Green ICT: Trends and Challenges

Volume: 2011, Issue No. 4

Date: October 2011

Guest Editors: Juan-Carlos López-López, Giovanna Sissa, Lasse Natvig

Contents: Download full issue here

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In this Issue


The papers included in this issue's monograph aim to show how the ICT sector can improve its own energy use and management or help, by means of applications and services, to efficiently manage resources in other high energy consuming sectors. Achieving a sustainable economy has become an increasingly important issue of concern in the developed world. The ICT sector can play a significant supportive role for future economic growth, by contributing innovative solutions for achieving a productive model based on sustainable development.. Download

UPgrade European NETwork

This section features a paper by Pierfranco Ravotto and Giovanni Fulantelli that is based on an experience which is taking place in Italy, Romania and Slovenia under the European project Sloop2desc. The paper explores what and how to teach in a time where both a competence-based educational approach and virtual environments are spreading. This paper was first published in Mondo Digitale, the digital journal of the CEPIS Italian Member Society, Associazione Italiana per l’Informatica ed il Calcolo Automatico (AICA). Download


This month CEPIS brings you news about the recently completed Professional e-Competence Project of which the European Report has now been published. CEPIS and the Greek CEPIS Member Society Hellenic Professionals Informatics Society (HePIS) are also co-hosting Digital Trends 2011 in December in Athens. Finally the European Commission has organised the Digital Agenda Going Local again this year with many events already organised in Member States across Europe during the third and fourth quarter of this year. Download



Presentation. Green ICT: The Information Society’s Commitment for Environmental Sustainability

This presentation has been written by the three guest editors, Juan-Carlos López-López, Giovanna Sissa, and Lasse Natvig. Download

CEPIS Green ICT Survey – Examining Green ICT Awareness in Organisations: Initial Findings

Green ICT is an increasingly important issue for many organisations across Europe today. This paper presents the initial findings of research to assess how ICT Managers in different countries implement energy efficient methods in their organisations. The CEPIS Green ICT Task Force is conducting this work and these preliminary results are based on 300 responses received so far. Download

The Five Most Neglected Issues in "Green IT"

Many studies on Green IT/Green ICT have already been published, focusing on the energy consumption of ICT or the role of ICT as an enabler of energy efficiency. In this paper, we argue that such an approach is too narrow, and that a broader perspective is needed to utilize the potential of ICT to make our lives more sustainable. Download

Utility Computing: Green Opportunities and Risks

A visionary idea of computing since the early 60s has been that of utility. Cloud computing finally looks to be the implementation of such an idea. While this paradigm is providing many opportunities for the development of the software sector, concerns about its environmental impact are also being raised. This paper focuses on the green potential of clouds and how they have to be deployed for different user levels, highlighting the related environmental risks. The trend shows clearly how cloud computing is turning computing into a pay-per-use model, one in which quality of service requirements will need to be expanded to include green requirements. Green computing has to take into consideration new opportunities and new issues for the environment, not only focusing on the energy use phase but also on all phases of the life cycle for any service provided in the cloud. The awareness of users and developers is the first step to realizing the green potential of the cloud. Download

Good, Bad, and Beautiful Software – In Search of Green Software Quality Factors

New emerging areas of software development and usage are green software engineering and software engineering for the planet. In green software engineering, software is developed, executed, and maintained in as environment friendly a wa yas possible. In software engineering for the planet, software actively helps in the fight against climate change. Currently, we lack good factors for estimating how good green software is. We consider this problem on three levels. First, a developer’s approach is to calculate the carbon footprint of software development, delivery, and maintenance. These factors are relatively easy to estimate but they lack an execution phase. Second, an engineer’s approach is to count how much resource software uses relative to its tasks. These factors are good for green software engineering but not enough for software engineering for the planet. Finally, a planet’s approach is to calculate how much software offers or how much damage it does to its environment in its life-time. Together these would give an ultimate solution for the green software factor dilemma but unfortunately it is not at all clear how to define metrics for such factors. Download

Towards the Virtual Power Grid: Large Scale Modeling and Simulation of Power Grids

This paper discusses the smart grid operation software, tools, and methodologies necessary to support the evolving transmission network. The network will integrate large percentages of highly variable and intermittent sources of renewable energy and will need to transport more electricity over wider areas and longer distances. The use of the dynamic models for monitoring, analysis, wide area protection, and control applications with and without a "human in the loop" will contribute to fulfilling the smart grid requirement to run a much more complex network closer to its physical limits with increased efficiency, reliability, and security. This paper first surveys the major disciplines that must evolve and converge for the realization of this vision. They include: high resolution, real-time electrical sensing, fast, secure and reliable communication, processing, and storage of real-time data, dynamic modeling and simulation, stability analysis and state estimation. Next it formulates the concept for the leap from the current static steady state approach to full dynamic modeling of the network. At the center of this concept, is the virtual power grid (VPG), a fully computable, detailed, dynamic model of a large power system interconnect (at the system of differential equations level), validated in real-time, and available in real-time for advanced applications ranging from control room visualization, operation support, and ultimately automatic wide area protection and network control. Download

Artificial Intelligence Techniques for Smart Grid Applications

The growing interest that the smart grid is attracting and its multidisciplinary nature motivate the need for solutions coming from different fields of knowledge. Due to the complexity, and heterogeneity of the smart grid and the high volume of information to be processed, artificial intelligence techniques and computational intelligence appear to be some of the enabling technologies for its future development and success. The aim of this article is to review the current state of the art of the most relevant artificial intelligence techniques applied to the different issues that arise in the smart grid development. This work is therefore devoted to summarize the most relevant challenges addressed by the smart grid technologies and how intelligence systems can contribute to their achievement. Download

Green Computing: Saving Energy by Throttling, Simplicity and Parallelization

The aim of this article is to give an overview of several techniques that are used in making computers more energy efficient. All segments of the ICT market are facing this challenge, starting with the smallest embedded systems, through mobile devices and laptops, to workstations and supercomputers. We start by giving a broad overview of energy saving techniques in hardware, continue at the operating system level, system software and finally techniques that can be used at the application level. Techniques for low-power electronics such as different levels of sleep modes, architectural techniques like multi-cores and heterogeneous processing, the role of customization and accelerators as well as reconfigurable hardware are outlined. We describe how parallelization in both HW and SW can help reduce the energy consumption, and discuss several examples of how throttling (slowing down) and simplicity give the same effect. The authors have developed an experimental framework for exploring these issues, and the paper ends by presenting a few recent results showing how parallelism expressed with Task Based Programming, TBP, can save energy. Download

Towards Sustainable Solutions for European Cloud Computing

Public Cloud Computing means that we are outsourcing our data to places where we cannot keep track of it. This creates a problem in terms of the privacy of our data and its availability. Unfortunately, the risk generated by unallocated computation and storage is not the only problem. In addition, the high energy consumption of the Cloud also contributes to climate change, since most of the electricity produced around the world comes from burning coal and natural gas, which are carbon-intensive approaches to energy production. This article reflects on these problems that arise with Cloud Computing and proposes sustainable solutions to mitigate them in countries like Spain. Download

A State-of-the-Art on Energy Efficiency in Today’s Datacentres: Researcher’s Contributions and Practical Approaches

Energy efficiency has become an issue of great importance in today’s datacentres. Metrics like Top500, which measure speed and performance, are beginning to lose importance in favor of others such as Green500. In order to increase energy efficiency of datacentres and save energy costs, the research community proposes solutions from both the computing and the cooling point of view, while European and US Institutions publish best practice manuals on energy-efficiency for datacentre owners. However, even though best practices are beginning to be implemented, most of the solutions offered by researchers are not yet used in real production environments. This paper makes a survey of the solutions proposed by researchers as well as the practices that real datacentres apply in order to increase the energy-efficiency of their facilities, and to find the reasons that create this gap between research and innovation in datacentres. Download

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