The Linux Foundation Meets Its Biggest Challenge Yet: Saving the Planet

The transition from centralized fossil-fuel generation to renewable and distributed energy resources will mark the most significant reimagining of power systems in over 140 years, and it will fundamentally transform our economies. Approximately 75% of carbon emissions can be mitigated through the electrification of energy, transportation, and the built environment. By adopting an open source strategy that maximizes flexibility, agility, and interoperability, we can innovate at the speed of the urgency needed to decarbonize and save our planet.

Since nearly all aspects of life on Earth will be touched, our future rests on cooperation that will enable the evolution of the marketplace, driven by competition and innovation. Collaboration is central to finding a path to decarbonization, which is the fundamental and existential paradigm shift facing humanity. Collaboration is also at the heart of why over the next 30 years, the Linux Foundation will play an increasingly important role as the planet negotiates the transformation of the world’s largest machine — the electrical power grid — and the economies and societies that depend on it. 

The Linux Foundation has the opportunity to take a proactive position and tremendous potential to help address the critical global challenges stemming from climate change which, if left unabated, guarantee catastrophic disruptions in our physical and emotional worlds. The LF shows a path forward that is open and collaborative so that companies, countries, even continents can work together versus the often uncoordinated and piecemeal efforts in place so far that, if left unchecked, will fall short.

The threat is real

Undoubtedly, worldwide climate change is the greatest existential threat facing humanity since asteroids caused the 5th extinction 65 million years ago. 

And it is now locked in, with climate change driving the planet’s health past tipping points that we cannot reverse. We are now in a battle of staving off our own demise, and we must transition whole economies off fossil fuels to renewables without tanking those economies and unleashing chaos. 

Since the mid-1800s, three charts reveal a lock-step progression of fossil fuel, GDP, and carbon parts per million — the pollution that contributes to a warming world. The externalities that have driven the economic expansion of the last 150 years are now forcing a reconciliation. We are at the last possible moment. 

Climate solutions at the Linux Foundation

Several Linux Foundation projects are already working on various climate solutions.

LF Energy is accelerating the decarbonization of the global economy through the transformation of power system networks and delivering a full interoperability stack for EVs and vehicles to grid (V2G) to onboard intermittent and renewable energy at scale. 

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2021 was a pivotal year for LF Energy in its mission to lead the energy transition through global open source collaboration. Highlights include:

LF Energy software projects in development are innovating on substations and multi-protocol gateways, electrifying transportation, improving grid automation, reducing grid congestion, creating flexible markets, enabling avoided energy markets, increasing grid resilience, improving data monitoring and analysis, and optimizing network operations.

Via the collaboration that forums like LF Energy provide, innovative technologies can get to market faster. As LF Energy members grow to include traditional utility OEMs like GE and Hitachi ABB, those technologies are more likely to be adopted and spread faster throughout the energy ecosystem.

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OS-Climate is developing a platform of data and analytics to close the $1.2 Trillion gap in financing and investment required to achieve Paris Climate Accord goals. Avoiding catastrophic global warming levels and ensuring resilience to climate impacts requires rapidly closing the $1.2 trillion gap in investment for climate solutions each year. But pension funds, asset managers, banks, corporations, and regulators lack the data and analytics required to reallocate financing toward decarbonization. 

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At COP-26 in Glasgow this week, OS-Climate rolled out its prototype Data Commons and AI-enhanced tools for climate-alignment and physical risk analysis of portfolios — key for transitioning the global economy to Net Zero emissions and a sustainable future. In the last year, membership and number of active contributors have grown by more than 300% and more than 600%.respectively.

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In May of 2021, the Linux Foundation, with Joint Development Foundation Projects LLC, along with its partners Accenture, GitHub, and Microsoft, announced the formation of the Green Software Foundation to build a trusted ecosystem of people, standards tooling, and leading practices for building green software.

As we think about the software industry’s future, we believe we have a responsibility to help build a better future – a more sustainable future – both internally at our organizations and in partnership with industry leaders around the globe. With data centers worldwide accounting for 1% of global electricity demand, and projections to consume 3-8% in the next decade, we must address this as an industry.

The Green Software Foundation was born out of a mutual desire to collaborate across the software industry. Organizations with a shared commitment to sustainability and an interest in green software development principles are encouraged to join the Foundation to help grow the field of green software engineering, contribute to standards for the industry, and work together to reduce the carbon emissions of software.

The rest of the Linux Foundation ecosystem can play a substantial role going forward by enabling that power quality and power consumption — so that one day, every device running Linux or embedded Linux on the edge which draws energy from power networks can provide arbitrage to the grid by accepting a price signal.

On that day, every project at the Linux Foundation will address some part of the decarbonization of the global economy. Linux helped build the world we see today; The Linux Foundation will be central to transforming the world so that future power systems will enable our grandchildren’s children to inherit a healthier planet.

These efforts are made possible by the dozens of enterprises that support the LF Energy, OS-Climate, and Green Software Foundation projects. 

To learn how your organization can help transform and decarbonize our power system networks while accelerating the transition to electric mobility from fossil fuels, get involved with LF Energy by clicking here 

To learn how your organization can get involved with OS-Climate, click here 

To learn how your organization can get involved with Green Software Foundation, click here

Posted by Linux Admin