is looming - all that energy use means an increase in CO2 production.

Iceland has far more power than it can domestically use.

"The data centre industry now is on par with the airline industry as far as the carbon footprint," says Jeff Monroe, head of Verne Global - a data centre company working in Iceland.


Jeff Monroe
A company would save greater than half a million metric tons of carbon annually
Jeff Monroe, CEO of Verne Global

"But, if you think about the growth of those two industries, the growth of the data centre industry is exponentially greater than the airline industry.

"The two are going to cross and we think that - just like the legislation that was passed in the UK concerning carbon footprint and power utilisation - it is going to be a growing concern across the industry."

So data centres are already producing as much CO2 as airlines.

While it has been below the radar until now, Verne Global thinks that with cloud computing on the rise, the carbon footprint of the digital world will soon become "unacceptably high".

And this is where Iceland's natural resources really come into their own.

Enormous savings

The volcanic forces which shaped the landscape have also gifted the country masses of geothermal power - 100% of the country's electricity is renewable and basically carbon free, much generated from water heated far below the ground.

Mr Monroe explains what would happen if a company moved its data centre to Iceland.

"The carbon savings would be enormous.

Icelandic power station
All of Iceland's electricity is renewable and basically carbon free

"For example, if a large internet media company operating thousands and thousands of servers relocated its servers to Iceland, that company would save greater than half a million metric tons of carbon annually."

So you have the cooler climate and an abundance of green energy.

But you would not want to move your previous data centre to what is effectively the middle of nowhere unless it had some good connections.

Iceland has been busying itself laying fibre optic cables to connect the country with North America and Europe.

The cables coming in provide a capacity of more than five terabits/sec - all with server farms in mind.

Travelling down this pipe, data sited in Iceland is just 17 milliseconds from London. Sitting at home on YouTube you would never know, but even that is too slow for some.

Big industry

Gudmundur Gunnarsson, head of communications company Farice, explains some of the problems.

"There are very sensitive financial services that cannot even go outside the M25 in London", he says.

"So everything has to be within that circle, but for approximately at least 70% of other traffic, this delay is more than satisfactory."

Even where speed is not an issue however, the allure of Iceland is not for everyone.

Companies will have to overcome their natural server-hugging tendencies, and some may harbour security fears of storing their data remotely.

But having been through the financial mill Iceland hopes and believes in the next five to 10 years this will be one of its biggest industries.

And, in an irony not lost on a country brought to its knees by finance, one early customer rumoured to have signed a deal to move servers here is - well who else - one of America's biggest investment banks.

MUST VIEW: Two cool zero carbon Internet companies

[I have had the distinct pleasure of being introduced to 2 very cool zero carbon Internet companies - which to mind exemplify the future of the Internet. They also illustrate that the future high tech business opportunities are in building solutions for a zero carbon economy. The first is a new search engine company (www.lavva.com) that links search queries with social networks of people making similar searches. But what is quite unique is the company's servers are solely powered at renewable energy sites around North America including various solar and hydro powered data centers. The second company is Eseri (www.eseri.com) which provides a green virtual desktop based IT solution, integrated from 75 of the world's best open source software components. The system is hosted in an enterprise class data center running on low power optimized servers, using green hydro power in Montreal, Quebec. Access is through fully interactive virtua l desktops from any device anywhere you can access the Internet. ESERI combines the best of open source with clouds. It is an ideal solution for those who are keen on using open source on their desk top but are scared off in setting up Ubuntu or similar OS and all the attendant open source applications. The other attraction of combining open source with clouds is that you dont get vendor lock in with either the application software or with the cloud services. You can move your applications and data off the service at any time. Well worth checking out --BSA]

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

How your network can reduce your carbon footprint

Great presentation by Rod Wilson from Nortel (sorry Ciena) and Jerry Sheehan of UCSD (Cal-It2)

see http://bit.ly/C9qzq

Bill

How the Internet will revolutionize Smart Meters and Smart Grids

[As many of you know I have long complained about the current generation of smart meters. They are too focused on the needs of the electrical utility in terms of minimizing peak load, and have little benefit to the consumer or the environment. In most electrical systems the utility owns and controls the meter. This reminds me of the days when the telephone company owned the telephone which greatly inhibited innovation. It wasn't until regulators forced the telcos to allow direct interconnection of devices to the network that computer and networking revolution took off. I think we face the same challenge with Smart meters. In Germany companies can arrange to interconnect their own government approved meter directly. And as you can see from this article it is already creating innovation. I am also see that Google's new power meter is all about bypassing the utility. Most exciting is the IETF is now undertaking development of protocols for Smart Grids.&nb sp; The IETF has always been the per-eminent standards body because of its insistence on meritocracy rather than politics to drive standards and a can-do culture of "rough consensus and working code". The IETF and the Internet developed the essential protocols that freed us from the tyranny of the telco and their walled gardens, hopefully they will do the same thing for the utilities and smart grids, Some excerpts -- BSA]




Why Google’s PowerMeter Gadget Partnership Is a Big Power Play
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
http://gigaom.com/2009/10/06/why-googles-powermeter-gadget-partnership-is-a-big-power-play/

With Google’s endless projects — from book search to a browser killer to Blogger — you’re probably wondering why I’m so excited about a new partnership deal for the company’s PowerMeter energy management tool. Well, here’s why: For the first time, consumers can now access PowerMeter via a gadget called the TED-5000, made by startup Energy Inc., and users don’t need to go through their utility or have a smart meter (a digital two-way electricity meter) installed to access it. In other words, Google has finally bypassed the utility with PowerMeter, which is an important step for both bringing consumer energy management products to the mainstream, and pushing utilities to more quickly embrace information technology networks and broadband.



From a posting by Richard Shockey on David Farber's IPer list

To: ietf@ietf.org
Subject: The IETF and the SmartGrid


The general internet community needs to be aware of activities in North
America that directly relate to the use of IETF protocols in the Electric
Utility industry. This activity is generally referred to as the SmartGrid.
Though the issues immediately deal with technical and policy decisions in
the US and Canada, the SmartGrid concept is gaining significant momentum in
Europe and Asia as well.

http://www.smartgrids.eu/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smart_grid#Countries


The SmartGrid has many definitions but as a practical matter it is a
substantial re-architecture of the data communications networks that
utilities use to maintain the stability and reliability of their power
grids. Many of the requirements for the SmartGrid in North America came out
of the 2003 North East power outage which demonstrated a substantial lack of
investment in Utility IT systems.

http://www.ferc.gov/EventCalendar/Files/20040915141105-blackout.pdf

Of particular note, is the desire by utilities to extend the reach of their
communications networks directly to the utility meter and beyond ultimately
into the customer premise itself. This is generally referred to as the
Advanced Meter Interface (AMI). One of the use cases driving this
requirement is the next generation of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. The
utilities, correctly IMHO, want to precisely control the timing of how these
vehicles are recharged so not to create a unique form of DOS attack and take
out the grid when everyone goes home at night. This is a principal use case
in 6lowpan ( ID below ). Increasingly energy flows are becoming
bi-directional creating needs for more computational intelligence and
capability at the edge.

What is going on? Why should the IETF community care?

The United States Government, as part of the Energy Independence and
Security Act of 2007 gave the National Institute of Standards and Technology
( NIST ) principal responsibility "to coordinate development of a framework
that includes protocols and model standards" for the SmartGrid.

http://www.nist.gov/smartgrid/


After several meetings sponsored by NIST in recent months, NIST released a
preliminary report. Several folks from the IETF community attended those
meetings, myself included. There multiple troubling stories about how those
meetings were organized but I'll leave those tales to others.

http://www.nist.gov/public_affairs/releases/smartgrid_interoperability.pdf

One of the requests from NIST and the SmartGrid community was a list of Core
Internet protocols that NIST could refer to. Fred Baker has been working on
that task. ( below )

Myself and others are deeply concerned by how this effort is developing.
There is no current consensus on what the communications architecture of the
SmartGrid is or how IP actually fits into it.

The Utility Industry does not understand the current IPv4 number exhaust
problem and the consequences of that if they want to put a IP address on
every Utility Meter in North America.

What is equally troubling is that many of the underlying protocols that
utilities wish to deploy are not engineered for IPv6. We have an example of
that in a recent ID.

http://tools.ietf.org/html/draft-c1222-transport-over-ip-01.txt


Obviously, there are significant CyberSecurity issues in the SmartGrid
concept and NIST has produced a useful document outlining the requirements
and usecases.

http://csrc.nist.gov/publications/drafts/nistir-7628/draft-nistir-7628.pdf

How the SmartGrid interfaces with or bridges with Home Area or Enterprise
Local Area networks is unclear, to put it mildly.

I want to use this message to encourage the community to read the attached
documents and get involved in this effort as appropriate. Additional NIST
documents will be published shortly with a open public comment period.

I strongly urge members of the IETF community to participate in this comment
period and lend its expertise as necessary.

It's useful and important work.

************************


Title : Core Protocols in the Internet Protocol Suite
Author(s) : F. Baker
Filename : draft-baker-ietf-core-03.txt
Pages : 32
Date : 2009-10-03

This note attempts to identify the core of the Internet Protocol Suite. The
target audience is NIST, in the Smart Grid discussion, as they have
requested guidance on how to profile the Internet Protocol Suite. In
general, that would mean selecting what they need from the picture presented
here.

A URL for this Internet-Draft is:
http://www.ietf.org/internet-drafts/draft-baker-ietf-core-03.txt







What Cisco Can Learn From A Yello Strom Smart Grid Pilot
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
http://earth2tech.com/2009/10/05/what-cisco-can-learn-from-a-yello-strom-smart-grid-pilot/

Networking giant Cisco could learn a whole lot from its partnership with German utility Yello Strom, which I once called the coolest utility in the world, and which focuses heavily on smart grid consumer hardware and the use of the Internet for the power grid. While Cisco included Yello Strom as a partner in its smart grid announcement last month, the networking company announced more details about a 70-home pilot project using Yello Strom’s sophisticated “Sparzähler” or smart meter this morning. If Cisco aims to some day develop a Linksys-based home energy management product, the project detailed today could provide some important information for that effort.



Yello Strom is also one of the only utilities I’ve heard of that has developed and sells its own sophisticated smart meters. In July Martin Vesper, Yello Strom’s executive director, told us that the company looked at the smart meters that were already available on the market, and found only tools that focused on helping energy efficiency from a utility perspective. Not seeing anything they liked, or anything that would get consumers excited, they developed their own, which looks like it would be at home in the window of an Apple store, is built off of Microsoft Windows CE, and has both a small web server and client inside. Yello’s meter is a lot more sophisticated than other smart meters.

This unusual environment — a sophisticated, innovative smart meter, and potentially a home broadband connection — will be a very interesting environment within which Cisco can run a pilot program. It could enable Cisco to get an interesting perspective for how it could roll out any type of Linksys, broadband-based, home energy management product, which Cisco has actively been looking into




Are Returns from Smart Grid Investments Too Weak for VCs?
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
http://earth2tech.com/2009/09/29/are-returns-for-smart-grid-investments-too-weak-for-vcs/

The smart grid might be the Megan Fox of cleantech right now (hot), but will venture-backed smart grid startups be able to deliver the type of returns that VCs commonly like (somewhere around 10 times their investment)? Not really, suggested venture capitalist Vinod Khosla at the AlwaysOn GoingGreen conference in Sausalito, Calif., earlier this month (watch the video clip here). During a panel on the first morning of the event Khosla called smart grid investments from a VC perspective “interesting, but marginal,” at “10 to 15 percent.”

Indeed, Khosla hasn’t made any direct investments in bringing information technology to the power grid over the years, despite the fact that he played a fundamental role in the development of information technology — as co-founder of Sun Microsystems and an investor with Kleiner Perkins funding broadband firms like Juniper.



--
--------------
Bill.St.Arnaud@gmail.com
www.canarie.ca/~bstarn
skype: pocketpro
blog:http://billstarnaud.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Canadian Government CTO speaks about clouds and Green IT

[Jirka Danek, the Canadian Government CTO gave a great talk today at GTEC on Cloud computing and Green IT. A great example of the potential of clouds for government services is the apps.gov web site in the USA. The Obama administration is driving adoption the use of clouds for government and developing policies for agencies to segregate date and processes that can be adopted to the cloud where is the few concerns about privacy and security -- BSA]

Cloud Computing
and the
Canadian Environment

Opportunity:
Today there is a tremendous opportunity for Canada to position itself as a world leader in Cloud Computing.

Rational:
Many public and private organizations are looking at Cloud Computing as a long-term software and hardware service source and data storage solution.

Large organizations across Canada and abroad have started to embrace Cloud Computing and many are currently looking at location options adapted to their needs.
Due to its geographical characteristics, low-density population, IT expertise, quality construction standards, legislative framework (including the Privacy Act and the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act) and low-cost green energy, Canada is considered a prime location for Cloud Computing.
Major organizations in the Canadian IT industry, as well as the Government of Canada and the provinces and territories, are beginning to realize Canada’s advantage and the benefits of positioning Canada as an economical and strategic choice for Cloud Computing.

There is a tremendous opportunity for Canada to position itself as a world leader in Cloud Computing and to benefit from the economic, environmental and technological returns of this new public utility.


Background:
Cloud Computing refers to the use of Internet-based computer technology for a variety of services i.e., software, hardware, data, etc. It incorporates different concepts including:
- Software as a Service (SaaS) – a model of software deployment where an application is licensed for use as a service provided to customers on demand;
- Web 2.0 – the second generation of web development and design, that aims to facilitate communication, secure information sharing, interoperability, and collaboration on the Web;
- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) also known as Hardware as a Service (HaaS) – the delivery of computer infrastructure as a service; and
- Other recent technology trends which provide common business applications online that are accessed from a web browser, while the software and data are stored on the servers.

The underlying concept dates back to 1960 when John McCarthy opined that "computation may someday be organized as a public utility". The term Cloud had already come into commercial use in the early 1990s to refer to large ATM networks and by the turn of the 21st century, the term "Cloud Computing" had started to appear.

Amazon.com played a key role in the development of Cloud Computing by modernizing their data centres after the dot-com bubble and, having found that the new cloud architecture resulted in significant internal efficiency improvements, providing access to their systems by way of Amazon Web Services in 2002 on a utility computing basis.

In 2007, Google, IBM, and a number of universities embarked on a large scale Cloud Computing research project to build data centers that students could tap into over the Internet to program and research remotely. Cloud Computing became a hot topic by mid-2008 and numerous related events and conferences started to take place.
In June 2008, Jeffrey Hewitt, vice-president of research with Gartner Inc. concluded that Canada's abundant and low-cost hydroelectric power, cooler ambient temperature, fibre cables network and proximity with the United States can help it take advantage of the growing Cloud Computing trend to provide services and Web applications that are economically sound and environmentally friendly.
Hewitt also highlights that “the nurturing of a domestic Canadian server infrastructure to provide web-based resource support could provide long-term growth prospects in terms of servers and the resulting content and services, as well as could help to push this North American country well beyond its current server installed base.”

The majority of Cloud Computing infrastructure as of 2009 consists of reliable services delivered through data centers and built on servers with different levels of virtualization technologies. The services are accessible anywhere in the world, with the Cloud appearing as a single point of access for all the computing needs of consumers.

Some countries are already embarking on the Cloud Computing journey. However, large corporations and governments of all sizes state privacy protection and data security as the main concerns regarding implementation of data holding centres in Asia, Europe, Russia, Brazil and other countries that don’t have the legislative framework in place to adequately safeguard strategic information and assets.

Strategic Considerations:
Cloud Computing
The Cloud Computing trend has intensified as businesses struggling in dismal economic conditions can reduce costs by using applications online as paid services instead of buying, installing and maintaining software on their own machines.

Through Cloud Computing, customers can minimize capital expenditure as infrastructure is owned by the provider and does not need to be purchased for one-time or infrequent intensive computing tasks.

Device and location independence enables users to access systems, regardless of their location or what device they are using.
Multi-tenancy enables sharing of resources and costs among a large pool of users, allowing for:
- Centralization of infrastructure in areas with lower costs (e.g., real estate, electricity, etc.)
- Peak-load capacity increases (i.e., users need not engineer for highest possible load-levels)
- Utilisation and efficiency improvements for systems (often utilized at only 10-20%).
- On-demand allocation and de-allocation of CPU, storage and network bandwidth.

Reliability improves through the use of multiple redundant sites, which makes it suitable for business continuity and disaster recovery. Scalability meets changing user demands quickly without users having to engineer for peak loads.
Security typically improves in Cloud Computing due to the centralization of data, increased security-focused resources, and because providers are able to devote resources to solving security issues that many customers cannot afford.
Sustainability in the Cloud comes about through improved resource utilisation, more efficient systems, and carbon neutrality. Nonetheless, computers and associated infrastructure are major consumers of energy.
Maintainability is another characteristic of Cloud Computing as the vendor is able to release new versions of their service automatically, relieving the client of the hassles related to installing software upgrades on their local servers with each new release.

Advantage Canada

Due to its geographical characteristics, cooler temperatures and low-density population (particularly as one moves farther north in Canada), IT expertise, quality construction standards, legislative framework (including the Privacy Act and the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act) and low-cost green energy, Canada is considered a prime location for Cloud Computing.

Canada has a reputation of being a highly desirable outsourcing location for companies from around the world because of factors such as our well-educated talent pool, multicultural population, geopolitical stability and relatively low cost of conducting business.

Canada has a definite advantage over other northern countries like Iceland, Finland, Russia, Korea and China, to become a world leader in Cloud Computing; namely on the security and privacy fronts, but also for the reliability of its utility network and electricity supplies, the quality of its traditional and specialized workforce, and for its environment track record.

Canada’s geographical position next to the United States, in addition to existing trade agreements between the North American partners, enables Canada to take advantage of a prosperous regional market and a global market worth 3.5 trillion $US.

The Government of Canada spends approximately $5 billion annually on information technologies (IT) and Budget 2009 has set aside $12 billion to accelerate and expand federal investments in different infrastructure projects, including:
- $225 million over three years to develop and implement a strategy on extending broadband coverage to unserved communities to close the broadband gap in rural and remote communities.
- $1 billion over five years for the Green Infrastructure Fund to support projects such as sustainable energy;
- $500 million over the next two years for infrastructure projects in small communities;
- $750 million for leading-edge research infrastructure through the Canada Foundation for Innovation; and
- $500 million to Canada Health Infoway to encourage the greater use of electronic health records.

The Government of Canada has created a public-private partnership (P3) Crown corporation, PPP Canada Inc., to administer the Public-Private Partnerships Fund and work with the public and private sectors to encourage the further development of Canada’s P3 market.

The Government’s northern strategy aims to strengthen Canada’s sovereignty, advance economic and social development, promote environmental sustainability, and improve governance in the region.

Cloud Computing experts agree that privacy and security of personal information is emerging as the most important hurdle vendors must jump in order to attract customers. Through federal and provincial legislation, Canada has a strong legislative basis to protect personal information that is collected. Ontario Privacy Commissioner Ann Cavoukian, who is recognized as a world leader in IT privacy issues, has been quoted as saying, “User-centric private identity management in the Cloud is possible, even when users are no longer in direct possession of their personal data, or no longer in direct contact with the organization(s) that do possess it.”

Glance into the Future
As real-estate and energy costs rise and as security and privacy concerns increase, public and private sector organizations, large and small, are expected to seek ways to consolidate their data centres and desktop application services in a secure, controlled and low-cost environment.

One of the most significant current IT trends is the advent of the Netbook. This next generation laptop computer is designed to take advantage of Cloud Computing. The Netbook allows the user to access, from anywhere in the world, his or her personal infrastructure and software profile, as well as use different levels of wireless communication and take advantage of Web 2.0 tools.

Due to its low cost ($250-$400) and its portable size and weight (because it doesn’t need powerful processors and extensive memory capacity) the Netbook is gaining in popularity with corporations and their employees, as well as with private users such as students and families. Approximately 400,000 Netbooks were sold in 2007, an estimated 11.4 million were sold in 2008 and some 21.5 million units are expected to be sold in 2009. According to Information Network, Netbook sales are expected to reach 139 million units in 2013.

There are approximately 1.2 million servers in the U.S. Federal Government today and approximately 120,000 in the Government of Canada. Consolidation of these servers is inevitable and trust (i.e., the ability to effectively manage privacy protection and security) and cost efficiency will be the determining factors in consolidations.

As issues such as the carbon footprint left by large cooling-down systems, energy consumption and the current pressures on an old and outdated grid become more complex and expensive to address, it is expected that inexpensive green energy IT solutions such as hydroelectricity and wind power, and the benefits of northern regions will gain pre-eminence.

Web 2.0 is still relatively new, yet Internet experts have already introduced the concept of Web 3.0. Many compare Web 3.0 to a giant database. While Web 2.0 uses the Internet to make connections between people, Web 3.0 will use the Internet to make connections with information.

As our journey through the relatively recent history of the Internet has proved, more and more information is expected to be provided through the Web, and individuals and organizations are expected to make use of an ever-increasing number of sophisticated audiovisual tools.

The rising use of the Internet increases server overkill and the need for appropriate data storage, as well as an increased demand for software and hardware services, mobility and global access.

Research and Development funding is expected to rise in the coming years, in both the public and private sector. Many will see Cloud Computing as a sound place to invest and prepare for future needs. For example, Microsoft announced that it would invest a record US$9 billion in R&D in 2009. They also stated that Cloud Computing would be a major field of investment.

United States President Obama is renowned for his proactive position on the benefits brought by technology and R&D. In his first couple of months in Office he introduced an aggressive agenda on the technology, energy, environment and R&D fronts.

Recent research indicates that 75% of Chief Information Officers (CIO) indicated that they will need and use Cloud Computing in the near future. Research also identifies that the US Government would save US$6.6B over the next three years through Cloud Computing. Just on the energy front alone, it is estimated that $5B in electrical power could be saved in the US through Cloud Computing.

Way Forward:
The move toward Cloud Computing is inevitable and it is happening across the globe and Canada has a definite advantage on other countries around the world.
Canadians can benefit through prompt, coordinated and sustained action within Canada, across jurisdictions, and through private-public partnerships.
Canada also needs to show leadership on the international scene, starting with its southern neighbour, the United States, who could become one of Canada’s best allies and supporter since Cloud Computing supports the President’s agenda and Corporate America’s next step.

There exists an opportunity for the Government of Canada to show leadership through the development of a broader Cloud Computing vision. A coordinated effort with Canada’s private sector leaders in the field would be beneficial.

The Government of Canada could also engage provincial, territorial and municipal counterparts in defining Canada’s Cloud Computing position through a comprehensive Canadian Cloud Computing Strategy.

Monday, October 5, 2009

We need network neutrality for the electrical grid in order for smart meters to take off

[As many of you know I have long complained about the current generation of smart meters. They are too focused on the needs of the utility in terms of minimizing peak load, and have little benefit to the consumer or the environment. In most electrical systems the utility owns and controls the meter. This reminds me of the days when the telephone company owned the telephone which inhibited innovation. It wasn't until regulators forced the telcos to allow direct interconnection of devices that computer and networking revolution took off. I think we face the same challenge with Smart meters. In Germany companies can arrange to interconnect their own government approved meter directly. And as you can see from this article it is already creating innovation. Some excerpts -- BSA]

http://earth2tech.com/2009/10/05/what-cisco-can-learn-from-a-yello-strom-smart-grid-pilot/

What Cisco Can Learn From A Yello Strom Smart Grid Pilot

Networking giant Cisco could learn a whole lot from its partnership with German utility Yello Strom, which I once called the coolest utility in the world, and which focuses heavily on smart grid consumer hardware and the use of the Internet for the power grid. While Cisco included Yello Strom as a partner in its smart grid announcement last month, the networking company announced more details about a 70-home pilot project using Yello Strom’s sophisticated “Sparzähler” or smart meter this morning. If Cisco aims to some day develop a Linksys-based home energy management product, the project detailed today could provide some important information for that effort.
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Yello Strom is also one of the only utilities I’ve heard of that has developed and sells its own sophisticated smart meters. In July Martin Vesper, Yello Strom’s executive director, told us that the company looked at the smart meters that were already available on the market, and found only tools that focused on helping energy efficiency from a utility perspective. Not seeing anything they liked, or anything that would get consumers excited, they developed their own, which looks like it would be at home in the window of an Apple store, is built off of Microsoft Windows CE, and has both a small web server and client inside. Yello’s meter is a lot more sophisticated than other smart meters.

This unusual environment — a sophisticated, innovative smart meter, and potentially a home broadband connection — will be a very interesting environment within which Cisco can run a pilot program. It could enable Cisco to get an interesting perspective for how it could roll out any type of Linksys, broadband-based, home energy management product, which Cisco has actively been looking into




Are Returns from Smart Grid Investments Too Weak for VCs?
http://earth2tech.com/2009/09/29/are-returns-for-smart-grid-investments-too-weak-for-vcs/

The smart grid might be the Megan Fox of cleantech right now (hot), but will venture-backed smart grid startups be able to deliver the type of returns that VCs commonly like (somewhere around 10 times their investment)? Not really, suggested venture capitalist Vinod Khosla at the AlwaysOn GoingGreen conference in Sausalito, Calif., earlier this month (watch the video clip here). During a panel on the first morning of the event Khosla called smart grid investments from a VC perspective “interesting, but marginal,” at “10 to 15 percent.”

Indeed, Khosla hasn’t made any direct investments in bringing information technology to the power grid over the years, despite the fact that he played a fundamental role in the development of information technology — as co-founder of Sun Microsystems and an investor with Kleiner Perkins funding broadband firms like Juniper.



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bill.st.arnaud@gmail.com
blog: http://green-broadband.blogspot.com

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