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:
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: https://goo.gl/24SiUP
Architecture and routing protocols for Energy Internet: http://goo.gl/niWy1g
How to use Green Bond Funds to underwrite costs of new network and energy infrastructure: https://goo.gl/74Bptd
Monday, March 28, 2011
Australia gets it right: carbon pricing, national broadband, eResearch, Green IT research
As I have blogged many times I see all four initiatives closely interlinked and related and they will help make Australia a world leader in the future low carbon IT economy. The next big step would be for Australia to ban all coal exports!
For those who have not seen it, I highly recommend reading the Australian PM’s recent speech on cap and trade and carbon pricing – some excerpts printed below. She truly gets it. In North America we can only dream of such political leadership. Closely connected to Australia achieving its goals for carbon reduction, is the National broadband plan recently approved by the Australian Parliament. The revenues from cap and trade will help underwrite the National Broadband costs as well as providing the capability to enable new applications and services for Australians to reduce their personal carbon footprint.
At the same time the Australian government has just released a discussion document on the future of science and research in Australia where eResearch will figure predominately (but with one glaring omission - there is no mention of the critical role that AARNet will play in supporting eResearch). eResearch is not only transforming the way science and research that will be carried out in the future – it also enables future science and research infrastructure to have a much lower carbon footprint. According to studies by the Australian Computing Association the research and education sector computing and networking is one of the biggest and fastest growing contributions to CO2 emissions in the IT sector in Australia. Future projections indicate that ICT may consume up to 20% of all electricity production by 2030 with a commensurate contribution of CO2 emissions. Putting a price on carbon will hopefully propel the adaption of green eResearch and advanced networks in the R&E community in Australia.
AARnet’s eResaerch infrastructure also helps the nation achieve its broadband goals. For example AARnet partnered with the Brisbane City Council and Queensland Rail and by swapping fibres, managed to achieve the equivalent of $64m worth of fibre builds in Brisbane City for approximately $2m Finally One of the world’s largest green telecommunications eResearch efforts was launched in Australia with Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs and University of Melbourne, in partnership with the Victorian State Government, officially launching the Centre for Energy-Efficient Telecommunications (CEET), one of the largest research efforts on green telecommunications in the world. ( my only quibble is that the institute is focused on energy efficiency rather than carbon reduction but that is a minor issue).
Here are some pointers to these related activities:
DIISR Strategic Roadmap for Australian Research Infrastructure
Australian parliament endorses roll out of $37 billion fiber optic national broadband network
Australian Computer Society Study
Centre for Energy-Efficient Telecommunications
Australian Prime Minister, Julia Gillard speech
“Today we must embrace another moment of decision for the future of our nation: a decision to cut carbon pollution and build a clean energy economy for the 21st century….
In all of this, we draw strength from enduring Labor values: Protecting jobs – always our first commitment. A sustainable environment for future generations – an environment with less carbon pollution. Reform with equity, looking after those who need a helping hand. And accepting a scientific world-view in a community of reason.
Friends, the second US President John Adams once famously said that “facts are stubborn things.” No opinion poll can change the fact that climate change is real. It is caused by human activity. And we must cut carbon pollution. In a nation rich in fossil fuels, I wish it were not so. But it is. Greenhouse gas levels are one-third higher than before the Industrial Revolution, and higher than at any time in the last 800,000 years.
As a result, global temperatures have risen 0.7 degrees celsius over the past century and continue to rise. The last decade was the world’s hottest on record, warmer than the 1990s which were in turn warmer than the 1980s. In fact, globally 2010 was the equal warmest year on record, tied with 2005 and1998. 2010 is the thirty-fourth consecutive year with global temperatures above the 20th Century average. In Australia, average temperatures have risen almost one degree since 1910, and each decade since the 1940s has been warmer than the one before. That warming is real. Its consequences are real. And it will change our lives in real and practical ways.
More extreme bushfire conditions and droughts. Falling crop yields. Loss of species. Increased cyclone intensity. More days of extreme heat. Coastal flooding as sea levels rise. Bleaching of our coral reefs. And a substantial decline in alpine snow cover. Indeed, Professor Garnaut’s latest report indicates that the need to act is greater than ever. And the scientific consensus is stronger than ever. Given these realities, I ask who I’d rather have on my side: Alan Jones, Piers Akerman and Andrew Bolt. Or the CSIRO, the Australian Academy of Science, the Bureau of Meteorology, NASA, the US National Atmospheric Administration, and every reputable climate scientist in the world.
It is deeply ironic that as the scientific evidence mounts, the Coalition’s position grows more extreme with every passing day. Mr Abbott doesn’t care about climate change because he doesn’t believe in climate change. Yes, he says the right thing to the wider community. But put him on talkback radio and his true opinion emerges. It is no wonder that Mr Abbott told his party room not to talk about the science. Because half the Coalition party room consists of sceptics, deniers and opportunists. While decent men and women of the small ‘l’ liberal tradition like Judi Moylan, Mal Washer and Judith Troeth tear their hair out in frustration watching a hard-won consensus evaporate in a cloud of denial and fear. Friends, that consensus was the product of long years of deliberation and debate
The first warning by a senior world leader came from none other than Margaret Thatcher – a trained scientist who knew what was at stake. At the 2nd World Climate Change Conference in 1990, Mrs Thatcher warned that:
“The danger of global warming is … real enough for us to make changes and sacrifices, so that we do not live at the expense of future generations.”
That conference led to the Earth Summit in Rio in 1992 and Kyoto in 1997 moments of hope, lost to inaction and delay
I also said to the Australian people that we needed to act on climate change, we needed to price carbon and I wanted to see an emissions trading scheme. Now, if I’d been leading a majority government I would have been getting on with an emissions trading scheme, just as I promised the Australian people. As it is, in this minority parliament, the only way I could act to price carbon was by working with other Members of Parliament, or else do nothing. I had a stark choice: do I act or not act? I chose to act. The Government’s plan means we start with a fixed carbon price for a temporary transitional period a plan that puts a price on carbon from day one. We will still have an emissions trading scheme but we will get there by a different route.
Our carbon pricing model will give industry time to adapt in a steady and deliberate manner. It will generate revenue to assist households and businesses make the transition. And it will provide a real incentive for firms to reduce their carbon pollution. The important thing to know is that from 1 July 2012, carbon will be priced in the Australian economy. The journey of transformation will begin. Friends, I chose action over inaction because of this simple truth: If Australia does not adopt a carbon price in 2011, we probably never will. This is the year of decision. Action versus inaction. Acceptance versus denial. Setting Australia on the path to a high skill, low carbon future. Or leaving our economy to decay into a rusting industrial museum. That is the choice we face. Action will protect jobs.
Inaction will cost jobs. Tony Abbott will cost this nation jobs. In his landmark report, Lord Stern noted that while action has its price, but the cost of inaction will be far greater:
“The costs of action to the global economy would be roughly 1 percent of GDP, while the costs of inaction could be from 5-20 percent of GDP.”
As Prime Minister of Australia, I will not trifle with our nation’s future. I will not expose our people to such risks. We cannot afford to be stranded with an outdated high-emissions economy. We can’t freeze our economy in time, any more than we could lock ourselves behind tariff walls while the world changed outside. I don’t want us to wake up in ten years time lumbered with a high carbon economy when the rest of the world has moved on and then scramble to catch up. Our nation is well equipped to make the transition. We have an abundance of natural resources like wind, natural gas, solar and geothermal.
For example, the highest average solar radiation per square metre of any continent in the world. We have an agile, innovative business sector tempered by three decades of exposure to global competition. We have a talented workforce ready to embrace the jobs of tomorrow. As Deputy Prime Minister, I often spoke about the opportunities that will come with alow carbon economy, like my address to the Green Skills Forum in 2009. It is a conviction I hold even more strongly today as countries like China plunge headlong into new industries like solar energy while we delay and hold back. Friends, the dignity and value of work lie at the very heart of everything my Government stands for.
That is why climate change is not just a debate among economists and scientists. Every Australian family has a stake in what we do. Delay will cost them jobs. It will cost them jobs through the impacts of a changing climate. Like the crop failures that will come with longer and harsher droughts. Or the loss of tourism jobs that will come with the bleaching of our coral reefs. Inaction will also cost jobs because emission-intensive economies will become un competitive in a low carbon world.
In the quest for comparative advantage, investment will flow towards those countries that can offer more output for fewer emissions. Inaction will cost jobs. Action will support jobs. Friends, action on climate change means creating new jobs for the future. It means saving and transforming existing jobs. It means re-skilling workers for the future. We will see new job opportunities in clean energy generation. Electric and hybrid cars. Manufacturing clean energy equipment. Energy efficient construction and retro-fitting existing buildings. Carbon capture and storage. Today’s workers will find themselves in different industries and different settings. Welders and steel workers will build and maintain large-scale solar power plants. Plumbers and electricians will be reskilled to install solar hot water systems and solar panels. And there will be new jobs too. Just as in the 1960s, the South Australian community could never imagine the job sin tourism, fine food and wine, the film industry and the arts that lay just around the corner.
Or back in the 1980s that the ingenuity of markets would create enterprises like Google and Facebook that would change the world. In a similar way, clean energy will open up opportunities we are only just beginning to imagine. Those opportunities begin with that simple but momentous decision: Putting a price on carbon.
Friends, a price on carbon is the cheapest way to drive investment and jobs. A low carbon economy will be more efficient and more productive. It will change behaviour right across the economy, driving innovation and creativity. Like the dynamic benefits of tariff reform, a market in carbon will not only cut carbon pollution but make the economy more efficient as a whole. The countless decisions needed to transform our economy cannot – and should not– be made by government decree. They can only be made by individual firms calculating how best to position themselves for a low carbon future. By contrast, the Coalition wants to pick winners from a central bureaucracy located in Canberra. More Karl Marx than Adam Smith.
Friends, three weeks ago, I began a process that will equip our nation with a clean energy economy for the future: a price on carbon. It is a big call. One of the biggest in the modern era. A call that will shape the destiny of our nation as greatly as floating the dollar, cutting tariffs or introducing the GST. This nation-changing reform has been met with a campaign of fear just as Dunstan’s ground breaking reforms were met with fear and misunderstanding, reforms now taken for granted as part of everyday life. Like those purveyors of fear in the 60s and 70s,Australians of the future will look back on Mr Abbott’s campaign with pity and shame. The pity and shame posterity reserves for leaders who miss the wave of history and misjudge the big calls. The leaders who create fear and try to stop a confident nation dealing with the challenges of the future.
I will never be such a leader. Faced with hurdles, I will always find a way through. Faced with choosing between taking a few knocks or doing what’s best for the nation, I will put our nation first every time, no matter what the personal price. I will always ensure that this nation seizes the opportunities of the future and does not cower in fear. A low-pollution, clean-energy economy is one of those opportunities. Lord Stern calls it “the most dynamic and creative energy and industrial revolution in our economic history.”
We will cut carbon pollution. We will not leave our nation stranded by history. We will not live at the expense of future generations. We will get this call right and get this job done: For our nation. For our people. For our future.
Green Internet Consultant. Practical solutions to reducing GHG emissions such as free broadband and electric highways. http://green-broadband.blogspot.com/
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