Global-Scale Energy Demand Management for a Greener Internet

A proposal for a networking session at “ICT 2013 – Create, Connect, Grow” to be held in Vilnius on 6-8 November, 2013.

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Objective of the proposed session

The distribution and the variability of renewable energy sources give raise to distribution challenges which impair the efficiency of smart grids and the exploitability of green energy. Renewable power should be used where and when it is harvested in order to minimize the need for energy storage and power transmission. Demand-side management (DSM) has the potential to adapt the loads to the sources when there is no sufficient control on power generation to adapt the sources to the loads.

Public cloud computing systems represent ideal targets for DSM since they are responsible for an ever increasing share of the ICT footprint and they provide full support to the transparent migration of data and tasks across the Internet.

The objective of the proposed session is to discuss the viability and the potentials of price-driven DSM techniques for smart grids able to induce carbon-aware optimizations on the Internet.

Stakeholders to be attracted (who and how)

The session aims to attract researchers and stakeholders from different fields: TLC, cloud computing, renewable energy, power distribution, smart grid, and socio-economics. In particular, the session aims at bringing together the main players of both the Internet value chain and the power supply chain: TLC operators, over-the-top service providers, power suppliers, distribution system operators, energy traders, and end-users. All the players should be attracted by the opportunity of increasing the profitability of their own business while also contributing to the reduction of the CO2 footprint. To this purpose, it is essential to discuss solutions that enable cost-driven price signals and incentives to propagate across the entire value chain. Standardization bodies, regulation authorities, and policy makers should also take part in the session to discuss the regulatory challenges and identify the relevant instruments.

Expected outcome

The expected outcomes of the networking session include:

  • an evaluation of the elasticity of the energy-demand of cloud computing systems;
  • a better understanding of the role of ICT in smart power grids;
  • a better understanding of the main sources of inefficiencies in power grids and cloud computing systems;
  • a common understanding of the opportunities that may come from a closer interaction between energy operators and TLC operators;
  • cross-sectoral (i.e., TLC-Energy) relationships, cooperations;
  • a shared awareness of the need for a global-scale solution to the reduction of ICT footprint;
  • a tighter cooperation among energy and ICT researchers;
  • viable combined TLC-Energy business models;
  • establishment of European consortia able to address the challenges of Horizon 2020, with particular emphasis on Next Generation Computing, Future Internet, Efficient Energy, Inclusive Societies, and the accumulated benefits coming from the combination of several key enabling technologies.

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