Green Internet and Cyber-infrastructure Overview
Governments around the world are wrestling with the challenge of how to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. The current preferred approaches are to impose carbon taxes and implement various forms of cap and trade. However another approach to help reduce carbon emission is to “reward” those directly who reduce their carbon footprint and complement their existing lifestyle. One possible reward system is to provide homeowners with free fiber to the home or free wireless products and other electronic services such as ebooks and eMovies if they deploy micro renewable energy sources for their ICT equipment and use eVehicles for energy transportation. Not only does the consumer benefit, but this business model also provides new revenue opportunities for small businesses, network operators, and eCommerce application providers.
Linking renewable energy with the Internet using 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. For more details please see:
How North American suburban sprawl could be the answer to global warning: http://goo.gl/UDz37
Free High Speed Internet to the Home: http://goo.gl/wGjVG
High level architecture of Building Zero Carbon Networks: http://goo.gl/juWdH
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
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.
Thursday, October 14, 2010
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
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 - http://promptinc.org/documents/Prompt_Green_ICT_PR_eng.pdf
» Download the backgrounder (PDF) - http://promptinc.org/documents/Backgrounder_Prompt_Green_ICT_PR_eng.pdf
» Download the Green ICT Strategy document (PDF) - http://promptinc.org/documents/Prompt_Green_ICT_Focus_Paper_October2010.PDF
For additional information, please contact:
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
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.
PhysOrg.com 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 PhysOrg.com 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.
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
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 http://green-broadband.blogspot.com
Monday, October 4, 2010
30 SEP 2010: U.S. HOME ENERGY USE
AS HIGH AS IN 1970S, DESPITE ADVANCES
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
Sunday, October 3, 2010
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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