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


Monday, January 10, 2011

Why Energy needs to be Free to reduce CO2 and the Falsehood of Energy Efficiency

[There has been a spate of good articles on the falsehood of energy efficiency in terms of reducing energy consumption and GHG emissions.
  I particularly recommend the recent New Yorker article –“The Efficiency Dilemma”  http://goo.gl/LxWvR and one published by The Break Though Institute – “The Efficiency Illusion” http://goo.gl/4dK04.

The bottom line is that while energy efficiency may help an individual organization reduce its energy consumption and GHG emissions and hence save money, on an macro scale it encourages further consumption and greater GHG emissions. This is a result of two phenomena: the rebound effect and Jevons paradox (which are often confused as being the same thing). With the rebound effect, the increased efficiency and reduced cost encourages greater consumption of that same product or service.  The rebound effect , however is relatively minor. What is of greater concern is the Jevons Paradox (aka Khazzoom-Brookes postulate) which states that energy efficiency on the micro scale results in greater energy consumption on the macro scale. As we reduce the energy cost of a product or service we make that product accessible to a greater population.  Refrigeration is a good example, as documented in the New Yorker article.   But the same principle applies to all sorts of diverse products or services such as cloud computing, network equipment, electric vehicles, etc.  As we make these products or services more energy efficient we will reduce their cost and drive up demand.

As I have long argued the problem facing this planet is not energy consumption, but GHG emissions.  Eliminating energy that produces CO2 directly will have much greater impact on reducing overall GHG than any energy efficiency program.  But we have a classic example of the tragedy of the commons with GHG emissions – and this is where governments need to play a role. Funding of energy efficient research makes no sense to my mind.   Energy efficiency has such a clear and obvious benefit in reducing costs – that the private sector is well positioned to develop the appropriate solutions. Developing GHG free energy solutions is a much bigger challenge.

Up to now governments have focused on the production side of GHG free energy such as grants for the capital costs of windmills, subsiding solar panels and providing generous feed in tariffs (FIT) that help make these technologies competitive with traditional fossil fuel alternatives.  But very little effort has been spent on the consumption side of GHG free energy.

As I have stated many times in the past ( http://goo.gl/Bw13w ), electric vehicles on their own are not a solution to either our fossil fuel demands or GHG emissions.   But integrating electric vehicles with GHG free renewable energy using Information Technology provides a viable solution that not only addresses our dependency on foreign oil, but also provides an entire new energy infrastructure delivery system, that is a direct competitor to the traditional utilities and their transmission line infrastructure.

I am pleased to see that Pike Research in a recent report has independently endorsed this concept “ Public charging for electric cars – what to expect” ( http://goo.gl/y87ku ). In their report they have also concluded, as I have long advocated,  that commercial organizations will be motivated to provide free electricity to stimulate drivers to visit their commercial establishment. Restaurants, banks, shopping malls, etc can install solar panels and wind mills (perhaps with some government incentives) as part of their capital construction costs and effectively then provide free electricity to their customers.  With pathway charging while the electric vehicle is on the move,  consumers can fully charge their car before they get home and then use the car as an energy source for the entire house, to displace fossil fuel generated electricity from the utility.  It is a classic win-win situation where not only do we eliminate GHG emissions from automobiles but also from electricity coal generating plants.  Moreover the cost of such electricity will be nearly free.  Further there is no debate about building new expensive transmission lines and going through thousands of back yards. The investment in new transmission lines could be better spent on building pathway charging systems along all of our roads and highways.

Governments currently are investing a fortune in subsidizing the cost of electric vehicles, FITs and alternate energy systems. Instead, I think they would get a much bigger bang for the buck, and new innovative solutions if they focused on rewarding consumers rather than penalizing them with carbon taxes, cap and trade etc.   Incentives to provide  free (or close to) renewable energy will have much greater impact and new economic  opportunities.



Excerpts from the Pike report (http://goo.gl/y87ku) :

“As automakers gear up to roll thousands of electric cars into showrooms and onto the open road, prospective buyers have to consider a basic question: When and where will I plug in?
Car companies, charging station builders, utilities and other players in the electric vehicle game have long anticipated that early adopters will charge their vehicles at home. If and when plug-in cars gain acceptance on the broader market, however, it will become increasingly important for consumers to have charging options away from home..

Fortunately, the wheels are already turning in regions around the country to demonstrate how public-access charging infrastructure might work. Charging equipment for electric vehicles can be thought of in several categories, including home and workplace installations, "destination" and "pathway" charging. A bank of charge points installed at a shopping center, museum or municipal parking lot would be an example of destination charging. Charging stations installed along major roadways, on the other hand, would be pathway charging.

Pike Research, in a report that Gartner co-authored, forecasts that many retailers who install charging stations will let customers juice up for free. The idea is that a movie theater or restaurant, for example, could display advertising and interactive marketing on the device, and also benefit by having EV drivers visit their establishment more frequently.
 “



Green Internet Consultant. Practical solutions to reducing GHG emissions such as free broadband and electric highways. http://green-broadband.blogspot.com/

                 Bill@St-arnaud.org
twitter:  BillStArnaud
skype:    Pocketpro