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, October 27, 2010

European Research Program - ICT, the engine for sustainable growth in a low carbon economy

[Kudos to European Commission for next ICT Research Program 2011-2012. One of the3 major focuses of the program will be ICT research for “sustainable growth in low carbon economy”. I am pleased to see that the EU distinguishes between energy efficiency and reduction of CO2 emissions – as the two are often not related. The only thing missing from the program is research into low carbon ICT products and services. Given that ICT will consume anywhere from 15-40% of all electricity by 2030, reducing the impact of ICT, in its own right, should be a number one priority. Also, as recommended by OECD and others funding for carbon reduction programs should come from carbon offset or carbon tax programs – as this will result in far greater return then simply trading of offsets – BSA]

2.1 ICT, the engine for sustainable growth in a low carbon economy
A recent OECD report4 highlighted that "investment in a networked recovery will preserve
ICT as a key engine of growth" given its impact on productivity and innovation across
manufacturing and service sectors. This is now set out in the ‘Europe 2020’ strategy5 and
notably in its ‘Digital Agenda for Europe’ flagship initiative6.
The ICT sector has been identified as a potential major player in the fight against climate

This Challenge explores how ICT can contribute to delivering a sustainable, low carbon
society and help progress towards the Europe 2020 targets on climate and energy. ICT can
assist in reshaping the demand side of our energy-dependant society, reducing energy
consumption, and subsequently CO2 emissions, in particular in electricity distribution,
buildings and construction, transport and logistics, the public sector, rural areas and cities.

The Challenge focuses on the following:
Future electricity distribution grids applying seamless communications systems to
increase the connectivity, management, automation and coordination between suppliers
(including renewable sources), consumers and networks;
Energy efficient design and decision support tools optimizing the energy performance
during systems development and operation (e.g. modelling, simulation and planning,
enterprise management systems, data centres);
Water management, including demand-side management, integrated water resource
management frameworks and comprehensive decision support systems;
Energy-efficient buildings, neighbourhoods as well as urban and rural areas improving the
buildings construction cycle, improving the use of energy beyond buildings, advancing
complex urban systems, and optimising the dynamics of energy supply and demand in
neighbourhoods and extended urban and rural communities. This research will contribute
to the Energy-Efficient Buildings Public-Private-Partnership launched in 2008 as part of
the European Economic Recovery Plan;
ICT for low-carbon multi-modal freight and logistics covering technologies and services
for multi-modal freight and logistics as well as ICT for clean and efficient multi-modal
mobility for further improving energy efficiency and reducing CO2 emissions in all modes
of transport for passengers and goods;
Cooperative Systems for low-carbon multi-modal mobility covering cooperative
applications and services for energy efficiency and eco-friendly mobility as well as a
European Wide Service Platform (EWSP) for services leveraging those cooperative
ICT for fully electric vehicles advancing the development and integration of major
building blocks of the Full Electric Vehicle (FEV), and integrating the FEV with
infrastructures. Projects supported under this objective will contribute to the European
Green Cars Initiative, a Public-Private-Partnership launched in 2008 as part of the
European Economic Recovery Plan.
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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Quebec - PROMPT world leadership extending zero carbon Internet Greenstar to China and California

[Quebec has been leading the world in funding research in Green ICT in their new $60 million Green ICT research program. They are one of the few jurisdictions that understand funding Green IT research may have most bang for buck in creating jobs and economic growth and reducing CO2. PROMPT Inc and Quebec government also understands critical difference between reducing CO2 through zero carbon strategy versus questionable energy efficiency. You may also have read that many Quebec citizens are very much against developing the new recently discovered shale gas and oil deposits within that province because of the environmental impact. Quite a contrast to the rest of the world – where “drill, baby drill” is still the ongoing mantra despite all the evidence that climate catastrophe is coming much sooner than expected – BSA]

Charting a Global Course in Clean, Green Technology: Prompt Bolsters Québec’s International Leadership in Green ICT by Establishing New Partnerships with China and California, Creating a World of Opportunity for Innovators

Press Release

MONTREAL, Québec, October 13, 2010 – Prompt, Québec’s premier ICT R&D consortia, is pleased to announce new strategic partnerships with China and California that will help to bolster Québec’s global leadership in Green ICT, and create new R&D and business opportunities for researchers and companies in Québec and across Canada. These include:
• The engagement of the Shanghai Research Center for Wireless Communications (WiCO) of China in the GreenStar Network (GSN), a CANARIE-funded initiative led by École de technologie supérieure (ÉTS) that aims to reduce Greenhouse Gas emissions (GHG) emerging from ICT-based services. WiCO’s participation in GSN further evolves this pan-Canadian consortium into a broader global R&D initiative.
• A commitment to connect the GreenLight Project (an energy efficient computer processing initiative led by the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology or Calit2) and the GreenStar Network, enabling researchers in Canada and California to access a broader array of tools, technologies and testbeds at a distance, and collaborate on the development of Green ICT solutions. This was one of several outcomes emerging from the first strategic planning meeting on the development of a proposed Canada-California Green ICT R&D consortium.
These outcomes mark important progress on the implementation of Prompt’s Green ICT Strategy. By delivering on key objectives with international partners, Prompt is further leveraging provincial and federal funds, and helping to create a global Green ICT community of interest with greater critical mass. This collaborative approach is required to fully realize the global potential of Green ICT – from the reduction of more than 1 billion metric tons of carbon to $800 billion in projected worldwide annual energy cost savings by 2020. It will also deliver economic benefits to local researchers and companies in Québec and across Canada, facilitating access to new global R&D expertise, investment, and markets.

To review the complete Prompt press release:
» Read the full release -
» Download the backgrounder (PDF) -
» Download the Green ICT Strategy document (PDF) -
For additional information, please contact:
Sonya Shorey
Communications Strategist
Cell: 613.851.9416

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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Energy costs in network can be greater than energy savings in the cloud

[Excellent paper by J. Baliga and Rod Tucker that shows focusing on energy consumption of “green” data centers may be misleading. Data transfer over a routed network could be significant component of the overall power consumption. Optical networks of course a much smaller energy footprint than routed networks. Of course if the routing and computing nodes are powered by renewable energy then the CO2 footprint is very small (although overall energy consumption may be in fact higher) –BSA]

Researchers from the University of Melbourne in Australia have come to the conclusion that cloud computing is not always the greenest option on the storage and processing as well as the software level. This research examined the issue in both the public and private cloud context in comparison to the energy consumption used for the same tasks on a local system.
The authors argued that most studies seeking an answer to a similar question about the “green” nature of the cloud have only looked at the datacenter’s energy consumption and have thus failed to include the important issue of energy use during data transfer. They suggest that the transport of data to and from datacenters, particularly since public cloud center might be a continent away, uses quite a bit more energy overall than simply storing data locally. reported that, “for cloud processing services (in which a server such as Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud processes large computational tasks only and smaller tasks are processed on the user’s computer) the researchers again found that the cloud alternative can use lower consumption only under certain conditions.” This is because “the large number of router hops required on the public Internet greatly increases the energy consumption in transport, and private cloud processing requires significantly fewer routers.”
The leader of the research project, Rod Tucker, told that when one is using the cloud for data storage (for instance on Amazon’s Simple Storage platform) cloud uses less energy than typical computing, but only when that service is used infrequently and not in a high-performance context since data transport energy use is minimal.
While the study focused on more garden variety processors and systems common for desktop users, this research might lend some insight to larger enterprise centers that are reliant on the cloud for some or all of their business operations. While many enterprise users might look at their bottom line before analyzing their overall carbon footprint, a study on the large enterprise scale that takes data transfer into account to offer a “green” score for a company might be a good idea.
Making the process of data transport more energy efficient needs to become a priority, but luckily there are incentives to do so. While the end user might not be bearing much of the cost of inefficient data transfer consumptions, it is in the best interest of cloud providers, who must remain competitive via pricing models, to constantly improve this critical aspect of their datacenters.
The research from the University of Melbourne will be published soon from Jayant Baliga and colleagues. The paper is called “Green Cloud Computing: Balancing Energy in Processing, Storage and Transport” and will be published in the journal Proceedings of the IEEE.

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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Must read - The Climate Fix - why carbon taxes/offsets should be used to fund research

[I have been an enthusiastic follow of Roger Pielke, Jr’s blog and his recently published book “The Climate Fix”. He is one of the few climate policy researchers that understands the challenges of energy consumption versus CO2 emissions. Given the projected huge growth of GHG emissions from IT, a number one priority should be funding research on the demand side in low carbon/zero carbon IT (as opposed to Green IT which is largely focused on energy consumption). This was also a recommendation by OECD ICCP committee last year. My only enhancement to his arguments is the use of a “cap and reward” program instead of a carbon tax to pay for the research – BSA]
Roger Pielke Jr., a climate policy analyst, has a new book out called The Climate Fix in which he argues several points:

1) Science has sufficiently made the case that climate change is a significant threat that requires action.

2) Neither the public nor politicians will accept economic contraction for the purpose of reducing carbon emissions.

This he calls the "iron law of climate policy," and from my reading the book supports this notion pretty well.

3) Cap-and-trade increases the cost of energy and therefore violates the iron law. Furthermore the cap-and-trade-style program envisioned by the Kyoto Protocol has not worked to accelerate carbon emission reductions in Europe.

4) There simply aren't good policy options now available to address climate change, and there haven't been since the problem was identified.

5) Modern energy technology falls far short of what's needed to address climate change.

6) The best potential solution is a slight tax on carbon that would be all but unnoticeable to the public but would generate billions of dollars for much-needed research into alternative energy resources, technologies such as batteries and carbon sequestration.

Overall the book provides a good explanation of why cap-and-trade policies probably will fail on a global scale, and does an very nice job of outlining the magnitude of the challenge of decarbonization. It is enormous in the face of rising energy demand.
Have a look,

For more information

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Monday, October 4, 2010

ICTs in the home account for almost 50% of energy use

[This follows on similar data from the International Energy Agency, that in many western homes energy use from ICT exceeds that of traditional appliances. ICT should be the one technology in which we can stop the inexorable growth of energy consumption and attendant GHG emissions. But more energy efficiency is not the answer. We need to get all ICT equipment off the grid. Most of the energy consumption of ICT in the home is the power draw when the equipment is in standby mode or for plug in chargers. This low level power demand could easily be provisioned through 400 Hz multiplex power delivered from small roof top solar panels and/or micro windmills. When a device needs more power for full operational mode it can easily switch to drawing power from the mains. Today’s power consumption from ICT is also one reason why Smart meter programs have been such a failure – BSA]
e360 digest

The average American household uses the same amount of energy it did in the early 1970s, despite significant improvements in the efficiency of household appliances, according to a report in theWashington Post. Even though appliances such as dishwashers and refrigerators now use half the amount of energy that they did several decades ago, average household energy use has remained the same because houses have been getting bigger and because they now contain more power-hungry devices, such as computers, flat-screen televisions, video games, and digital video recorders. One sign of that growing demand from computers, TVs, and other gadgets is that while electricity accounted for 23 percent of an average household’s energy use in 1978, it now accounts for 42 percent, according to the Post. Even though household energy use has essentially remained flat for the past 40 years, the number of households has increased significantly as the U.S. population has grown from 203 million in 1970 to nearly 310 million today, pushing up overall energy use.

For more information

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Sunday, October 3, 2010

Threshold for dangerous climate change closer than believed?

[Readers interested in this subject should also see the TED talk about the West Antarctica Ice Shelf (WAIS). The WAIS sits on ground that is below sea level and so if the warming seas get underneath the ice sheet it could break up very fast. New evidence indicates this could start to happen if the planet warms up more than 1C. We have already warmed up the planet .8C Must view: Scary stuff- Discovering ancient climates in oceans and ice -

The fact that ICT now accounts for almost 42% of energy consumption in US homes and projections by the IEA that ICT could consume 40% of the world’s electricity by 2030 means we in the ICT industry have to do something before we become the new climate villains. This is unsustainable and needs to be stopped. ICT is the one industry that has the “smarts” and is used to moving at Internet speeds with easy access to VC money. We need to act now.


Threshold for dangerous climate change closer than believed?
Recent research suggests current target for limiting global warming is actually unsafe

The overarching goal for international climate policy is to limit global warming to no more than 2 degrees C over pre-industrial levels. Beyond that threshold, climate scientists have believed, lies dangerous climate change, including sea level rise that could inundate major cities.
But a study published in the September issue of the Journal of Quaternary Science suggests that the threshold may be lower than 2° C. (Click for a press release on the research.)
“The results here are quite startling and, importantly, they suggest sea levels will rise significantly higher than anticipated and that stabilizing global average temperatures at 2˚C above pre-industrial levels may not be considered a ’safe’ target as envisaged by the European Union and others,” says study co-author Chris Turney of the University of Exeter in the U.K. (quoted in a press release).
This isn’t the first suggestion that targets for preventing dangerous climate change have been set too high. Based on research into ancient climates, James Hansen, head of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, and a group of colleagues, have made a similar argument:
If humanity wishes to preserve a planet similar to that on which civilization developed and to which life on Earth is adapted, paleoclimate evidence and ongoing climate change suggest that CO2 will need to be reduced from its current 385 ppm to at most 350 ppm, but likely less than that.
Current emissions targets are supposed to help achieve the goal spelled out in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, signed by 192 nations in 1992: avoid “dangerous interference with the climate system.” But what exactly is the threshold of danger?
As I wrote in a post back on December 17th, 2009, the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report, published in 2007, concluded with high confidence that an increase in the global mean temperature of more than 2 degrees C above the long-term average would lead to widespread losses in biodiversity, declining productivity of agriculture globally, and a “commitment” to widespread de-glaciation of Greenland’s ice sheets (and thus a significant rise in sea level). With medium confidence, the report concluded that such a temperature increase would lead to de-glaciation of West Antarctica’s ice sheets as well.
Based on this, 16 developed and developing nations that account for about 80 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions agreed at the 2009 G8 Summit, in July 2009 that an increase in the global mean temperature of more than 2 degrees C above the long-term average would put the world at substantial risk of dangerous climate change.
To avoid that unhappy outcome, climate policy makers have been trying to forge an agreement to keep CO2 concentrations from rising above 450 parts per million, which is considered necessary for limiting global warming to no more than 2 degrees C.
Like James Hansen and his colleagues, Turney believes his new research shows this won’t be nearly good enough.
He and his co-author analyzed a set of global data on climatic conditions during the last interglacial period, which lasted from approximately 130,000 to 116,000 years ago. Like the current geologic period, the last interglacial was marked by relatively warm conditions and a retreat of glaciers and ice sheets. The analysis suggests that at that time, global temperatures were about 1.9°C higher than pre-industrial levels.
Most significantly, with temperatures just a little shy of 2°C higher than pre-industrial times, sea level was 6.6 meters to 9.4 meters higher than it is today, and it rose at double the rate being observed now. A sea level rise of that degree would swamp many coastal cities, affecting many tens of millions of people.
“The inevitable conclusion is emission targets will have to be lowered further still,” Turney concludes.

For more information please see

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