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Building the world's first zero carbon optical network- Greenstar


  • 1. Building the world's first zero carbon optical network- Greenstar
    Bill St. Arnaud
    Unless otherwise noted all material in this slide deck may be reproduced, modified or distributed without prior permission of the author

2. Theme of this talk
Climate Change is real and is happening much faster than the most pessimistic forecasts
Traditional solutions such as energy efficiency are insufficient and in some cases counter productive
We need to move to low or zero carbon solutions and de-couple energy consumption from production of Green House Gas (GHG) emissions. Innovation is essential
ICT and zero carbon Internetnetworks and clouds can play a critical role
3. Global Average Temperature
4. 2009 second warmest year ever2009 2
5. Spring 2010 warmest ever
This is despite a solar sun spot minimum
6. Climate Forecasts

  • MIT report predicts median temperature forecast of 5.2C


  • 11C increase in Northern Canada



7. Last Ice age average global temperature was 5-6C cooler than today5-6

  • Most of Canada was under 2-3 km ice


  • With BAU we are talking about 5-6C change in temperature in the opposite direction in less than 80 Years

8. Climate Change is not reversible
Climate Change is not like acid rain or ozone destruction where environment will quickly return to normal once source of pollution is removed

GHG emissions will stay in the atmosphere for thousands of years and continue to accumulate
Planet will continue to warm up even if we drastically reduce emissions

Weaver et al., GRL (2007)
All we hope to achieve is to slow down the rapid rate of climate change

9. Climate tipping points
USGS report finds that future climate shifts have been underestimated and warns of debilitatingabrupt shift in climate that would be devastating.
Tipping elements in the Earth's climate- National Academies of Science
Society may be lulled into a false sense of security by smooth projections of global change. Our synthesis of present knowledge suggests that a variety of tipping elements could reach their critical point within this century under anthropogenic climate change.
10. Urgency of Action
Were uncertain about the magnitude of climate change, which is inevitable, because were talking about reaching levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere not seen in millions of years.
You might think that this uncertainty weakens the case for action, but it actually strengthens it.
This risk of catastrophe, rather than the details of cost-benefit calculations, makes the most powerful case for strong climate policy.
Current projections of global warming in the absence of action are just too close to the kinds of numbers associated with doomsday scenarios. It would be irresponsible its tempting to say criminally irresponsible not to step back from what could all too easily turn out to be the edge of a cliff.
Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman
11. The Global ICT Carbon Footprint isRoughly the Same as the Aviation Industry TodayICT
But ICT Emissions are Growing at 6% Annually!
ICT represent8% of global electricity consumption
Projected to grow to as much as 20% of all electrical consumption in the US(
Future Broadband- Internet alone is expected to consume 5% of all electricity
12. IT biggest power drawIT
Energy Consumption World Wide
Energy Consumption Typical Building

IT Equipment
Sources: BOMA 2006, EIA 2006, AIA 2006
13. Growth Projections Data Centers
Half of ICT consumption is data centers
In ten years50% of todays Data Centers and major science facilities in the US will have insufficient power and cooling;*
By 2012, half of all Data Centers will have to relocate or outsource applications to another facility.*
CO2 emissions from US datacenters greater than all CO2 emissions from Netherlands or Argentina
Coal fuels much of Internet 'cloud,' Greenpeace says
Data centers will consume 12% of electricity in the US by 2020 (TV Telecom)
Source:Gartner; Meeting the DC power and cooling challenge
14. Digital vs Traditional appliances
15. The Falsehood of Energy Efficiency
Most current approaches to reduce carbon footprint are focused on increased energy efficiency of equipment and processes

But growth in ICT deployment of equipment and services is outstripping any gains made in efficiency
Which is likely to accelerate as ICT is used to support abatement in other fields such as smart homes, smart buildings, smart grids etc
Also greater efficiency can paradoxically increase energy consumption by reducing overall cost service and therefore stimulates demand

Khazzoom-Brookes postulate (aka Jevons paradox aka rebound effect)
In last Energy crisis in 1973 Congress passed first energy efficiency laws (CAF) which mandate minimum mileage for cars, home insulation and appliances
Net effect was to reduce cost of driving car, heating or cooling home, and electricity required for appliances
Consumer response was to drive further, buy bigger homes and appliance
16. More on Energy Efficiency
If we add all of the potential savings from energy efficiency, they only abate about25%of GHG emissions.
To make matters worse, the low hanging fruit will grow smaller over time, decreasing returns to our efforts.
To reduce our GHG emissions by 85 percent by 2050, we need radical innovation to provide clean energy alternatives, rather than just using carbon-based fuels a bit more efficiently.
ITIF Institute - Debunking the Myths of Global Climate Change
Offsetting efficiency savings will be more people in the US in the next decase(391 million vs. 305 million), more households (147 million vs. 113 million), more vehicles (297 million vs. 231 million) and a bigger economy (almost double in size).Obama's Energy Pipe Dreams
17. Zero Carbon strategy essential
Zero carbon strategy using renewable energy critically important if governments mandate carbon neutrality, or if there is a climate catastrophe
With a zero carbon strategy growth in demand for services will not effectGHG emissions
Anything times zero is always zero
Wind and solar power are most likely candidates because of opportunity cost/benefit analysis especially time to deploy
Nuclear has high opportunity cost becauseof time to deploy
But renewable energy sites are usually located far from cities and electrical distribution systems are not designed to carry load
Local wind/solar will be an important component
18. Grand Challenge Building robust ICT services using renewable energy onlyICT
30% of electrical power will come from renewable sources
How do you provide mission critical ICT services when energy source is unreliable?
Ebbing wind or setting sun

Back up diesel and batteries are not an option because they are not zero carbon and power outages can last for days or weeks

Need new network architectures and business models to ensure reliable service delivery by quickly moving compute jobs and data sets around the world to sites that have available power

Will require high bandwidth networks and routing architectures to quickly move jobs and data sets from site to site

19. Get off the Grid!
Purchasing green power locally is expensive with significant transmission line losses
Demand for green power within cities expected to grow dramatically
-Cooling also a major problem in cities
But most renewable energy sites are very remote and impractical to connect to electrical grid.
Can be easily reached by an optical network
Provide independence from electrical utility and high costs in wheeling power
Savings in transmission line losses (up to 15%) alone, plus carbon offsets can pay for moving ICT facilities to renewable energy site
ICT is only industry ideally suited to relocate to renewable energy sites
Also ideal for business continuity in event of climate catastrophe
20. MIT to build zero carbon data center in Holyoke MAMIT
The data center will be managed and funded by the four main partners in the facility: the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cisco Systems, the University of Massachusetts and EMC.
It will be a high-performance computing environment that will help expand the research and development capabilities of the companies and schools in Holyoke
21. Many examples already
Ecotricity in UK build