How the Internet can Green the Electrical Grid

>>S. Keshav: Some of you have been out of
university for some time. Casey was my student two years ago. So I’m gonna start with a quiz
because just to get you into the right state of mind. And I’m gonna show you seven pictures and
I’m gonna ask you what’s common to all seven. And these are pretty diverse pictures. So
here we go. Here’s the first one. So just look carefully
at what it is. You don’t need to give me an answer right now. This is the second one. This is the third one. [pause] This is the fourth one. [pause] There’s five. [pause] There’s six. [pause] And seven. Alright. So I’ll do it again slowly bec, a
little bit just because you guys look all totally bewildered. You’re supposed to be
Google people; smart guys. So figure it out. Here’s number one. [pause] Here’s number two. [pause] Number three. [pause] Here’s number four. [pause] Here’s five. [pause] Here’s six. [pause] And here is seven. So any [laughs] anybody wanna try, take a
guess at what it is? Sorry you missed the quiz. [laughter] You’ll have to ask your friends later. [laughs]>>voice in audience: [inaudible] That’s possible. [laughs] [laughter] If it’s my quiz that’s possible. Yeah. So any, anybody wanna try? So I’ll give you,
I’ll put names to it. So that’s an, that’s a avalanche. [pause] That’s the Berlin Wall, you know that. That’s the Xerox Alto; the first PC. This is Len Kleinrock with the INP which was
the first node in the ARPANET in 1969. This is a map of the Balkans in, just before
World War I. This is well, Das Kapital by Karl Marx. And that’s a boy plugging a dike in Holland.
It’s a sculpture of a boy plugging a dike in Holl, in, in, in the Netherlands.>>voice in audience: Oh, it’s a sculpture.>>S. Keshav: Yeah, it’s a sculpture. It’s
a famous story about Hans Brinker this guy who put a thumb in the dike to prevent it
from collapsing. So, okay. So– [pause]>>voice in audience: [inaudible] it’s just
before a major tipping point. S. Kesav: There you go. Now you know why he’s
the boss. [laughs] [laughter] So these are all things that happened just
before a tipping point. To go back to the beginning, this is just
before the dike broke. This guy was kind of, the, the, he put a finger in because if he
let go the whole dike was gonna collapse. This set off the Communist Revolution; enough
said. This is the powder keg of Europe; the Balkans
before the World War I. One assassination in Sarajevo 1914 caused seven years of misery
to millions of people in Europe. This is the beginning of the Internet. The
first node, the Internet Message Processor and somehow in 40 years you cannot build the
entire Internet infrastructure. This started the PC revolution. This was the
Xerox Alto which had WYSIWYG. The WIMP interface –you know– windows, icon, mouse, pointers. And this is the Berlin Wall; rearranged the
map of Europe. And this may rearrange your face if you get
caught [laughs] in it. [laughter] So what’s important about all of these? What’s
interesting is that this is what it looks like. Basically this is accumulation of energy
or potential inside the system. Okay? And it reaches this crux and at some point a small
push, the straw that broke the camel’s back, is going to cause an energy minimization with
a large release of energy. You can call this equal to nuclear fission
is you want; [laughs] or all of these other things. They all have this notion of ingrained,
concentrated, large energy which is then being pushed over. And my analysis is that there
are actually three things going on. There’s this notion of Internal Contradictions.
You know Marx talked about the the internal contractions of capitalist society. And similarly being a dike; the dike is keeping
the water mass away. The Berlin Wall was, was separating a nation which was artificially
split. So in all these cases an internal contradiction. Plus there’re external pressures. There’s
some external pressure which comes from where ever and adding to these two is a technological
push. There is something that extra technology that causes the whole thing to basically fall
apart. So what I am going to argue is the electrical
grid has reached this. And I’m going to now ask you to hold this thought in your mind
for just a few minutes when I tell you what the grid is and then I’ll come back to this;
explain to you why I think there’s gonna be major changes. So let’s start. What is the grid like? So
this is like a idiot’s guide to the electrical grid. And what we have is basically on the
left, on the, on my left, on the left hand side we have sources of production. So we
have coal; it’s a dominance of production, we have nuclear, and we have hydroelectric.
These are dominant sources of production pretty much in any country. You can also add in other
things like natural gas and so on which I haven’t really shown. The second component is called transmission.
That’s all the wires that you see over here, all over the place; transmission. And it’s
a long, long distance. And then finally we have distribution where
the distribution corresponds to basically is a substation that blocks over there and
then the wires going out to each house; that’s distribution. And those are the three components of any
electrical generation system; generation, transmission and distribution. Now the problems and the int, inherent contradictions
and external pressures are apparent from this beautiful figure which comes from the Lawrence
Livermore National Lab in the U.S. and it shows in 2008 how much energy was used in
quadrillion BTU’s, called quads. And you can see that it’s a sort of a spaghetti and I
don’t know if that’s all visible, but I’m just gonna walk you through it. On the left hand side is generation and the
right hand side is consumption, basically. On the left hand side you can see the yellow
box on top is solar, point, point 09 BTU’s; nuclear is 8.45; hydro’s 2.45. So the boxes
are not to scale but the lines are. Those 10 lines are to scale. You’ll see right away, right away it jumps
out that the big black generation boxes are coal and petroleum. Coal is 22 qu-quads and
petroleum is 37 quads, and these are basically carbon. Now most of the petroleum is actually going
to transportation; that’s your diesel and your transportation, but ignoring that, most
of the coal, in fact 90 plus percent of the coal is going to electricity generation, that
box on the, on the top over there it’s using 39.97 quads in 2008. So electricity generation is dirty. It’s based
on coal, at least in the U.S. The second biggest component is natural gas,
although it is closely followed by, sorry, second is nuclear closely followed by natural
gas. We have take coal and natural gas basically are pumping carbon into the atmosphere like
crazy. So electricity is not clean, it’s very dirty. That’s the first big take away. The second big take away is actually absolutely
bizarre to me; it blew my mind away to see this. All of the electricity generated which
is 40 quads give or take, two-thirds or more is wasted. Only 12.68 out of 40 quads that
orange stuff; the gray stuff is just waste. It’s wasted in generation; it’s wasted in
transmission; and it’s wasted in distribution. Now transmission losses in the U.S. are not
very high; about 7 percent, but transmission loss in other countries are very high. India
transmission losses are 25 percent, ranging up to 43 percent in some areas. Generation losses are because mechanical conversion
of mechanical energy to, or nuclear energy to electricity is inefficient. You can approach
40, 50, 70 percent, but it’s still not 100 percent. Even nuclear energy which is kind
of this energy of the future; all they’re really doing is boiling water. [laughs] I
mean at the end of the day you do all this crazy stuff and you’re just boiling water.
It’s like a tea kettle on steroids. [chuckles] So you’re wasting a lot of energy; you’re
wasting huge amounts of energy is the gray bar; so those are two take aways, ones from
this picture. I would encourage you to actually look at this picture and study it because
you will get a tremendous understanding of the energy system in the U.S., which is similar
to other countries or about the same. For example, in Japan and France, 70 percent comes
from nuclear. But then nuclear anagram is unclear what you do with the waste. Here’s the third fact: according to testimony
at the, at, at a hearing on November 30th last year by the Commissioner of the Massachusetts
Department of Energy 15% of generating capacity in Massachusetts. That’s a lot of billions
of dollars is needed fewer than 88 hours a year. It’s only pulled in at the absolute
peak summer, less than one percent of the time. So you’re building this enormous capacity
and you’re just not using it. It’s crazy. This is what I mean by internal contradiction.
This is what Marx was all upset about, and so am I. [laughs] [laughter] So let’s look at the structure of the system
in terms of internal contradictions and external pressures. So to begin with the technology’s
ossified. The last clever stuff done in the grid was about a hundred years ago. After
Tesla, Westinghouse and Edison, pretty much anybody with brains moved on to somewhere
else, like cars. Interesting fact: Henry Ford used to work
for Edison in Edison’s electricity plant in Detroit. And then he quit and started a car
manufacturing firm. He was still around. [laughs] So smart guys left; including Tesla who died
penniless in 1943 which is terrible. So rising energy prices; we are seeing a diminishing
of coal and natural gas and cer, not coal but ga, well oil and gas. Diminishing resource
peak oil means rising energy prices. That’s an external pressure. Energy security. If oil is sec, oil is coming
from Middle Eastern countries where you’re propping up dictatorships in order to get
access to their oil; invading them as the case may be, it’s not particularly secure.
So that’s an external pressure. Inefficiency, enough said. Global warming. Carbon footprint is gonna
be a problem, is a problem, and once carbon taxes go in which is absolutely unavoidable,
it’s a problem. So we are seeing tremendous pressures on the grid from the outside and
in-internally. Is that a question over there, or?>>male in audience: I just had a one question.
So most of those things are going up. Inefficiency, is that not coming down?>>S. Keshav: Yes, it is. Inefficiency is coming
down but not as much as you’d like. So the question was is inefficiency coming down?
And I think it’s, ’cause many of these inefficiencies are built into the way you produce electricity.
And built in the way to distribute things; how many splices you have; what kind of transformers
you have; how long your lines are; things like that. The systemic inefficiencies are very hard
to actually get rid of. But yes, they are coming down. I’m just saying that inefficiency, you could
live with inefficiency when the cost of the inputs was low. When the cost of inputs goes
up, you can’t tolerate that anymore. So it’s just, tries to cut it out?>>S. Keshav: So what’s gonna bring it down?
The structure of the energy goes up and then something happens; it falls down. So what’s
gonna bring it down? I believe seven things are gonna change. So these are the technological push factors. The first one is renewable energy. More than
a trillion dollars of investment is going into renewable energy around the world. Just
you name it, solar, wind, geothermal. Google is investing in basically [chuckles] putting
in high explosives down a big pipe, shooting down water, and pulling out steam; five kilometers
down. Anywhere in the world you can shoot energy,
if, if, if you throw a bomb eight kilometers down anywhere in the world, you’ll get hot
water. It’s as simple as that. All you need to do is dig a hole eight kilometers deep
and you’re done. The same thing with tidal. People are building
these snakes which kind of float and then they go up and down and as they oscillate
you just harvest energy from there. It’s been off the coast of Scotland, for example. Wind of course is, is happening. Communication. So this is what, sort of at
the heart of what the rest of the talk is gonna be about. But if you can overlay the
infrastructure with communication you are able to actually know where the eff, the inefficiencies
are. If, if, if you can tell the home owner, “Look if you don’t turn off, if you turn off
the AC right now even though it’s hot, we’re gonna give you 200 dollars,” you can save
two billion dollars perhaps. It’s not necessary that everybody, so right
now I’ll just you an example of this. ASHRAE is the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration,
and Air-Conditioning Engineers and they have Policy 55 which says: “The set point in a
building should be between 28 degrees and 26 degrees centigrade and the middle point
is 23 degrees. And every building in North America if it’s a triple A class office space
it’s set point at 23 degrees throughout the year. Right now it’s 23 degrees. Pretty, we
measured it, I know. [laughs] And in winter its 23 degrees and in summer
its 23 degrees. Do you really care whether it’s freezing outside? Are you willing to
wear a sweater? Because you wear a sweater to come to work anyway, but ASHRAE will not
permit you to put on a sweater in winter ’cause you want to keep it at 23 degrees. If you can communicate in a big sign saying,
“Look, if you are guys are willing to wear a sweater, come to work in the middle of February
we’ll give you a hundred dollar bonus” you could save a of lot money. That’s communication.
Now there’s a lot more to it I’m just giving you some pragmatic examples over here. Other things that, yeah.>>male in audience: I, I pulled up that interesting
energy usage slide->>S. Keshav: Yes.>>male in audience: So just on the right hand
side rejected energy and energy services.>>S. Keshav: Yes.>>male in audience: What’s rejected energy?>>S. Keshav: Rejected energy basically means
energy that’s not in use and once you heat a car, car’s engine by driving it where’s
the heat going? It’s rejected.>>male in audience: That’s essentially the
waste?>>S. Keshav: That’s waste. That’s waste also.
You could be putting a hamburger on it or having a, having a burger when you drive home.
I recommend to you the Radiator Grill Cookbook, it’s actually a real book. You just put your
burger in aluminum foil, stick it in your car, drive home, it’s done. It’s– [laughter] [laughs] I’m not making this up. And there’s even stuff
to do with road kill which I won’t go into. [laughs] [laughter] [laughs] Okay, so energy flows right now uni-directional.
Basically everything is coming down into your house. But if you had a solar cell you could
push it back out again. So that’s another technology that’s changing. Basically so looking
at diodes you’re looking at bidirectional energy flow. Storage is a big deal. Bill Gates in a talk
recently said something absolutely amazing ’cause he’d gone and quantified it. He found
that the total amount of energy storage available in the world today is equal to 10 minutes
of worldwide production. That’s it. So imagine that the amount of storage available for YouTube
was 10 minutes of production. You can see there somethings out of whack. So a lot of-of
investment is going into storage in many different ways. Ultra capacitors, nano, nano, bat-batteries
with nanomolecules and then these, rooms this size absolutely vaccumed with air with this
enormous big gyroscopes which are spinning like crazy. And by day when you, when you
have cheap energy, by night cheap and then you spin it up and by day draw it down. People
are doing that. Yeah.>>male in audience: So what’s the definition
of storage? All your natural gas is in storage.>>S. Keshav: Yeah, so storage here basically
means for the most part storing electricity during off peak time. Natural gas of course
is storage but it’s hard to create it, right? So, so but whereas all of these other things
are, are reversible reactions. One of the cheapest ways is to pump water
up and down. So it goes back up and it comes down again, right, so people do that as well.
Com-compressing air is another thing you can do. So all these technologies for storage
are coming and technological push factor. I just think storage is coming. Metering is coming in, smart metering. Almost
all of you by now have now a smart meter in your house, I do. What you may not know is
that it forms a secure WiMAX mesh to communicate with the local utility to tell you exact,
to tell them exactly how much electricity you’re using. Every few minutes or every few
seconds, I don’t know what this metering interval is. We don’t have access to the data as homeowners,
but this is being collected. So that’s happening. Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. This is
a big deal and the reason is very simple. The amount of energy consumed in a day is
approximately 20 kilowatt hour; for a typical American home 20 kilowatt hours. The Chevy Volt has a battery and the capacity
of the battery is 20 kilowatt hours. If you buy a Prius or one of these plug-in hybrid
ones you’ll get four kilowatts hours with it. All electric cars basically have one day’s
worth of storage. Which means if some disaster struck and you cut off your electricity for
one day, you’d be fine as long as you could use your car, plug it in. But other interesting things open up over
here which is what happens if you have two neighbors and one has a lot of cars, back
up electricity in the car and the other one doesn’t. Or it’s a hot day and you’re home
for whatever reason you can use your car. You can actually use this storage. PHEV is
just another form of storage that you are buying on behalf of the electricity company
basically. So you’re, you’re in debt to the car loan
companies paying off the electricity bill. So that’s very interesting fact. Another point that’s was interesting is that
you can actually carry energy in your car and I can give you energy, I can say, “Oh,
you’re running short here, I’ll give you one-tenth of a battery” and you drop it off in the driveway
and you can actually trade energy this way. So that’s changing. That’s really a big deal. Just to give you a sense of this, the amount
of energy density in a lithium ion battery in this laptop is greater than that of dynamite.
You can look it up. Energy density, energy per cubic centimeter in a lithium ion battery
is greater than dynamite. Why they allow you to take it on a plane is beyond me. [laughter] And finally, high voltage DC and super conduction.
We are actually building transmission lines between Philadelphia and New York which are
superconductors. They have no resistance whatsoever. They are cooled down to whatever it is, 240
Kelvin or whatever to make it work. So these are things that are changing; changing
the electrical grid. And I, I won’t have time to go through all of them and, and neither
do you. But this is the bottom line. This is what it’s gonna look like in the end, at
least my visualization. Instead of coal we’re gonna have wind farms and solar farms and
hydro will stay there and it, at these substations those orange boxes you’ll find next to them
I have shown a large battery. This could be fuel cells. Ballard which is a Canadian company
based in Vancouver has got these large fuel cells. They’re pretty big. And you can use
them to produce electricity. Recently there’s this company out of Silicon Valley, I forget
the name right now, who said they’ve been powering EBay using a fuel cell as well. So that’s happening. The nice thing is you can store stuff at night
and release it so you can smooth out, modulate, the energy so that if 15 percent of capacity
that you were wasting you don’t need to build out anymore because your peak average ration
has gone down essentially. And also in each house expect to have solar
and wind. Why is it? Well Ontario has some most aggressive and most forward looking energy
policy in the world, including Denmark and Germany, it’s actually quite amazing. You, if you put a solar cell on your roof
you’ll get 82 cents per kilowatt hour, a feed in tariff. No matter how much you consume.
Every kilowatt hour produced about 82 cents. If you work out the math you get a loan from
the bank for 30,000 dollars and you put in a solar cell in your roof, you will actually
make 16 to 22 percent rate of return on your money, which is way more than Scotia Bank
is gonna give you. And I’m not making this up. You can go to or, I don’t remember, and they will work with you to put a stuff
on your, put a solar cell on your roof. Or you can go to San Diego Farmer’s Market
on Saturday and next in the peddlers there is a guy who’s sitting there who will put
up solar cell for you ten dollars a kilowatt hour, sorry ten dollars a watt, not kilowatt,
ten dollars a watt. So a kilowatt is 10,000 dollars and you can get money back. So you,
you, I worked out the math. You basically if you’re gonna stay in your house more than
six years you’re gonna make money hand over fist six years from now. You pay off in six
years. So this is gonna change what’s happening here.
You’ll see full page ads in the paper very soon. I’m predicting like next few weeks.
You’ll see ads from banks saying, “Come into our solar program, you’ll take, you’ll put
this on your roof and your gonna get, make money.” It’s like having a renter except its
cheaper and their quieter. [laughter] So this gonna change the way Ontario rooftops
are gonna look like dramatically in the same in way that if you ride, drive through rural
Germany everywhere you find windmills. Why? It’s the same thing, it’s cheaper, you make
money on it. Yes?>>male in audience: So I was just wondering
what regulations are like here, right. One thing one of my friends has said he is really
mad with Palo Alto Power power goes out.>>S. Keshav: Yes.>>male in audience: ‘Cause he had solar panels
on his house.>>S. Keshav: Right.>>male in audience: He was fully able to self-sustain.>>S. Keshav: Yes.>>male in audience: Except the controller
isn’t allowed to run on a solar panel.>>S. Keshav: Right.>>male in audience: [inaudible]>>S. Keshav: Right. So there are obviously
issues with respect to this. Now there are people who will put in a complete off grid
system with local storage; lead-acid local storage not lithium ion. Lithium is too expensive
right now. But regulations are changing. In fact the
biggest probable regulatory hurdle we have in our data right now is not the hydro company.
It’s insurance. Because this thing of parking a BMW on your roof [laughs] [laughter] thirty thousand bucks. What if somebody steals
it when you’re gone on vacation? [laughs] [laughter] [chuckles] I’m thinking it’s a non-trivial
problem. So yeah some of these things have to be, they will be crossed because there’s
tremendous energy stored up in the pan. This is my prediction: the next decade will
determine the structure of the grid in 2120. So what the grid is gonna look like in 100
years from ten years from now, a hundred ten years from now look, we will decide what’s
gonna happen, what’s gonna happen. So– [pause] what are the problems? I’ve, we’ve painted
this vision but there are lots of problems. I’m gonna just mention a few things. One big problem is suddenly instead of 150
sources of energy or 200 sources of energy which are the cold plants and nuclear plants.
You have tens of millions of sources. Everybody and their brother has got a solar cell on
their roof and that’s exactly what the Palo Alto problem comes in because they wanna control
it. But they don’t know how to control ten million sources. This is a big problem. ‘Cause
you wanna maintain your liability; you wanna maintain what’s called dispatch ability, that’s
a problem. Second thing is the sources are not constant
bit rate or constant energy there, they’re variable bit rate, means they go up and down.
The sun goes away every day. Every night there’s no sun. Whoops. It just turned off your power
plant so what do you do? If the cloud goes over the face of the sun you can lose up to
95 percent of your energy in about five seconds. If the wind stops blowing you lose hundred
percent of your energy in about a minute. So when you have these kinds of variable stochastic
sources the power engineers are just kind of wondering what to do because they, they’ve
never been taught this stuff. They know how to do transformers and winding patterns and
stuff like that, but you show them the stochastic source and they say, “we never learned the
math for this one.” So this is all approaching like crazy. So
the rule is for every watt of solar you need to put in five watts. So just build five watts
that’s why it’s so expensive, one of the reasons it’s so expensive. Two-way flow is easy, but these are hard to
get right and I-I won’t go into that too much. Non-utility nuclear is basically means you
and I utilities, no. Just like they’re putting a Wi-Fi access point in your house you become
an ISP. By putting a solar cell you become a utility provider. But you’re not playing
by the same rules as the utility providers play, which is whatever API’s they use for
controllability you’re not really doing that. How do you get reliability? There are issues
of multiple time scales. This means your control protection switching happens at 20 millisecond
time scale. At the same time you need to plan out transmission lines which happen on the
time scale of 15 to 20 years. If wanna put a line between here and Owen Sound for example
to get wind energy from Owen Sound to here. Just think about the regulatory hurdles to
get land allocated to you along the way, along Route 6. It’s a pain in the neck. Plus you,
so that happens in 15/20 years; its very expensive. At the same capability, short term things.
The cloud came over the face of the, cloud cover moved into Ontario all of our solar
went away, what do we do? We’ve gotta come, somehow get stuff in from Quebec, for example.
So that’s a problem. Incentivization. How do you get people to
do the right thing? To wear sweaters in winter, for example if they’re expecting to do 23
degrees throughout the year. Security. Well, [chuckles] it’s the Internet. Storage. When you put storage into any system
it causes delays. When you have delays in control it’s a mess because you have exactly
first order oscillator behavior; you put dampeners you get flow surges. I mean its, its control
with delays is a pain in the neck and storage basically adds delays. So this is a well know
problem in control, it’s a difficult problem. In, in addition to the supply changing over
time the demand is also changing over time, right? Because now what you’re doing is you’re
putting in to like peak load pricing, whoops, you’re prices went up because it’s 8 o’clock
instead of 7:59, right? That’s what peak load pricing is coming into us this November I
believe we’re gonna have peak load pricing, or when ever it is. So suddenly your demand
is variable as well because people will all turn off their dishwashers when the price
goes up and so suddenly the demand sinks. So the demand issues that have been predictable
suddenly changing as well. The other thing is resources are remote. What
do I mean by that? In order to replace one megawatt of electricity
from solar you need 110 acres of land. [chuckles] [laughter] You’re not gonna be able to do that in your
backyard anytime soon. So these renewable energy sources are primarily
gonning be in the rural countryside. But that’s not where the supply, the demand is. The supply’s
in the countryside and the demand is in Waterloo and Toronto. So how do you get it from here
to there? It’s not obvious. Maybe use cars to drive it in. And finally we have the legacy. We have 110
ten years of crud. Where, where ever it is, you have to basically deal with that. So these are all problems. [laughs] And if
you go read the reports written by the Commissioners in charge of electricity or maybe talk to
Hydro One people and so on, this is what they look like. So what can we do? So now that we have a few
minutes to talk about my [laughs]. So I think this is end of part one. Part one
says, “Things are gonna change in a big way and there’s nothing that you and I can do
other than to watch it.” It’s gonna happen; I can predict it’s gonna happen, I’m pretty
confident of that. Part two is we know something about the Internet.
And guess what? What we know is the Internet matches the grid. So I’m gonna go through
some similarities and differences. And then the end I’ll sort of paint a research hypothesis.
What can we do? So what are the similarities? Interestingly
enough the Internet and the grid historically started out the same way. It was bottom up
at first. People put up their own little LANs. Or there was this WAN but most people had
their own ethernet LANs and said, “So let’s hook it up.” It kind of grew up from the bottom.
In the same way people started building their own electricity grids because there was, there
was a windmill, sorry there’s a water source nearby. In 1881 the first generated, generation was
put up in Niagara Falls; it’s a, it’s a DC generator actually in 1881. This was before
the grid, right? This was just some guy wanted to run some machines and he got some DC machines
from Edison so he put up a DC machine, a DC generator in Niagara Falls. So it was bottom
up. And then slowly they said, “If you diversify sources you can actually get the power of
diversity. So let’s use a grid.” So it was bottom up. And then top down it came we must have a grid.
We must have a national grid. We must have this. So in the same way the Internet grew
up from the bottom and then became a top down initiative once the politicians got into the
picture. They’re both vast. I mean they’re everywhere,
right? Pretty much. Especially with cell phones today Internet is everywhere because you can
carry it in your pocket, you get 3G, or satellite phone. They’re heterogeneous, right? Electricity grid already showed us different
kind of sources, different kinds of users. They’re both critical to society and they’re
both ossified. The Internet, a quarter of the Internet is stuck in 1973. It’s never
gonna get out of 1973. And the core of the electricity grid is stuck in 1892. [laughter] [laughs] I mean, if you see a picture of a transmission
line or a generator or whatever from 1895 and you look at 1995, it’s the same thing.
You could guide somebody’s who’s dead a 100 years, bring him back to life, and say work
on the electricity substation. He’d know exactly what to do. Nothing has changed. [laughter] Incidentally if you get somebody who died
in 1950 and you brought them to your kitchen, they’d know exactly what to do. Other than
the microwave nothing has changed. Kitchen technology is also ossified, by the way. So it’s fascinating how many things have ossified.
[laughs] I could go into a whole riff on that, but
I won’t. They are hierarchical. The, the transmission
core is actually a mesh, for obvious reasons. But the distribution is basically tree-like
because we don’t really care about redundancy; whereas in the core we care about redundancy.
And a mesh-like core uses its own technology. We use high voltage transmission, all right.
And the distribution is low voltage. It’s probably like in the thousands of volts rather
than hundreds of thousands volts. So in the same way in the Internet core we
use MPLS, right? Nobody uses IP. If you want to strip out all the headers and do something
fast and smooth and sleek, but in the access network we use IP. So we have tree-like access
network. We have hubs and very little redundancy. So it’s example of the, this is the U.S. Transmission
Grid. I couldn’t find out one for Canada. So this is the transmission grid as of 2007,
I believe. Now you can see what it looks like. And this is the Internet density of IP ad,
IP addresses. This is roughly similar. It’s pretty much what you expect; where there are
people there’s electricity and there’s information; one flows energy; one flows information. They
are very similar in that respect. There are varying degrees of control. Now
you think of the grid as being very much under control, but actually what you plug into your
grid at home is not controlled. You can plug in anything you want as long as you obey the
API which is two pins or three pins, that’s it. As long as you obey the API and you don’t
overdraw your current limit, you are fine; you can plug whatever you want. That’s what allows innovation to proceed in
the same way as IP’s are narrow waves, the three-prong plug is a narrow waste of the
electrical grid. And, and, and the control beyond that is very, very loose. In fact the
Internet has more control on the edges than the electrical grid, in, in some ways. There’s storage in both networks. The storage
in the grid is far less than what you’d want. And there’s simple API to both of them, right?
To write a app on the, on the electrical grid you build a toaster. [chuckles] And that’s
an app. You can do whatever you want. And well you know how to build apps on the Internet. And they both use, they’re basically solving
the same problem. There’s a bunch of distributed demand sources, demands from people and they’re
distributed sources, generators and so on; you wanna match the two. So, so resource matching
problem it’s a standard resource allocation problem and you do whatever’s necessary. You
build a standard tree and you do whatever you need to do to get things going. And finally, or not finally, there’s this
balance of centralization and decentralization. We wanna centralize some things and then decentralize
it. For example, and let’s focus on just this
one thing. In the Internet AT&T and Verizon and these big guys provide long-haul transmission
and then they attach the Tier Two’s which provide basically access, an aggregation.
They don’t really want to give service to every end point. In the same way, Hydro One connects hundreds
of local distribution companies, like Waterloo North Hydro. Waterloo North is not generating
electricity, it is providing you access. They are your ISP, your ESP if you want, electricity
service provider and they are decoupled from the back point; this is their transmission.
So the same kind of truth tasting is going on. There are differences. One big difference
is electricity doesn’t have headers. [laughs] I mean it’s kind of silly to state it, but
it’s really very, very profound because headers carry two things that are important. One is
type and one is destination. So, on the Internet I can say this packet is of type X, whatever
that type is. And it could be a TCP packet, UDP packet, whatever I can put there in the
headers. I know what to do with that. In electricity, electron is electron. Similarly
in the Internet I can say, “I’m gonna send pic, I’m gonna send electricity, or a packet
down this wire and I’m going to put the Mac address of that access, of that host over
there and it’s gonna go to that one host.” I cannot address a single light bulb. So if
somebody’s studying in that corner, I have to send electrons to all the lights over here,
because they’re not addressable. The only way I can control them is to have one circuit
per bulb, which is too expensive. So this addressability fundamentally allows
efficiency. If only communication in the Internet was broadcast you’d be in trouble which is
why Wi-Fi sucks. ‘Cause that’s, it’s broadcast and so everybody gets everything and so it’s
not very efficient; besides interference. So that’s one difference. The second difference is as I mentioned earlier
electricity generation is primarily one-way and whereas Internet is more, more or less
two-way. So we have a difference over there. The time scale of controlling the Internet
is in seconds. You, or within milliseconds or seconds, depending on what kind of control
you’re talking about. About scheduling it’s a nanosecond, if it’s roundtrip, flow control
it’s milliseconds and so on and so forth. Whereas in the, things happen must more slowly
in the grid. If you want to bring up a nuclear reactor it takes two days to two weeks depending–
[chuckles] on what’s going on. You never have to wait two or three weeks
to bring up a source on the Internet. You can typically do it within seconds. And then here’s a very interesting difference.
If you have a fiber optic link between here and Owen Sound and you wanna go from 100 meg
link to one gig link, you just change out the lasers at both end and you start sending
more lambdas, you’re done. You can’t do that with the grid. You, long-haul transmission is a constrained
resource and you can’t actually add more capacity to it. Now with superconductors presumably
you can do that, but without all the superconductors you’re basically stuck with whatever you have.
So you need to put in more wires, more copper, whatever it is. The Internet is less predictable because you
have flash crowds; whereas the grid is very predictable. They can pretty much guess what’s
gonna happen. And these are some kind of differences. So
the bottom line is I think of the electrical grid as being a content distribution network
for a single video stream. It’s a video stream because its continuous generation going on
and the they won’t actually distribute this. So you, so let’s take the case of somebody
trying to grab electricity under their car and driving it to somewhere else. It’s like
downloading a file onto your memory stick and going and giving it to your friend. That’s
the same exact thing as downloading electricity. That’s a single video stream because there
are no types; it’s all the same. So which means that we can start applying
the same tricks we use for CDN’s for the electricity grid. We’ll come to that in just a minute. So this sort of concludes the part two of
my talk and I’ll just pause and take any questions at this point. [pause] Okay, so let me move on. So what I’m gonna do is to make this hypothesis.
And the hypothesis is that the research and technologies developed by Internet, by Internet
researchers over the last 40 years can be used to green the grid. So it’s in green. So it’s a hypothesis because I haven’t proved
it. I’d like to spend the next several years proving it, but I’m going to give you some
taste of why I think it’s true and then I’ll sort of conclude. So I must state that this is not the same
as these two other things. I’m not saying, “Reduce electricity usage for Internet data
centers.” Now it’s great to reduce electricity usage anywhere including Internet data centers,
but let’s face it it’s only using one and half percent of all electricity produced.
It’s not a big deal. Heating and cooling uses 40 percent of all
energy; 20 percent for commercial; 20 percent for domestic. So if you affect that, you’re
far better off than affecting the data center. Now for Google Internet data center is a big
deal, but for the rest of the world basically, I don’t care. [chuckles] You could burn all
the electricity you want, you’re really not doing much harm, but every single building,
every single restaurant that keeps its door wide open in summer with the AC blasting,
now they are a big deal. Because there’s millions of them and they’re all completely messed
up. So we need to figure out incentives to make them do the right thing. The second thing that people have talked about
in green networking is to use the Inter-Internet as a communication overlay. Now I mentioned
there’s already smart metering. And yes, that’s a great idea, but it’s seems to me it doesn’t
go as deep as one would like. You can go far deeper by actually reformulating the grid
in terms of Internet research as I’ll show you the next few slides. So one idea is local matching. So I said the
grid is a CDN Content Distribution Network. What is it that corresponds to delay? Now
what we want to do in the CDN is to reduce the delay, right? We wanna get the content
down as fast as possible. Well the longer the electricity travels on a wire the more
transmission losses there are because the, the, you have “i square r” is the heating
of the wire. So each kilometer the electricity travels on the wire you wasting en-en, wasting,
wasting electricity; so minimizing delays isomorphic to minimizing transmission loss.
As I showed you earlier these losses are fa-fairly large. So what you want to do is to perhaps use pier-to-pier
cooperative caching to reduce losses. How does this work? So you’ll take your Android phone and stick
it in your car and it forms a wi-wireless mesh network with all the other Android phones
in everybody else’s car and they talk to each other and say, “Hey, how much electricity
do you have? This is how much I have. You wanna do a swap?” And you have this chit chat
going on and at the end of the day they control the appropriate diodes and so on, and electricity
flows out from the cars, through the plug, into the substation, and down to somebody
else. And at the end of the month you a bill that says, “You just made 200 bucks because
your neighbors all wanted your electricity.” Not bad. Just because you happen to work near the hydroelectric
power plant and they have lower rates over there you can bring electricity to your neighbors
in your car. And you could do this. I mean this is technologically feasible today. So we have to just use the same ideas in cooperative
caching that you all know about; which we know about and the grid people are clueless
about. [chuckles] Tomography is the determination of the traffic
matrix from a number of observations. You have CAT scans. CAT is just computer aided
tomography. So you take a bunch of x-ray images and you figure out backwards, you do a sparse
matrix inversion, you figure out where everything is; in the same way the Internet tomography,
you look at a bunch of aggregate points and you figure out the aggregate flows or the
traffic matrix flows. From some source as to some destination D, how many bits were
sent over some period of time. So right now maybe we can do the same thing
with grid usage. We can just measure substation’s use inserting smart metering for home. Is
there a way for us to figure out in what the sparse matrix and not have to meter everybody?
Maybe we can do it through tomography. So I’m just throwing this out. I have no idea;
[chuckles] I mentioned this to somebody from Hydro One and they were not immediately aghast.
They said, “Oh, maybe we could do this.” And they actually are going to give me access
to their data. So I’ll know what you guys are doing. [chuckles] So as I mentioned earlier solar and wind are
stochastic sources; they’re variable bit rate sources. Now one thing that the Internet people
have done is to model stochastic sources like crazy. I mean I can point to probably 200
papers on, on, or maybe more, 2,000 papers on variable bit rate sources or to model them
using any number of techniques: Markov-Modulated processes; Autoregressive models, you name
it, right? And the big question is the Internet model is always the same. If I have 100 VBR
sources going to the link what is the probability they’re going to overfllow the link? Should
I accept them or not? The exact analogy of this is this: you, you,
you build a hotel; it has a hundred rooms in it, with a hundred rooms in it; and the
technician comes from the phone company and says, “How many dial out phones do you want?”
Now imagine this is before cell phones, right? So you had to choose how many lines you have.
If you put one line in for each guest room outbound they can always call out from the
hotel, right? That’s great, but then it’s expensive; if you put in just one that’s probably
too low. What number do you use? Its workload dependent, right? Its workload dependent and
that’s the same problem over here.>>voice in audience: [uinintelligible]>>S. Keshav: Oops. What did I do now? [pause] Ah. Why did it go away? Or did I pull this
other wire, it came out maybe? [pause] Ah. It was a mechanical problem. [laughter] So under what combination, under what conditions
is the sum of these VBR sources greater than sum value? It’s the probability the sum exceeds
X should be greater than .9, five nines for liability. So Hydro One operates on five nine’s.
So they wanna say that the baseload in the province is whatever; 200, 200 megawatts,
250 megawatts. So how many sources do we need to put in?
How many solar, how much wind so that with very high probability the sum of these sources
exceeds the baseload? That’s the answer they want to get and it’s workload dependent and
it’s stochastic and they don’t know how to do it and I think we can; we know how to do
it. Now remember this is very, very different
from the kind of thinking you do to say, “Let’s turn off the routers and not be used.” It’s
very different than saying, “Let’s use the Internet as a communication overlay.” It’s
got nothing to do with communication whatsoever. It’s using Internet thinking rather than the
Internet itself. Delay tolerant networking basically says,
“Look, I have this USB stick in my pocket, right?” I used to have it, I don’t know; I
don’t know what happened to it. Casey has it, I guess. So let’s just pretend, here we
go. This is an Internet stick; it has 30 gig, whatever, 8 gigabytes. I’ll just make it up;
maybe it’s not. And it has eight hours of movie; I put in my pocket, I walk home, I
have 8 hours of movies. Well, maybe you can carry energy like this.
You, you take your laptop; take the battery; stick it in your pocket; go home; and you
can run your dishwasher. [chuckles] So how do you do that? [pause] So this is a very interesting question. Every
time I click on a link, and I’m using Google, assuming I’m using Google; you guys know what
I did. You know what I clicked on and where I went to. So you kind of computing the, the,
the, the page rank of the, of of, the, sorry not the page rank, but the you know. Basically
you’re computing a profile on me. What happens when I turn a light switch on
and off? That’s a click as well, right? Now imagine the following thing: let’s say I can
harvest the electricity clicks and somebody is gonna turn their AC on and on a hot summer
day when the peak load is very high. And everybody’s, newspaper and TV is broadcasting, “Please
don’t use your AC;” this idiot does it anyway. What do we know about this person? They are
rich. [laughs] [laughter] Sock, sock it to them; charge them a lot of
money because they don’t care. Or maybe their teenage kid doesn’t care, but whatever it
is they are, they are indifferent to price. So the demand elasticity they have in economic
terms is very low. They are not elastic. They have inelastic demand. If it’s hot they’re
gonna turn the AC off no matter what. These people also drive Hummers. [laughs] [laughter] Probably on the wrong side of the road as
well. But this kind of information is very valuable.
Two companies who want to harvest information. So imagine streams of electricity clicks coming
in from hundred million end points into some data source. You can imagine the data mining
possibilities are out there. So people like Ashraf who are data base people should probably
view this as, “What can you do with this data? What can you do?” Hopefully for the social
good. I don’t know about Google. [chuckles] Now how do you get somebody to turn the light
off. It’s a game-theoretic problem. You have to make it incentive compatible. You have
to say, “Look if you turn the light out you save money.” So assuming you can do this,
maybe there’s a mechanism design problem. Now we know how to try and get people to not
download too many movies. You have a band width limiter or some kind of thing from Sandvine
that says, “If you use too much you’re gonna delay things.” So this kind of thinking about
the game-theoretic modeling of the negative impacts; a tragedy of the commons is very
important; it’s a game-theoretic model. Again the kind of ideas you developed on the Internet
can be applied over here. Any kind of blackout which means you lost,
you, your demand was created in supply for extended period of time; means more than five
minutes; means you have a blackout or a brownout where your phase goes down from 50, 60 kilohertz,
you can go to 50 hertz or whatever. That’s the same as network congestion on the Internet. So essentially all the kinds of distributed
control algorithms that you have developed on the Internet for network congestion can
be used over here. To give us example of this, what’s the electricity grid’s analog of TCP?
TCP says if I see a packet loss it must be me. It’s the very, I don’t know the psychoanalytic
term for this, but [laughs] self-blaming view of the world, “Whoops, must be me sorry”.
You know it’s a very sorry behavior. [pause] Analog for this electricity grid is if you
overstep a limit your circuit breaker trips off and you’re not allowed to use anymore.
But that’s very coarse; it’s very coarse. It says, “If you draw more than 20 amps, oops,
the fuse went off,” and you go and do something manually and you cannot do it. Because the
equivalent of FTP is a short circuit. [laughs] That’s the equivalent of FTP. Give me everything
right away; that’s your short circuit. But you don’t wanna, wanna prevent that so just
like we have rate limiters, we have circuit breakers. You wanna make it a little bit more graceful.
You want to probe and say, “Maybe the substation has more energy I can use more right now to
charge my car; maybe it doesn’t and I’m gonna back off.” So if you want to have this modulated
additive increase multiplicated decrease approach to energy consumption, rather than just saying,
“Well you wanna get five amps and I get, if I can’t get more than five amps, I’m gonna
shut down.” So there’s some interesting analysis that needs to be done over here. And finally simulation. So we really, I talked
to a bunch of people and said, “How do you decide how much grid power you need? How much
solar? How much wind? Depending on the stochastic ra-radiations and so on a so forth.” The answer
is, “Well it’s seat of the pants.” There really doesn’t seem to exist any simulation. I’ve
talked to a bunch of people about this including the, the Green Energy, Energy czar at Google,
Bill Wile, and that was awhile ago. But maybe you guys have it now, but as far as I know
there is no simulators. One of things I’m tryin’ to do is to build
a continental level simulation of, let’s say Brit, North America. Simulate cloud cover,
simulate wind movement, simulate 200 cities and the variable demands. Simulate the movement
of cars and transmission lines. We know exactly where the transmission lines are, I already
showed you a figure. That’s a downloadable data set; that you can download and run it. So I have a student whose gonna work, working
with me exactly on this. We’re really trying to simulate North America and see what happens.
It can help us as a planning tool. Again, this is using Internet style thinking.
So I’m just about running out of time. So I’m going to give you three thoughts. First one: the decade 2010 to 2020 will decide
the grid of 2120. My great-grandkids will, will, will be using it and probably yours
too. The Internet approximately equal to the grid.
It’s not the same. We don’t have headers, we don’t have a bunch of different things. And I believe that 40 years of Internet research
could, should, may help. At least I’m gonna try doing it for the next some years so with
that I’ll end and I’ll have any questions. Anymore questions that come up. [pause] [unintelligible speaking in background.]>>male in audience: So I was thinking about
these incentives in Ontario. You get some rate for solar and some rate for wind and
I, I noticed that the, the rate for wind was much lower than solar. And it seems like that’s,
that’s just an incentive that makes it economical to build X, right?>>S. Keshav: Um-hum, um-hum.>>male in audience: Whereas in Ontario maybe
Y is, is the choice because it, you get more wind electricity per, per dollar invested–>>S. Keshav: Yeah, yeah.>>male in audience: than solar.>>S. Keshav: Um-hum.>>male in audience: It seems kind of, I don’t
know, a bit wasteful to, to use the, the money on building solar panels when you could be
wind, building wind turbines. Do you have a comment to that?>>S. Keshav: So I’m the wrong person to answer
that. I mean I’m not setting policy initiatives. I’m just telling you the policy initiatives
have an effect and it clearly is born out of the fact that you’ve looked into it. So what should be the modeling? My, my answer
would be this: I think it’s an interesting research problem from an academic perspective
at least to understand the incentive structure of a particular policy, and what actions can
be expected as a consequence of that policy. And I think we should kind of play it out
and see what happens and say, “Predicted this is what’s gonna happen” and see if our predictions
are correct; so that, that’s what we should be doing.>>male in audience: One thing your, your simulation
here is seems like it’s something that, that is likely in the future of the grid to be
very financially lucrative–>>S. Keshav: Yes.>>male in audience: in a sense. If you can
sort of identify these points where energy prices are, are expected to fluctuate a lot
in the–>>S. Keshav: Right.>>male in audience: grid you build your, your
gyroscopes there–>>S. Keshav: That’s right.>>male in audience: and you sort of arbitrage
the, the energy market.>>S. Keshav: Yes. Yes, they should be financially
lucrative. I, I, that’s why I say that I don’t know what Google is doing right now because
if anything is financially lucrative and has to do with information, you guys have your
fingers all over it. [laughter] [laughs] I would not be the least bit surprised to
know there’s a simulation going on in one million computers in the middle of Nebraska
or whatever. [laughs]>>male in audience: Any questions for someone
on a VC before they get cut off? [pause] [clicking in background]>>male in audience: So like the whole system
it seems to like geared towards like more like peer to peer incentives so it becomes
like much more sources everywhere?>>S. Keshav: Yes.>>male in audience: Right? And with thinkin’
about how to give incentives for this sort of usage–>>S. Keshav: Yes.>>male in audience: but once you put like
much more power into the nodes–>>S. Keshav: Um-hum.>>male in audience: of the system, like there’s
a question about abuse and control, security, this sort of thing. So if I have incentive
to give something back, I can try to gain the system–>>S. Keshav: Yeah.>>male in audience: so that, you see what
I mean, right? So–>>S. Keshav: Absolutely. And you’re, you’re
absolutely right and that’s, let me restate my thesis. I’m saying that the grid is gonna
change. Not because of these kinds of issues but because of carbon footprint; because of
transmission losses; global warming; things like that. When it’s changing and becoming more distributed
these issues will come up. And my claim is that the things that we’ve learned from Internet
research ought to help us model and analyze these things. I’m not saying that these problems
don’t exist. They do exist. They have to be solved. And I think that Internet engineers
have something to contribute over here.>>male in audience: Okay, so basically just
another thing to keep in mind.>>S. Keshav: Yeah. Remember I showed you this,
yeah, so where did it go. Let me see. [pause] Yes. [laughs] [laughter]>>male in audience: Thank you. S. Keshav: Yes, do you have more questions?
Someone else? [pause]>>male in audience: Did you still have a question? [pause]>>male in audience: So do you have any recommendations
about places where we can learn more information about the grid how it exists today or the
structure of the grid?>>S. Keshav: Yeah.>>male in audience: Like books, Website, whatever?>>S. Keshav: Yeah, it’s a great question.
There are, so I have a Website called ISS4E and I really should have put is up on my,
if you just search for ISS4E, that’s stands for Information Systems and Science for Energy.
And that’s the research group that I’m leading with Professor Catherine Rosenberg at University
of Waterloo. And we have a section they call resources and in that it’s, it’s a Wiki and
in, in the resources section you’ll find links to all sorts of things that have come up including
some speeches that Bill Gates and some projects at Berkeley, for example, this has been focusing
on this. There are some books available. Probably the
best one in the Internet grid is called I think Electrical Grid Concepts by Alexandra
von Meier, but if you will send me email I’ll be happy to send you a pointer to that book.
Yeah, okay. But there are, there are books available and
there’s a free book you can download called Sustainable Energy – without the hot air,
that’s from a Professor at Cambridge whose name escapes me right now, that’s also really
worth reading as well.>>male in audience: A link to Professor Keshav’s
project site is in the abstract if anyone needs to follow up later.>>S. Keshav: Oh, good. [chuckles]>>male in audience: So these very much seem
to be first world solutions to this. But like say carbon footprint in that, North America
isn’t the only problem. So how does, how do we, like does this abstract into third world
situations at all?>>S. Keshav: Oh, absolutely. I mean my focus
over the last seven years has been a rural development in developing countries and what
got me started on energy was to realize that the biggest problem in villages is not lack
of communication, but the lack of energy, alright? And a lack of clean energy. Cooking
done, is done with cauldron cakes in most of India, which is an absolute horrible source
of particulate matter; causes all sorts of diseases. Plus those particles settle on the
glaciers in the Himalayas and cause the glaciers to melt causing floods, right? So what you need to do is basically get them
clean grid, cheap grid solar, wind. So these issues of local distribution, local generation
are not just over here, these are worldwide. And if you can set up a, in fact in Indian
is taking a big lead in solar for LED lighting systems. So you charge it by day, then you
have light go on at night using LED’s, it’s a, it’s a tamper proof, fool proof system
that is being used in India. It’s being used in Bolivia, Peru, places like that. So these issues come up. Now the bigger issues
in our planning over here are relevant to the North American context because that’s
what I’m talking about right now. I’m delivering a similar speech in India in three weeks and
it will be slightly different, but obviously the focus is going to be on more local issues.
But there is a big relationship between the spread of electrical energy and rural health
actually. So, so I think there are, there are those kind of issues become relevant. Now you can say, “What is the role of the
Internet in this? Same thing; stochastic sources, right? How many villagers need to have sun
and wind in order for us to get the baseline electrical volt for that village, even if
they’re off grid? We need to know that. How much storage should be put? What is the sizing
of the lead-acid cells? And if you over capacity, if you over provision it, it costs you too
much, right? Costs you too much. So maybe you can have a siren system that
says, “Everybody turn off your whatever it is right now because the grid is going to
explode in your face.” [laughter] So, I mean these kinds of things they sound
stupid but, but the early warning system for the tsunami in South India was actually loud
speakers connected to a cell phone which got a text message saying, “Run for your life.”
And people- [laughter] yeah, it worked. Loud speakers work really
well when you live in a dense environment it works really well. So these issues are not far from my mind,
but they’re not in this particular presentation. Yes.>>male in audience: So like I’m thinkin’ like,
so we have the problem basically with the current system right?>>S. Keshav: Yeah.>>male in audience: And like this seems like
a pretty radical change.>>S. Keshav: Um-hum.>>male in audience: But I’m thinkin’ about
how cost effective would be like changing the whole system comparing to maybe like finding
couple things that are like really, really bad in the current system–>>S. Keshav: Yeah.>>male in audience: Let’s say like maybe doing
one thing, like, like, relatively simple thing like, I don’t know, maybe like adding the
storage, like massive storage point somewhere right?>>S. Keshav: Yeah.>>male in audience: So maybe it’ll fix the
current system so it’ll work like another hundred years–>>S. Keshav: Yeah.>>male in audience: it could be like more
cost effective than changing the whole system.>>S. Keshav: So all the research that I’ve
done into this, and I am by no means an expert, leads me to believe that the system is really
at this creaking obsolescent stage, where the people running it really know it’s gonna
collapse. And they’re really scared. And they really need help. I mean why else would a
monopoly come to university and say, “Please help us?” They’re, they’re worried that the
whole thing is gonna just, as far as they can make out they really want to, seem to
want to make the change. I’ll give you example of this which absolutely
amazing. In Ontario there are two million wooden power
poles; they’re two million of them. Each of them costs one thousand two hundred dollars
to replace. So that’s 2.2 billion dollars in just these wooden power poles. Most of
them are more than 35 years old and their life span is 35 years. [laughter] [chuckles] So which ones do you change? Now
it turns out the people at Waterloo are doing research on determining which poles to change
by taking a helicopter, flying over them, and looking at the amount of surface rot from
image analysis and determining with high probability these poles are bad. Other people are using ultrasound measurements.
You have a ring of eight ultrasound transducers you put around the pole and then they compute
the ascitic CAT scan examine it with sound and they figure out the internal structure
of the wood and tell you whether it’s going to be falling in the next five years or not. So these are the kinds of technologies which
are coming and so to answer your point, systemic change seems to be inevitable. It’s being
recognized by every energy authority in the, on the planet. So I may be wrong, but hopefully
not all of them are wrong at the same time. Maybe they are better than the economists;
[chuckles] who tend to be universally wrong. [laughter] I should say the diversity in opinion among,
among economists doesn’t seem to exist, whereas with the power engineers that lack of diversity
may be less. I have too many negatives in my sentence. [laughs] [laughter] But you get, I hope you get the point. And second thing is even small things cost
a lot, right? Even the poles cost what, like two billion dollars. Even a small, small nuclear
reactor is five billion dollars; there’s tremendous amounts of money in this. Tremendous amounts
of money in this. Change infrastructure; it’s a hundred years
of infrastructure; hundred years of hundreds of millions of people paying hundreds of dollars
a month every month for the system. It all went somewhere. [laughs]>>male in audience: So, so basically you think
that changing the system like pretty much do like complete overhaul of the system in
the long term it will be more cost effective–>>S. Keshav: Yeah.>>male in audience: then maybe fixing a couple
like really big pains of point right now, sorry points of pain.>>S. Keshav: If you look at smart grid, that’s
what people are saying. And I’m inclined to believe them.>>male in audience: Okay.>>S. Keshav: I-I can’t say for myself, but
fr-from what I’ve heard that’s what I’m hearing. [pause]>>male in audience: Okay. [pause]>>male in audience. Yeah. Have you, have you
thought about using existing hydropower plants? They seem like they are becoming more valuable
as you phase in more renewable intermittent sources.>>S. Keshav: Right. Perhaps–>>male in audience: Because you can, you can
fairly fast scale up the output from scale the output of a hydroelectric plant.>>S. Keshav: Yeah, but once you’re, I mean
there are certain number of turbines–>>male in audience: Yes, yes.>>S. Keshav: it’s very hard to add more capacity.
Yes, you can ramp up over five to ten minutes you can spin up a new turbine and that’s why
there what’s called pumped hydroelectric storage is a big deal. You can take water and pump
it back–>>male in audience: Yeah.>>S. Keshav: up the dam.>>male in audience: But it seems that you
don’t even have to pump the water up, you just don’t run those when you have, when the
wind is blowing basically. I guess there is some percentage of your energy mix that is
sort of, if you are above this level in terms of hydroelectricity then you can sort of add
more–>>S. Keshav: Yeah.>>male in audience: intermittent sources without
having to worry–>>S. Keshav: That, that’s right. So the, the,
what the power engineers called a baseload and then the peak load. So the baseload is
what you want to meet all the time and typically it’s met today by coal and nuclear and hydro,
because these are long running sources and that’s okay. And then you can take the current
of the extra deltas from, from wind and solar, for example.>>male in audience: So–>>S. Keshav: Yes, so I agree with you that
we want, we want to develop hydro, I-I don’t remember the number off the top of my head,
but North American large scale hydro’s at the 80 percent stage or something like that;
in that ball park, in terms of usage. All, basically all rivers have been dammed.>>male in audience: Yeah.>>S. Keshav: Okay.>>male in audience: But, yeah, so one thing
here is adding more turbines to existing dams.>>S. Keshav: Yeah. Yeah. And they’re doing
this. Niagara is building additional turbines that’s coming on stream I think next two,
three years. And the other interest is in micro hydro, which is a stream running through
just put a small generator which is a four, five, few hundred watts even, right? Can you,
and, and that is combined with storage, that makes a difference. You can take your, and
people are putting solar cells in backpacks. That’s really tiny. The same kind of tiny
micro hydro can also be built, is being built and deployed. And so if you live by a stream
you could potentially power your house from there. So, yeah. The, the problem with micro hydro tends to
be it’s a mechanical system. The turbines run out, wear out they get clogged with algae
and dust and who knows what. It’s pretty gross. Ever try cleaning out your bathroom sink anytime? [laughter] It’s similar to that, but worse. [laughter]>>voice in audience: [unintellgible] [laughter]>>male voice in audience: So is that the,
sort of is that where we are?>>S. Keshav: Yeah, yeah, we, you could put
a micro turf in. [laughter] Now if you’re bald it’s much better. Let me
assure you of that. [laughs] [laughter]>>male in audience: [inaudible]>>S. Keshav: Yeah. I mean you could generate,
I mean people have talked about putting a tiny wind turbine and you’re holding it out
of your car and charging your cell phone from that, right? There was a proposal about three years ago
by a conceptual artist. So please take it at conceptual artist level, of putting turbines
on the middle of the New Jersey Turnpike in New Jersey. And they kind of estimated that
just a wind, the sheer wind from the two cars moving opposite directions will cause the
turbines to spin pretty fast. And that can generate enough electricity for I don’t know
what, something interesting. So, so yeah, you could, you could, all these
kinds of harvesting can be done. I think that it will be done. Once electricity costs goes
to, let’s say it goes from 10 cents a kilowatt hour to 50 cents a kilowatt hour in two years
from now. You’ll be facing half the lights will be turned off at Bell, I visited Bell
Labs in, Bell Labs where I used to work and I visited them in I can’t remember early 2000
something, was it, I don’t know. And these guys, this is before they got bought by Alcatel.
Lucent was saving money by turning off every other li-li-light. Every other light thing
was turned off to save electricity. And that was Bell Labs. If, if electricity goes up
by a factor of five you’ll see that happening everywhere. So, and these kinds of harvesting
will become popular. It’s a question of money talks. And right
now everything is cheap and it’s gonna change.>>male in audience: So I guess one more liability
of the current centralized grid is its vulnerability to deliberate attacks.>>S. Keshav: Yes.>>male in audience: And if-if you build your,
your grid simulator I’m sure you could find like one spot that you could go cut a wire
and, and–>>S. Keshav: Yes. Yeah,>>male in audience: it would fall apart.>>S. Kesheva: Yeah. About eight years ago
I did some research where I identified the 500 data centers where 80 percent of the Internet
traffic comes from. I could identify the, the IP address and with a little bit of work
the geographical location as well. And one of the questions I got asked was, “Aren’t
they giving people a map of exactly where to bomb?” [laughs] I never published that
work. [laughter]>>male in audience: So will this, will this
change with the, the smart grid–>>S. Keshav: Yeah, distribution generally
means resilience, that’s the standard rule in computer science. [pause]>>male voice: Any last questions from VC participants? [pause] Alright. I guess thank you very much for coming
by Professor Keshav.>>S. Keshav: Thank you. [applause] [techno music]

19 thoughts on “How the Internet can Green the Electrical Grid

  1. The tricks in JC2 put it apart from any kind of other game! In case you haven't tried it yet still, you must to proceed over to JC2DownloadXcom (replace X with . ) and pick up the free copy of the game. It is well worthy of the download. Trust me, you will definitely like it!

  2. i hope the rest of you 8,651 people were as baked as i was, like 7% of this is interesting. the remaining emulsion is eerily like setting up an hp wifi printer… just sayin…

  3. if u cant watch this 1 hour video, then u cant watch the tree grow,much less wait for the fruit that brings forth seeds. Zero is understood and overstood

  4. Also, at the end he says money talks. And the debt keeps rising. This goes to show that most of everyone wants money and feels they need it to survive. Have u ever asked yourself if what u want, is what others need? Or do you want something that is just temporary? our desire should not be in profits,costs,waste or alternative energies. Me and You were given life, so all we should want is to give. An eye for an eye keeps the whole world blind.

  5. peak oil is a lie. hydrogen from water is very viable, magnetic generators run perpetually. WHy dont pysicists realise the laws of physics have been broken several times over? oh, funding. thhe same reason the quelled cold fusion and Gen Motors electric car…criminy

  6. I say Fuck the cost and money. Money is slowing us down on purpose. To be an advance society we have to give up money. Im tired of all the bullshit you have to go thru for greed. We will never get anywhere because of money. We will alway be premitive dumbasses.

  7. hes talking about turning the electricity grid into a big ass, self-troubleshooting @bornaround04

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