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
Monday, November 22, 2010
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Friday, November 5, 2010
A proposal called “Post Partisan Power” by the Brookings Institution, the Breakthrough Institute and the American Enterprise Institute recommend the establishment $5 billion program of regional, focused energy innovation institutes involving universities, government researchers and private industry and investors. The proponents of the initiative suggest that money would come from a portion of oil and gas leases, a small fee on imported oil and small surcharge on electricity sales and/or a very small carbon price. But given the political realities of Washington and Ottawa I suspect the funding for such an initiative will have to come from provincial and state cap and trade programs such as WCI, RGGI, etc . Unfortunately, at the moment these regional cap and trade programs are only focusing on the trading of offsets and not using any of the funds to underwrite research.
However, a study by the Canadian Conference Board in Canada on the various GHG mitigation programs in Canada demonstrated that funding green research out of carbon offsets or carbon taxes had the biggest bang for the buck in terms of reducing GHG emissions and creating jobs as well as new businesses. The OECD also recently made a recommendation along these lines as well.
Although ICT currently represents only 2-3% of global GHG emissions and 7-9% of electrical energy consumption its growth rate is dramatic at 6% per year. If this growth rate continues by 2030 ICT could consume, by various estimates anywhere from 20-40% of global electrical consumption and corresponding GHG emissions.
According to data from the Australian Computer Society the education/research sector is by far the largest component of this ICT energy consumption and GHG emissions.
In my opinion it is therefore critical that education and research community, and by extension the research and education networks (who are likely to provide the most effective solutions) should be eligible for some of this research funding. The higher education sector, in particular, should be at the forefront of looking for new solutions to address climate change.
Additional information can be found at:
Real-World Steps on Energy and CO2
California can lead nation on carbon cutbacks
Conference Board of Canada report on benefits of using carbon offsets to fund research
OECD recommendations on using offsets to fund Green IT research
How research and educational institutions can provide national leadership in reducing CO2
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
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