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:

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Cap and Dividend versus Cap and Reward

[As many of you may know I have long argued for a program similar to cap and dividend where the money from a cap and trade system or carbon taxes is returned directly to consumers. However I have advocated that we use carbon rewards where instead of simply returning money to consumers we create a virtuous circle where the consumer is rewarded with virtual products and services delivered over the Internet. For more details please see BSA]

Cap and Dividend versus Cap and reward

Cap-and-dividend: the jolt Harper needs?

Can we settle the carbon pricing debate by giving the money back to the people?

The loudest debate in climate policy at the moment is no longer about whether or not there should be a price on carbon emissions (there will be), but rather how to go about pricing the most dangerous greenhouse gas.

As long as this debate has been going on, two camps have emerged as the favorites of conventional wisdom—the widely lauded cap-and-trade system and the underdog, a straight-up carbon tax. Plenty of ink has been spilled criticizing and defending the two. Cap-and-trade, say the tax camp, would be too complicated, too riddled with loopholes, and too easy for Washington to screw up. A tax, counter C&Ters, is a political nonstarter, enough said. Both proposals, though, share a problem that more or less renders all other points moot: if you make energy more expensive to produce, you make energy more expensive to buy. Meaning that until clean energy gets cheaper (which it will), anyone with a home to heat, a Civic to fill, or a refrigerator to keep cool is going to take a hit in the wallet. Meaning the voting public isn’t going to be happy about putting a price on carbon. Meaning elected officials aren’t going to support it. (See: the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act, a pretty weak carbon pricing plan that was still, more or less, dead on arrival.)

True, scientific—and economic—evidence now creates an even stronger case for urgent greenhouse gas reductions than it did even a year ago when Lieberman-Warner was introduced. And, true, leadership on Capitol Hill and in the White House are much more amenable to firm action on climate change than they were even on January 19th. (And that’s a whopper of an understatement.) But it’s still pretty much impossible to see a filibuster-busting 60 senators standing behind any proposal that—in the eyes of their respective constituencies—simply makes energy cost more.

Enter the Great Third Way, more formally known as cap-and-dividend. The cap part is familiar—a set number of pollution permits would be auctioned off, placing a firm, predetermined, and annually-dropping ceiling on carbon emissions. Cap-and-dividend’s first twist away from the typical cap-and-trade orthodoxy comes in where, exactly, the carbon is capped. Historically, cap-and-trade systems—like the acid rain program that so effectively reduced sulfur dioxide in the early 1990s—place a cap at the end of the industrial cycle, where the pollution left the smokestack. That’s easy enough to do when there are relatively few factories and plants emitting SO2.

This still leads to pricier power—the mine will charge more for the coal, and your utility will send along a higher bill for electricity. Which brings us to the meat of this “third way”—the dividend.

All (or most) of the revenue raised from carbon permit auctions would go back, in equal shares, to the American people. Barnes calls it an “Atmospheric Trust” that would work like the Alaskan Permanent Fund, which sends everyone in the state a check each year for their share of oil revenue.

We’ll soon find out. Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) is introducing a bill this week that would cap carbon emissions by 2012 and distribute 90 percent of revenue from an “upstream” auction directly to Americans in the form of monthly dividend checks. Van Hollen already has one supporter in Barnes, who called the bill “beautiful.” Time to see if the American public and their elected reps agree.

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