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:

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Keystone XL Pipeline and the role of R&E networks

There has been a lot of discussion lately on the environmental impact of the proposed Keystone-XL pipeline that is intended to carry heavy oil from the tar sands in Alberta to refineries on the US Gulf Coast.
I suspect at the end of the day the US government will approve the pipeline as GDP growth and potential job losses will always trump concerns over the environment.

However, the US government has been putting on a lot pressure on Alberta to improve its environmental standards as a quid pro quo for approving the pipeline. In response Alberta is exploring expanding their current CO2 emissions program to a $40/tonne carbon levy.  In the past, all of the funds raised by Alberta’s carbon emissions program was returned to industry to invest in dubious energy efficiency programs.  But  Alberta could really have a much more meaningful impact in terms of reducing CO2 emissions, that would more than compensate the emissions from the oil carried in the Keystone XL pipeline,  if it invested some of this money into its local universities and R&E network – Cybera.

Although on the production side the tar sands are one of the biggest sources of CO2 emissions, the ICT industry, globally is the fastest growing and soon will be the largest source of CO2 emissions on the consumption side of the equation.  ICT emissions are produced indirectly from the coal generated electricity that is used to power all of our devices. Currently it is estimated that ICT consumes around
10% all electrical power growing at about 6-10% per year. According to the OECD and other studies ICT equipment in our home now consumes more energy than traditional appliances.

New studies suggest that the growth in wireless networks could be the single largest component of that growth in CO2 emissions from the ICT sector. In a recent report by the Centre for Energy-Efficient Communications, at the University of Melbourne-based research centre claimed that by 2015, the energy used to run data centres will be a "drop in the ocean", compared to the wireless networks used to access cloud services.  The report predicts that by 2015 energy consumption associated with 'wireless cloud' will reach 43 terawatt-hours, compared to 9.2 terawatt-hours in 2012. This is an increase in carbon footprint from 6 megatonnes of CO2 in 2012, up to 30 megatonnes of CO2 in 2015, which is the equivalent of an additional 4.9 million cars on the road, the report states.

More worrisome is another report from Sweden KTH that predicts will need to increase the density of wireless base stations by 1000 times to meet the insatiable demand for the “wireless cloud”.  If this came to fruition, it would be incredibly huge jump in the demand of electricity by the ICT sector.

The wireless industry in particular is an ideal sector to be powered by local renewable energy sources such as solar panels and windmills. Already many wireless towers in the developing world are powered by renewable energy (but unfortunately often with diesel backup).  Because of it is inherently distributed, lower power architecture the wireless industry  is ideally suited to be powered by local renewable energy.

I have long advocated that universities and R&E networks are the ideal environment for deploying wireless networks that are powered solely by local renewable power sources. By integrating WIfI and 4G networks with multiple over lapping cells it would be possible to provide seamless service zero carbon wireless services.

For more details please see:
High Level Architecture for Building Zero Carbon Internet Networks , ICT products and services

Alberta could be a world leader in deploying such zero carbon networks starting first at universities in partnership with Cybera. The global CO2 impact of developing such technology in terms of removing additional 4.9 million cars from the road would be much greater than expected emissions from the oil to be carried in the proposed Keystone XL pipeline

Additional pointers:

Cloud's real ecological timebomb: Wireless, not data centres

Thousand times greater density of base stations
  J. Zander, P. Mähönen, “Riding the Data Tsunami in the Cloud – Myths and Challenges in Future Wireless Access“, IEEE Communications Magazine, Vol 51, Issue: 3 (March 2013), pages 145-151

Solar powered WiFi allows control of bugs instead of using pesticides –

ICT industry on track to be largest sector for CO 2 emissions

Solar Powered DIY Portable HotSpot

More on revenue opportunities for R&E and open access networks - building next generation "5G" wireless network 

R&E Network and Green Internet Consultant.

twitter:  BillStArnaud
skype:    Pocketpro