Bill St. Arnaud: NRENs, electric cars, Internet of Things, SDN-P and new funding

InsightaaS: Regular readers are aware that’s principals are committed to expanding awareness of the connection between IT and sustainability: we research and write on ways of improving the environmental performance of technology, and of using IT to improve sustainable practices across the economy (in fact, we write a regular column on sustainable IT for Bloomberg BNA. Through the years, we have admired the work of Canadian scientist Bill St. Arnaud, who worked with NREN (national research and educational network) CANARIE, and is now an R&E and green IT consultant. In this post from his blog, St. Arnaud connects a handful of related topics – NRENs, IoT, electric cars, microgrids, networking – into a narrative that illustrates his passion for the field. At the bottom of his post, he includes a dozen links to further reading, including pieces by Across the Net favourites McKinsey & Co., Ars Technica and The Economist.

It has been a very exciting week with the announcements from Internet 2 on a research program of donating Electric Vehicles For “Internet of Things” Projects and the EU FABRIC program to demonstrate dynamic charging of eVehicles.

As anyone who follows my blog will know, I have long argued that electric vehicles can play a critical role in the future Internet of Things (IoT) and also the design of the next generation of Internet.

One of the big challenges for the IoT is to power all the various sensors and devices that will make up this future network fabric.  Most will be too small, too remote or too mobile to be connected to the electrical grid.  Some will be powered by small solar panels, others through PPoE, PoDL or USB connections.  Indeed some very small sensors may power themselves by scavenging radio and TV signals.   Powering these devices, where there is no electrical grid, will be major challenge in the deployment of IoT.

The issue of power not only applies to the Internet of Things, but also to future Internet devices, especially WiFi and cellphone nano cells…

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