Gavin Starks: Your Energy ID & Why You Should Care [E-Tech 2009 Notes]

These are my rough notes from last week’s E-Tech talk by Gavin Starks of AMEE:

We are hitting peaks and resource limitations. 5 potential futures: 1) Technology innovation; Salvation through technology but increasing reliance on it. 2) Services, not products; moving from car to public transport; carbon costs encourage services over hard products. 3) Reframing value; what is progress? what is value? Meaningful jobs, stronger communities cultivated. 4) Rationing; Things have gone too far, we need controls. Cap & trade. Sectors take control of citizens lives. Resource/H20 shortages leads to migrations and war. 5) War. Conflict over limited resources; divided communities; tribalism & territoriality. Quotes James Lovelock “90% population cull in this century”.

Hansen: “Caps won’t work – we need carbon tax.” Are we moving to post-capitalist society? Triple-bottom-line accounting: fiscal, social, environmental. McKinsey: “Capitalism is a multi-generational Ponzi scheme.” Need carbon tax. Carbon will be part of the US budget by 2011. federal cap & trade. Business-science-policy-technology: system of interconnects. Lots of data coming. EU policy stack being implemented. Anyone using over 6GWh or more than L500k/yr must disclose energy use. Coming to US. Carbon reduction commitment, energy efficiency, renewable obligations. “Moving to an economic age where we need to start obeying the 1st law of thermodynamics” [energy can neither be created nor destroyed]. Unpacking huge amounts of data. 20 largest cities use 75% of global energy. Future: many smaller cities. Pop density: cities are your country. Many local points of production & supply, networked together. No time left for closed systems. I/O models of everything. Democratization of energy. Smart grids. Microgeneration.

Data: citizens & things, private sector. public sector, cities, countries, earth. Data: purchases, materials, building, travel & transport, fuel & water & waste. Eg. SAP: 70% footprint is travel. Data is dangerous to business. Smart meters, eg fridge monitor yields whole layer of info. Every device will have accessible, identifiable profiles from data reporting. Energy Identity: Digital embodiment of your physical consumption. How to protect your digital identity? Now: everyone else assumes they own your data (utilities, suppliers, banks, retailers, etc). You own your data & can share or license it to interested parties. Collaboration networks are to business as social networks are to consumers. Emerging ecosystems, eg Planetary Skin, Oracle, IBM, Google & GE. Info about energy use; new grid; data on use belongs to you in standard, non-proprietary format. Lee: “Unlock all your raw data.” SW/SaaS/Systems integration. [tie into ERP] Eg Sun – Open Eco. Trading: Misys, EarthCP, Sandbag. Meters: Carbonmetrics, ISE. Consultancies: EQ2, NaturalLogic, CarbonVision, Greenmonk. Need transformational shift towards re-engineering behavior & production. Recession has so far had little input on carbon use.

To Do: 1) Give everything an energy ID; 2) Build SmartGrid behavior into everything; 3) Measure & map all of it; 4) Lobby for & create open standards; 5) Sort out data ownership now.

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