Energy Game Proposal

Power R Future

Resource-Based Energy Simulation and Modeling Game Proposal

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The US Energy Problem in 2009
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The US Energy Problem in 2015

»EPA projects 180 GW of electric generation capacity will retire between 2010 and 2020 in response to the 111(d) rule and other factors

»By 2040, the US must bring 350-425 gigawatts of new generating stations online

>Nuclear and coal power plants are being retired at an accelerated pace

»By mid-century, 90% of current electrical generation capacity must be replaced due to power plant age

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The Real Green Energy
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EnergyCite® Consortium

»Our vision is to correctly solve energy

»The mission of the EnergyCite® consortium is to

fund and manage fusion energy science, research, and development, leading to demonstration and commercialization of fusion energy

»The public is not well informed on energy issues

>People want abundant, cheap energy and to protect the environment
>This desire and lack of knowledge has been exploited to surreptitiously push agendas that go far beyond energy and the environment

»To gain the support needed to accomplish the mission, the public must be educated on the realities of energy

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Engaging the Public

»Computer games have become one of the most effective mediums for advancing social issues

>Knowledge is more impactful when discovered through play and experimentation
>A successful and popular computer game can keep people engaged for 100s of hours throughout its lifetime

»Simulation games are one of the eight major video game genres

>8 of the top 12 PC and Mac games (US unit sales) in 2013 were simulations, including the #2 selling SimCity 2013®
>Cities: Skyline®, successor to SimCity®, released on March 10, 2015, sold over 500,000 units worldwide in its first week!

»There has never been a mainstream energy simulation game—the market belongs to the first mover!

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Overview of Proposed Game

»A global energy simulation game
>Models world energy supply and demand
>Supports multiple modes of play from “what-if” educational modeling system to fully interactive single-player game
+Core game targets maximizing results by a target date, such as 2060
>Simulation modeling is defined by an Energy Scenario Model (ESM)1
+Open-format ESM files allow user customization of model parameters
–Game includes an editor for ESM files
+ESM files can be signed2 with an ESM key to insure integrity3
–We will provide verified ESM keys to organizations, for a fee4
–Displays name and logo of a signed ESM verified organization
+ESM technology patent pending status is in progress5

»Interactive play style similar to SimCity®

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Refocus the Energy Debate

»The objective is to make the game an open system in terms of the model parameters6

>Different interest groups will extend the model elements and parameters to make their arguments
>Puts pressure on proponents of policies and technologies to demonstrate how they stack up against alternatives
>Moves the debate from wild promises to modeled numbers and facts

»We provide a forum to exchange and debate ESMs
»ESMs are continually updated with the latest real-world facts and forms of energy generation
»Open ESMs avoid bias and marginalization!5

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Expose Hidden Costs
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Energy Subsidies
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Stop Wasting Money!

» Give people tools to discover that the free market beats government in selecting technologies

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Limits of Renewable Energy

»Current renewable energy technologies can never be the whole answer, or even the primary answer

>Replacing just current US baseload power requires solar panels covering an area 50% larger than Israel (double the state of Hawaii)
>Biofuels require tremendous water resources and use 3 to 7 times the amount of energy to produce than they provide

»There is plenty of disagreement on the answer

>A study commissioned by USCL/EnergyCite indicates that renewable energy can provide only 3.7% of required 2050 worldwide energy
>In 2014 in Forbes magazine, well-known futurists Dr. Raymond Kurzweil says 100% of America’s electricity will be produced by solar in 20 years
>In 2011, Google shut down RE<C, a failed $30 million initiative to develop green energy cheaper than coal
+The project’s lead engineers suggest that a disruptive fusion technology might be the answer

»Who is right? How can we know?

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Fund Fusion Research!

» Give people tools to discover that the free market beats government in selecting technologies
»Fusion energy is viable, if we fund it!
>All of the other costs shown above are avoidable with fusion energy

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Move the Needle

»According to a March, 2015 Gallup poll, as gas prices fall,

>49% of Americans say they prefer environmental protection over energy
>39% of Americans say production of U.S. energy supplies is more important

»We intend to move the needle on this poll by engaging people on energy & the environment through gameplay
»By exposing all facets of energy, we hope people ask

>How can I charge my future electric vehicle at night using solar?
>How are biofuels worsening the impact of the drought in Nebraska?
>What if CO2 only increases temperature half as much as the IPCC says?
>Is building nuclear better for the environment than investing in solar?
>How can I increase the baseload energy supply to stop outages in the Midwest?
>What happens if I divert money on climate change research to fusion research?
>What the hell is my government doing?!
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Target Audiences

»Roughly in order of priority, the primary target audiences for the game are

>Game players
>Energy advocates

»There is plenty of overlap between these groups

»Marketing efforts are underway to reach out to influentials and tailor appeal to each audience

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What is Required to Succeed

»Establish game company
>Be prepared to follow up on success

»Budget: $3,000,000
>Countries: US, Canada, Europe, Japan, Israel
>Languages: English, French, German, Spanish, Japanese
>Amount covers startup, development, product launch, and three months post-launch operating costs
>Detailed budget and sales projections available on request

»Schedule: 15 months
>Game launch 15 months from funding
>Work is already in progress
>Goal is to launch sooner, schedule is pessimistic

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What Success Looks Like

»Projected First-Year Sales
400,000 to 600,000 units
$9,000,000 to $13,500,000

»Follow on markets

>Additional Countries: China, Russia, India, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand
>Additional Languages: Hebrew, Mandarin Chinese, Russian, Portuguese

»Follow on games

>Version 2 of original game to expand simulation sophistication and scope
>New casual mobile game, targeted at 8 to 80 year-old market
+Leverages energy usage output from smart meters and appliances
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1. An Energy Scenario Model (ESM) is the set of rules, relationships, formulas, entities, properties and data that define how the energy scenario is modeled by the simulation engine. Everything that appears in the simulation model is contained in the ESM. The behavior of the game and simulation engine are completely specified by the ESM.

An ESM is defined by one or more XML files. XML is a standard text-based file format for representing structured data. The format and structure of an XML file is described by an XML schema. The ESM schema is the custom proprietary XML schema that defines the format and structure for ESM files. While the schema is proprietary to the powerRfuture development team, it will be an open, published format. The game includes an ESM editor that allows reading, modifying and creating an ESM.

In addition to simulation model information, an ESM file contains documentation and reference links to support the model it describes and the justification for the values used. The intent is to give players the tools to drill deeply into the details behind an ESM, if and when they are interested. Incremental engagement is key to supporting the objective of learning through discovery.

2. Digital signing is a mathematical scheme for demonstrating the authenticity and integrity of a digital message or document. Digital signing uses a private key to sign a document. A public key is used to verify that the document was signed using the associated private key, and that the contents of the document have not changed or been altered since the document was signed. As implied, the public key may be freely shared without compromising the integrity of the private key required to produce a digital signature.

3. In computer security, integrity refers to properties related to the trustworthiness of information. Confidentiality, integrity and availability constitute the three fundamental criteria for secure management of information. Integrity includes the concepts of

>data integrity, which provides assurances that data have not been changed inappropriately, whether by accident or deliberately malign activity; and
>source integrity, which provides assurances that the data actually came from the person or entity you think it did, rather than an impostor.

4. An ESM key is a private key used to digitally sign an ESM file. A verified ESM key is a private key that we have issued to an entity or organization. Verifying entails taking appropriate measures to insure that the requestor of the key is a legitimate representative of the entity or organization that it claims to be. Typically, verification is performed by independently contacting the entity or organization directly to verify that they are the ones making the request. This is similar to methods used to verify requestors for commercial SSL certificates used to verify the security certificates for web sites.

When a verified key is issued, it is valid for a set period of time, typically one or more years. The fee charged for this service would likely be between $100 and $1000, depending on the length of time the key is issued for and the branding services offered. For a fee, an ESM key can be renewed for an additional period without needing to reverify the key holder. We retain the ability to revoke verified ESM keys, and will have a clearly defined policy for the use of ESM keys. An invalid ESM key is effectively invisible to players and can only be seen from within the ESM editor.

Branding services would range from verifying the name of the entity the key was issued to on the low side, up to displaying the logo and name graphics of the entity for signed ESM files, and providing a listing for the entity in the in-game directory of ESM providers.

Verified ESM keys are used for two related purposes, author signature and appraisal. The same key may not be used as both an author and appraisal key on a single ESM.

a) The author(s) of an ESM use(s) (a) verified ESM key(s) to provide verifiable and irrepudiable authenticity of the ESM. An ESM can have any number of authors, each with their own ESM author key. If multiple author keys are used, all of the public keys must be present at the time of signing. This prevents authors from being added without resigning the ESM from the beginning. Each author key can then be used to sign the ESM, so private keys never need to be divulged when using multiple author keys.

b) Independent organizations use a verified ESM key to give a verifiable appraisal or “seal of (dis)approval” to ESMs created and signed by different ESM author key(s). Any number of ESM appraisal keys can be used to attach an appraisal to an ESM. Only the holder of the private ESM appraisal key can remove an appraisal from the ESM. An appraisal specifies a set of appraisal tags. Depending on the branding service of the key, an appraisal may also contain additional information, up to and including fine-grained model appraisals of individual model elements or peer-reviewed appraisal articles.

5.The technology behind ESM files is pending submittal of provisional claims to the US Patent and Trademark Office. Once those claims have been filed, details will be made available.

In brief, the purpose of the technology is to attack the entire notion of centralized control that’s necessary for things like selling the IPCC as the only answer on climate change. It attempts to make centralized control of trust obsolete with a new paradigm that fits the Internet, and supports the natural transition in trust taking place from the large to the small. We intend to pursue this technology at a much broader scope than the ESM files for the proposed game, but the game serves as a good proving ground and the initial implementation will be scaled down to serve this purpose.

The central concept around which the technology is based is the creation of a digital currency for domain reputation and a system for tracking, projecting and protecting that reputation. Similar to, but vastly richer than citation counting in research papers, it applies across a much broader spectrum that includes all aspects of reputation sharing, such as the reputation that a prominent institution lends to its scientists, and the reputation a prominent scientist lends to their institution. Holders of reputation lend their reputation, both implicitly and explicitly, on large scales, such as endorsing an organization or individual, and on small scales down to endorsing one aspect of a study or paper without endorsing the entire work. Backing this is a system to ensure the trust and integrity of the “reputation currency”. Additionally, there are social media aspects to create and explore trust and reputation networks, and through that, project trust and reputation through social networks.

A final aspect of our technology enables individuals to customize their own profile for who and what they trust. This profile can be created automatically by simply observing the person’s behavior, or people can explicitly tune their trust profile. This aspect of the technology is loosely adapted from a computer language for expressing trust preferences and parameters described in the paper The KPI-Based Reputation Policy Language (see bibliography) . This language was developed to support supply-chain validation for physical goods; our technology adapts the concept to apply to digital information in a wide variety or forms and contexts.

The bottom line is that the game is the first step in a broader effort to democratize the system of trust and reputation that’s currently used to marginalize certain individuals and points of view.

6. Verified ESM keys are central to the goal of refocusing the debate on both energy and climate change issues. They provide a mechanism for all sides of the debate to participate on an even footing. Our objective is to create a central and uniform framework for all parties to participate in the debate. The ESM files themselves are extensible, allowing parties to introduce additional elements into the scenario modeling. Our expectation is that by providing a consistent, open and extensible framework, that the sophistication and detail of the models, along with the scope of the aspects modeled, will grow at a much greater rate—and with much greater diversity of opinion—than we could provide as a company.

Refocusing the debate is crucial in order to sidestep the existing marginalization of contrary viewpoints. We believe that the only way to accomplish this is to serve as a neutral and unbiased arbiter. Post-launch we hope to organize independent boards of impartial scientists and domain experts to review and critique popular ESMs. Our goal is to provide a uniform forum for the public, scientists and interest groups to participate in a fact-based discussion that includes the full scope of consequences from environmental and energy policies.

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A. Expose Hidden Costs information sources.
>Wholesale energy price source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Wholesale Electricity and Natural Gas Market Data, weighted average price of all trades executed on the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) from 6 AM to 11 AM Central, (2013)

>Retail energy price source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Electric Power Annual, Table 2.4

>Subsidies data source: Congressional Research Service, Energy Tax Incentives: Measuring Value Across Different Types of Energy Resources, CRS-R41953 Table 4, (March 19, 2015)

>Generation data source: Electric Power Annual, Table 3.1.A

B. Stop Wasting Money! information sources. This data is almost certainly incomplete.

>Climate research, clean energy technologies, and climate energy taxes source: Congressional Research Service, Federal Climate Change Funding from FY2008 to FY2014, CRS-R43227 Table 4, (Sept. 13, 2013)

>DOE clean energy loans source: U.S. Department of Energy Loan Programs Office, Loan Program Office Projects

Climate foreign aid source: US State Department, Meeting the Fast Start Commitment: US Climate Finance in Fiscal Year 2012, Table 1, (2012)

>Other clean/energy includes
+Climate adaption source: Federal Climate Change Funding from FY2008 to FY2014, Table 4

C. Limits of Renewable Energy: renewable energy can never be the answer information sources.

The analysis of the area of land needed to supply 2013 US electrical power with 100% solar PV (photovoltaic) panels is actually an underestimate because it only includes the surface area of the PV cells, with no spacing between panels, and does not include the land area for the required infrastructure and batteries. (The batteries alone require more than 50 square miles.) The analysis determined that over 29,300 square kilometers (over 11,300 square miles) based on the following optimistic scenario:
+Estimated total annual electric power 3,854 TWh for paper; actual 2013 electric power was 4,066 TWh, so another underestimate of 5.5%
–U.S. Energy Information Administration, Electric Power Annual, Table 3.1.A, (2013)
+Solar power generation 12 hours / day, with 2/3 power used during daylight hours
+Solar power is used to charge lithium batteries to supply nighttime power
+Surplus power of 25% to cover plant margin, plus DC to AC and battery conversion loss
+All solar panels located in ideal southwest US mainland
–50% more solar panels required in northeastern locations for equivalent generation
+Solar panels are flat (non-tracking) with an efficiency of 15%
–2-axis tracking panels with an efficiency of 22.5% reduces required area to half

An exhaustive analysis of the thermodynamics of the corn-ethanol biofuel cycle concludes that
+Excluding the restoration work of decontaminating aquifers, rivers, and the Gulf of Mexico, the minimum cumulative exergy consumption in restoring the environment polluted and depleted by the industrial corn-ethanol cycle is over 7 times higher than the maximum shaft work of a car engine burning the cycle’s ethanol.
+The industrial corn cycle is not renewable, and is unsustainable by a wide margin (at least 2.3– 7 times)
+No process changes can make the corn-ethanol cycle more viable

D.Limits of Renewable Energy: disagreement on the answer information sources.

?2050 Projected Alternative Energy Supply and Demand Study, 2008 USCL/EnergyCite study. Based on bringing the rest of the planet to parity in 2050 with 2008 US per capita energy infrastructure.

Solar Energy Revolution: A Massive Opportunity, Sept. 2, 2014 column in Forbes by Peter Diamandis. Ray Kurzweil’s projection is based on applying Moore’s Law to solar panels.
+Moore’s Law, from Intel co-founder and chairman emeritus of Intel, has successfully described the rate that computers increase in speed while decreasing cost for more than three decades
+See the USCL/EnergyCite article that addresses the above Forbes article point-by-point.

“Starting in 2007, Google committed significant resources to tackle the world’s climate and energy problems. A few of these efforts proved very successful: Google deployed some of the most energy-efficient data centers in the world, purchased large amounts of renewable energy, and offset what remained of its carbon footprint.

Google’s boldest energy move was an effort known as RE<C, which aimed to develop renewable energy sources that would generate electricity more cheaply than coal-fired power plants do. The company announced that Google would help promising technologies mature by investing in start-ups and conducting its own internal R&D. Its aspirational goal: to produce a gigawatt of renewable power more cheaply than a coal-fired plant could, and to achieve this in years, not decades.

Unfortunately, not every Google moon shot leaves Earth orbit. In 2011, the company decided that RE<C was not on track to meet its target and shut down the initiative. The two of us, who worked as engineers on the internal RE<C projects, were then forced to reexamine our assumptions.”
+Ross Koningstein & David Fork, Google engineers on the RE<C initiative Today’s renewable energy technologies won’t save us. So what will?

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1.“Games: Improving Social Issues.” Entertainment Software Association. 2014.

2.“American’s Low ‘Energy IQ:’ A Risk to Our Energy Future.” National Environmental Education Association. 2002.

3.“National Survey Benchmark Report.” National Environmental Education Association. 2013.

4.Dugan, Andrew. “Americans Choose the Environment Over Energy Development.” Gallup. April 13, 2015. Accessed April 13, 2015.

5.“How Americans view the top energy and environmental issues.” Pew Research Center. January 15, 2015. Accessed April 2015.

6.“Public Opinion on US Energy and Environmental Policy.” Center for American Progress. December 2014. Accessed March 2015.

7.“Favorability Toward Nuclear Energy Stronger Among Plant Neighbors Than General Public.” Nuclear Energy Institute. Summer 2013. Accessed April 2015.

8.Sherlock, Molly F. and Jeffery M. Stupak. “Energy Tax Incentives: Measuring Value Across Different Types of Energy Resources.” Congressional Research Service. March 19, 2015. Accessed April 2015.

9.Sherlock, Molly F. “Energy Tax Policy: Historical Perspectives on and Current Status of Energy Tax Expenditures.” Congressional Research Service. May 2, 2011. Accessed April 2015.

10.Leggett, Jane A., Richard K. Lattanzio, and Emily Bruner. “Federal Climate Change Funding from FY2008 to FY2014.” Congressional Research Service. September 13, 2013. Accessed April 2015.

11.“Federal Climate Change Programs: Funding History and Policy Issues.” Congressional Budget Office. March 2010. Accessed April 2015.

12.“CLIMATE CHANGE: Federal Reports on Climate Change Funding Should Be Clearer and More Complete.” Government Accounting Office. August 2005. Accessed April 2015.

13.“Federal Climate Change Expenditures Report to Congress.” Office of Management and Budget. August 2013. Accessed April 2015.

14.“Meeting the Fast Start Commitment: US Climate Finance in Fiscal Year 2012.” US State Department. 2012. Accessed April 2015.

15.“CBO Memorandum: Climate Change and the Federal Budget.” Congressional Budget Office. August 1998. Accessed April 2015.

16.“Wholesale Electricity and Natural Gas Market Data .” U.S. Energy Information Administration. April 2, 2015. Accessed April 12 2015.

17.Nova, Joanne. “Climate Money: The Climate Industry: $79 billion so far – trillions to come.” Science and Public Policy Institute. July 22, 2009.

18.“Electric Power Annual 2013.” U.S. Energy Information Administration. March 2015. Accessed April 2015.

19.“Understanding the Threat of Global Climate Change.” White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. April 10, 2013. Accessed April 2015.

20.Trabelsi, Slim and Luca Boasso. “The KPI-Based Reputation Policy Language.” The Fifth International Conference on Sensor Technologies and Applications. 2011. Accessed April 13, 2015.

21.Diamandis, Peter. “Solar Energy Revolution: A Massive Opportunity.” Forbes. September 2, 2014. Accessed April 2015.

22.Tamarkin, Tom. “The Green Mirage: Review of Forbes On-line Magazine Article ‘Solar Energy Revolution: A Massive Opportunity’.” EnergyCite. September 2014. Updated April 2015. Accessed April 2015.

23.“2050 Projected Energy Supply and Demand Study.” EnergyCite. April 9, 2010. Accessed April 2015.

24.Koningstein, Ross & David Fork. “What It Would Really Take to Reverse Climate Change: Today’s renewable energy technologies won’t save us. So what will?” IEEE Spectrum. November 18, 2014. Accessed April 2015.

25.Perez, Sarah. “Google Gives Up On Green Tech Investment Initiative RE<C.” Tech Crunch. November 23, 2011. Accessed April 2015.

26.“RE<C Initiative.” Accessed April 2015.

27.Patzek, Tad. “Thermodynamics of the Corn-Ethanol Biofuel Cycle.” Critical Reviews in Plant Sciences, 23(6):519-567. 2004. Updated July 22, 2006. Accessed April 2015.

28.Lawson, Barrie. “An examination of the economics and practicality of grid scale solar power.” EnergyCite. January 2015. Accessed April 2015.

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Tom D. Tamarkin, principal contact
5545 El Camino Avenue
Carmichael, California 95608
916-482-2000, ext. 142