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:

Monday, January 13, 2014

Why R&E networks and universities should develop climate change preparedness plans in line with Obama’s executive order

Although Obama’s recent Executive Order on Climate Change Preparedness* only applies to US government departments and agencies I suspect the concept will quickly be adopted by many other governments around the world. 
Not only government departments but also most public funded organizations such as schools, universities, hospitals etc. will be required to develop Climate Change Preparedness Plans.

President Obama’s Climate Change Preparedness order is a welcome recognition of the fact that we are pretty well past the point of no return in terms of slowing down or stopping climate change.  Most universities and other organizations who are attempting to wrestle with climate change today for the most part are only  undertaking token mitigation initiatives such as recycling paper, installing high efficiency light bulbs or deploying energy efficient heating and cooling. I liken these efforts to throwing pillows off the Titanic.  Sure, they may slow down the rate of sinking by a miniscule amount, but it is not going to change the ultimate outcome. The real focus of our efforts should be manning the lifeboats.

Most people fail to understand that it is the cumulative CO2 emissions that cause climate change, and not our current emission rate.  If magically we were to stop all emissions today, the system has already a baked in global average temperature increase of almost 2C due to the cumulative emissions produced by humans since the start of the industrial age.

To put that in perspective in the late 1700s, prior to the industrial age, when the average global temperature was .8C cooler than now, New York City Harbor would routinely freeze over*. In many years people could walk across the ice from Staten Island to Manhattan.  If New York harbor routinely froze over when the world was .8C cooler than it is now, imagine what the world is going to be like when we are 2C or even 4C warmer than today!

Even if we could develop a global consensus on the seriousness of climate change, the global effort to eliminate virtually all sources of CO2 would be staggering.  To stabilize global temperatures at 2C we would have to build the clean energy equivalent of a new nuclear power plant very day for the next 50 years*!!

Its time to face reality and realize that building  this amount of clean energy power simply is not going to happen.  We really need to think seriously about manning the lifeboats and preparing for eventual dramatic changes that will happen with a rapidly warming climate.

According to a recent Department of Energy study “US Energy sector vulnerabilities to climate change and extreme weather*”  the electrical grid is probably the most fragile infrastructure that is susceptible to climate change.  While utilities are making effort to strengthen transmission lines and build redundant capacity it is still expected that the number of Megawatt hours that will be lost due to severe weather due to climate change will increase significantly over the next decade.  It is predicted that coal and nuclear power generating capacity will decrease by between 4 and 16 percent in the United States and a 6 to 19 percent decline in Europe due to simple lack of cooling water*.  Tornadoes, hurricanes, droughts and severe flooding will cause further disruption to the power grid and generating stations.

In light of these developments and Obama’s Executive Order it is time for R&E networks and universities to start to develop Climate Change Preparedness plans themselves.  They need to evaluate the risks to their own institution's facilities from climate change and project the likely impacts for the most benign to the extreme worst case scenarios.

How will institutions and networks cope with frequent and long duration power outages?  Will the campus be subject to frequent flooding or droughts?  What backup measures and systems will be required?  What labs and/or buildings will need critical 24 hr power?  What type of on campus power solutions will be required to keep  critical facilities operating?

R&E networks will play a critical role in ensuring that education and research service can still be accessed remotely throughout the worst of any prolonged outages.  But the networks themselves must ensure that they can provide ongoing service, especially if there are long term outages. 

Dependence on diesel generators for backup power for institutions or networks may not be sufficient because of refinery and transportation outages. Hurricane Sandy was a wakeup call in this regard.  Also most governments have disaster contingency plans that prioritize fuel shipments to hospitals or other critical services ahead of most university and R&E network requirements.

The other important role that R&E network staff can play is in the design and deployment of the future Energy Internet.  Increasingly engineers and scientists are recognizing that the future energy infrastructure will look increasingly more like the original data Internet. It will be distributed with multiple power routes, packet based power delivery (pulse power or  EV) and use a variety of distribution techniques such PoE, AC, 400/60 Hz, etc and have multiple power sources such as local solar panels, windmills,  EV batteries etc.  Sophisticated routing protocols will be required to route power to loads or shed them as required to match available local energy sources such as EV batteries.

Companies like Solantro are developing the necessary semi-conductor chips to enable this type of smart energy distribution management.   R&E network scientists and engineers developed the original Internet and it is now their responsibility to develop the protocols, services and deployments for the Energy Internet.


1. Obama Executive Order on Climate Change Preparedness

2. US Energy sector vulnerabilities to climate change and extreme weather”  US Department of Energy July 2013

3. Latest Developments in Data Center in Power and Energy Issues