The basic concept of an electrical power grid has matured from the early stand-alone distribution systems that serviced a limited geographic area to a more expansive and far-reaching regional network that incorporates multiple areas. In practice, the uninterrupted access to sources of electric power became a key ingredient of the economic development advances that were made possible during the Industrial Age.
By Howard Baldwin, Contributing Columnist
Energy policy is a topic that is on the minds of government and business leaders the world over. According to The Climate Group, an independent not-for-profit organization, our global economy is still driven by energy needs, and the vast majority of that energy comes from a finite supply of fossil fuels. According to their assessment, unless we rethink the way we produce and consume energy, eventually there won’t be enough to go around.
They believe that we need to cut our emissions by two thirds by 2050. But we need to do it in a way that protects our livelihoods, creates jobs and supports economic growth around the globe.
Today is Earth Day, and that has me thinking green. As I discussed this afternoon at GigaOm’s Green: Net conference, the world is changing around us in many ways, including becoming more urbanized. Over the next five years, some 500 million people will be added to the world’s cities. As we think about how to manage the energy and environmental challenges that will accompany these trends, what role will the network play in helping us be more efficient and more sustainable? And what benefits will that bring to utilities and to consumers, to governments and communities at large?
Cities consume 75 percent of the world’s energy and are responsible for 80 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. Utilities and the energy infrastructure are at the heart of city planning. If we are to better manage this impact, we must transform our electrical grid into a modern and more sustainable platform for the 21st century. Technology is the only way we can achieve balanced and sustainable growth.
Lessons in how to make our electric grids more reliable, more secure and more scalable can be gleaned from our experience in vastly revamping the telecommunications infrastructure in the ‘90s. Here too we had somewhat proprietary, siloed networks that didn’t talk to one another. Here too we had an industry that was highly regulated and needed to cautiously implement change. And here too we had an emerging field of companies chomping at the bit to capitalize on making the new telecomm infrastructure everything it could be.
The lessons we learned from this transition are important: architect the infrastructure on open, standards-based technology; build in security from the beginning; and establish public- private partnerships to align policy with infrastructure investment needs.
This transformation will rely on new technologies but also on leveraging existing technologies such as routing and switching for a utility environment. Data centers, cloud computing and security have a role to play in managing and protecting the vast influx of usage data so that we can make better educated decisions about energy consumption. Energy management of businesses and homes will leverage the existing networks extend their reach and impact. And given that the entire grid is the world’s largest infrastructure, integrating energy infrastructure with information technology will require a disciplined, architectural approach that we can only begin to foresee.
This transition has great implications, especially in our largest cities, where the need is most apparent. Examples are cropping up around the world of this vision in action. The Envision Charlotte initiative has set a goal of reducing energy use by up to 20 percent within its perimeter through greater education of citizens and use of information technology. BC Hydro in Vancouver just announced that it will roll out 1.8 million smart meters based on Itron’s OpenWay technology, powered by Cisco, to enable a more efficient grid and foster the use of renewable energy. And the city of Incheon, Korea is building in sustainability from the ground up.
These are but a few of the examples of how cities are changing, based on their energy and environmental goals. As I look around today, I see a smarter, more connected world emerging with a more intelligent and efficient energy infrastructure, supporting millions of customers, and billions of watts, with one network at the core
So what do you think is happening this week on April 15 in Allen, Texas ?
As a reminder for people like me , who have a limited understanding in geography without a GPS, Allen is a city in Collin County Texas , United States and a northern suburb of Dallas. As of the 2010 census the city had a total population of 84,246 (source Wikipedia)
So according to Marci Moon from the Dilly-O, Jack Ingram will be in town on April15 !
Good news for the music fans, but in fact what really matters here is that Cisco will open a new state-of-the-art data center.
And you will have the opportunity to participate to the Live Internet Broadcast, featuring Rebecca Jacoby, Senior VP and John Manville VP IT Network & Data Center Services
So what is this data center : Here is the official description
The state-of-the-art facility showcases Cisco’s data center products with a high-density footprint and the latest green technologies. Many Cisco data center technologies are used, including Unified Computing System, Nexus switches, MDS storage switches, Security, and more. Together, the Allen and Richardson, Texas, data centers enable Cisco to provide world-class business resiliency for critical business applications. These two facilities will run in active/active mode, meaning that even a catastrophic failure of either data center will not disrupt mission critical systems.
A growing, medium-sized enterprise, that specializes in green technology. After receiving stimulus dollars and licensing a few patents for a new electric car, the company has just expanded into the second floor of their office building: floor-to-ceiling windows, all glass and stainless steel.
With the new expansion came new problems, especially for the lone network administrator Not only is he laying Ethernet throughout the new floor, it’s an older building—the influx of employees, their laptops and smartphones is taking a toll on the wireless network. Their trusty 802.11g had worked up until now, but the business needed something more, something they could afford, and their small IT staff could manage.
What’s the solution?