May 31, 2023

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Open source helps speed up the decarbonization of energy systems

3 min read

To meet the challenges of climate change and global warming, the world’s energy grid systems need an overhaul.

Linux Foundation Energy leads efforts to help organizations realize decarbonization goals by bringing together energy producers, researchers, policymakers and traditional suppliers. The goal is to develop solutions needed to accelerate this energy transition using open source technologies, according to Dan Brown (pictured left), head of marketing at LF Energy.

“We need to decarbonize our energy systems,” Brown said. “It’s really the only way we’re ever going to meet the decarbonisation targets that have been set by governments, companies and so on.” That means redesigning the technology that drives these systems, and the best way to do that, we think, is through open source.”

Braun and Christophe Willemer (right), executive vice president and general manager at Savoir-Faire Linux, spoke with theCUBE industry analyst John Ferrier and guest analyst Rob Strechay at Open Source Summit NA, during an exclusive broadcast at theCUBE, the streaming studio live on SiliconANGLE Media. They discussed how open source plays a key role in transforming energy systems for a better world.

The SEAPATH project

As a substation virtualization project, the Software-Enabled Platform for Automation and Artifacts (THerein) is transforming the energy sector by securing applications and enabling virtualized automation. SEAPATH is also an open-source, reference-design, real-time and industrial-grade platform aimed at achieving sustainability goals from suppliers and utilities, according to Willemer.

“If you look at the automation control command as an example in the substation in electric transportation, they are moving towards virtualization,” he said. “This is one of the projects, the SEAPATH project, which is an energy project launched by TSO, RTE, the French TSO. We are working with them and also vendors like GE, Schneider are also working on this platform that will be the standard that all virtualization is the substation.”

SEAPATH is not the only sustainability-oriented project of The Linux Foundation. That’s because solving energy problems and climate change require outside-the-box approaches, Brown pointed out.

“The Linux Foundation as a whole has a number of other projects focused on sustainability,” he noted. “For example, our AgStack project to decarbonize agriculture and OS-Climate for Climate Finance and the Green Software Foundation, which are making software in the cloud itself less carbon intensive.”

Collaboration is key

Since open source thrives on a virtual teamwork model, this concept is ripe for adoption in the energy sector because it will eliminate the siled approach. As a result, LF Energy sees open source as a stepping stone to decarbonization efforts, according to Willemer.

“I think open source, first of all, is a way to collaborate… even in some sectors, like energy, which was very isolated, people have to collaborate,” he noted. “That’s why it’s a way to accelerate … and I’m really going to pitch LF Energy as a framework for collaboration and innovation.”

LF Energy has already launched various projects to reduce carbon emissions. It has also created standards and specifications using carbon data, Brown pointed out.

“We’re doing other things for home automation or business automation with our FlexMeasures project, which can tell you the best time of day to run your washing machine and can actually help you do that automatically,” he said. “Maybe it’s better in the middle of the day because of the sun and you have solar panels, but it all has an impact. It’s small, but it adds up.”

Here’s the full video interview, part of SiliconANGLE and theCUBE’s coverage of Open Source Summit NA:

Photo: SiliconANGLE

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