[Beowulf] Electricity cost: a critical survival issue of our ICT infrastructures.

Lux, Jim (337C) james.p.lux at jpl.nasa.gov
Mon Apr 8 16:18:04 PDT 2013

Oil supply is decreasing (Hubbert and all), but I don't think Gas supply is decreasing. Rather, gas supply is increasing both in terms of "reserves" and "production", quite rapidly. It's not necessarily a good thing for other reasons, but betting the farm on running out of hydrocarbon energy anytime soon is probably not a good bet.   I would predict that restrictions on consumption will be a bigger factor than scarcity of supply.  Once you take the capital cost hit to change over from coal/oil to natural gas, the operating costs go way down, both for the feedstock, but also for other things like remediation, emissions controls, maintenance, etc.  It is a LOT cheaper to run a power plant on natural gas than almost anything else: no ash, no corrosive acid exhaust, etc.
The real issue with NG is storage and transportation. Unlike coal or oil, it's hard to store a year's supply by just piling it up or filling tanks, which means that he who has the gas has a lot of leverage over he who consumes the gas.

Jim Lux

From: beowulf-bounces at beowulf.org [mailto:beowulf-bounces at beowulf.org] On Behalf Of Reiner Hartenstein
Sent: Saturday, April 06, 2013 12:57 AM
Subject: [Beowulf] Electricity cost: a critical survival issue of our ICT infrastructures.

Dear friends,

Energy cost will massively grow within this and next decade because of
decreasing oil and gas supply and rapidly growing electricity demand.
For the time from 2008 until 2030 the electricity comsumption growth
of all our ICT infrastructures has been predicted by a factor of 30
--- if current trends continue. Also the price per kWh will probably grow
by another factor, so that the electricity cost to run our ICT infrastructures
may grow by a factor of 100 or even more during this period of time.

We need your ideas on how to cope with this challenge by current trends.

These problems are also subject of PATMOS 2013:  http://fpl.org/CFP7/

Best regards,
Reiner Hartenstein

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