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Singularity University – Day Three – Sunil Paul

Sunil Paul gave a presentation right after Ralph entitled "Energy and Environment – What’s At Stake and What Can Be Done."

He estimated that 13 trillion dollars will be invested in energy infrastructure between 2010 and 2020, and that we are about to witness a complete restructuring of the energy and manufacturing industry.

Next, he advised that focusing on climate is a key strategy, because doing so provides solutions that address not only climate, but also energy security and economic development.

Then he introduced the concept of "negawatt power" (though many of the students were already familiar with it). A "negawatt" is a unit on a modern grid that can be sold or traded when there are no planse to use it. "It allows you to shed load by treating it as if it was additional capacity," Sunil explained.

The negawatt grid model offers a kind of "seti@home" system that allows people to share or sell off energy on their grid that they’re not using. (Since the grid has no storage, it has to be balanced dynamically.) Theoretically, more people would be able share the same energy more effectively on a distributed, dynamically-balanced grid.

Sunil also had some very general advice for students at the end of the lecture:
"You need to spend time on things that matter. That’s why we’re here." (In general, he clarified right afterwards, not just at Singularity U.)

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