GEP for Super Green Farming with 100% Renewable Energy

Based on my original post and the ongoing discussion I am formulating a GEP for Super Green Farming with 100% Renewable Energy.

Uptime Requirements
Since renewable energy is not available 100% of the time, lower uptime requirements are needed for 100% green farming. Based on my analysis the following uptimes could be realistically achieved:

  • 90% Uptime using a combination of wind & solar power, or a combination of wind & backup batteries

Optional: Since wind power availability can fluctuate greatly for different months of the year, it could be considered to have uptime requirements be calculated on a yearly basis, instead of monthly basis. This way more windy months could potentially compensate for less windy months.

Minting Rewards
In order to incentivise farmers to use renewables to power their 3Nodes, minting rewards should be higher than for conventional farmers. This way the grid will eventually become more sustainable itself, as more farmers go green. I propose the following minting rewards:

  • 125% for super green farmers on DIY hardware
  • 150% for super green farmers on certified hardware

Suitable Workloads
Lower uptime requirements mean that those green servers are not very practical for use cases that require more or less constant availability (eg. hosting a website or running a gaming server). Instead I can imagine that those 3Nodes flagged as Super Green could be constrained to accept only certain workloads, including but not limited to:

  • Backup & Archiving
  • 2D/3D Rendering
  • Machine Learning
  • Other less time sensitive high performance computing tasks

Bandwidth Requirements
Without a constant uptime, and considering the suitable workloads, it may be necessary to send and receive larger amounts of data from and to the 3Nodes and in a higher frequency than usual. Therefore it may be beneficial to set higher bandwidth requirements for super green farmers. My proposal would be to:

  • Increase bandwidth requirements by 25% compared to conventional 3Nodes

Use of cheap Excess Energy
Many times of the year (when it is very windy) more energy is being produced than the electricity grids can handle. Huge amounts of energy are being wasted this way. If super green nodes were able to let the grid know, that they currently have plenty of excess energy available, certain less time sensitive but power hungry workloads could be started. This would improve the grid both in an economical and a sustainable way.

Smart Contracts for IT
By using smart contracts on the TF Grid we could potentially make this entire thing even greater and more efficient. When a workload definition is sent out by a capacity consumer (user) the following things could optionally be specified:

  • super_green: deploy workload on super green node(s)
  • deadline: The grid will make sure that the task at hand will be completed by then (eg. rendering a 3D scene). Super green nodes (if available) can be preferred for being assigned the workload. If no super green nodes are available, conventional nodes may be used. If no deadline is specified, workload will not run until super green nodes are ready to process.
  • only_excess_energy: If somebody wants to be as sustainable as possible, he or she could let the workload run only on excess energy that would have been wasted otherwise (may take a while until workload is handled).

contract = {
version: contractVersion,
contract_id: contractID
…
super_green: true, //run workload on super green nodes
deadline: “TimeStampOfDeadLine”, // workload must finish by this time,
only_excess_energy: false // if true, workload will only run on excess energy
}

All of this could be further enhanced by providing predictions about power availability of our 3Nodes to the TF grid. We are able to predict (to a certain degree) what our power production in the near future will be. This data could be valuable for the grid to decide how and when to run workloads or move them over to a different location (in case a power drop is expected soon). In the future it may also be thinkable to provide energy prices of our nodes to the grid. On the german energy exchange the price per kWh changes every hour, so it may be beneficial for users (and the environment) to have their workloads run when energy prices are lower (by giving them as small discount on their used capacity).

Proof of origin of electricity
In order to prevent farmers using conventional energy to power their super green nodes, and thus cheat the system, a proof of origin of electricity for super green farmers shall be required. As a green energy company we have all the necessary electric meters for this already in place. If required, a certified public accountant can confirm this for any farms joining the grid in the future.

VOTING

  • OK with GEP for 100% Super Green Farming
  • Not OK

0 voters

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Will a hybrid solar (Grid tied with battery backup) system qualify for this?

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In my opinion anything that can be proven to be 100% renewable should qualify.

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I think it could be ok only when we combine regular electricity with renewalble energy. Because of its reliability that we need to get as good as it’s possible

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Providing reliable renewable energy to reach the minimum availability of 90% will be the responsibility of the farmers. Anyone that is not able to do so can participate as a regular farmer.

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I think the direction of information should follow the direction of energy, meaning that the grid decides when to run and when not.

A nice map for that: https://app.electricitymap.org/map
Note that even 100% renewable does not mean 0 CO2.

From the IT perspective, running on these workloads should be cheaper, because you need to wait for your computation to run.

I think anyone should be incentivized to run on green power, as well as non aircon cooling and heat re-use!

Combining this would give 2 tiers:

  1. Planned green workload. Cheaper, but maybe running on a different point in time & Location
  2. Always green workload. Little bit more expensive, but backed by renewable power certificates, a PUE <1.2 certificate and ERF >50% ?

In case 1, the difference should come from TFT in general, and in 2 a part of the extra revenue needs to go to the farmer…

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I agree that for maximum efficiency, the TF grid should potentially be able to decide itself when to run a specific workload (respecting the workload definition, including deadline etc). In order to do so there must be some way to let the grid know about a specific nodes power availability (predicted & live), excess energy or maybe even kWh prices.

And yes. Giving users a discount when they run their workloads in the most efficient way could also be a good incentive.

Non aircon cooling and heat reuse are definitely not a bad idea (heat reuse is something we are currently exploring in a different context). Having strict requirements on PUE and ERF is something that could be realised independent of the source of energy. I think that would exceed the scope of this proposal. Maybe for another future GEP?

On the other hand, I’m not sure how much green energy cloud space is on the market, if this is somewhat unique, I would expect a lot of demand for it.

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So far, I haven’t experienced that… more than welcome though :stuck_out_tongue:

Sorry, With Grid you mean TFT grid.

I mean that you can see the availability of (green) energy on the energy market.
If we really want to differentiate, than you should focus on actual CO2 impact. All the datacenters and cloud providers are already using CoO’s (and you could price that in for the “normal green farming”?)

When you are talking about actual CO2 impact, it comes down to the location (electricitymap), PUE, WUE, ERF and scope 3 emissions.

  • Scope 3 is really difficult to measure
  • PUE: every Datacenter reports that. If you are running at home, difficult to determine if you have an AC running
  • WUE: only in Datacenters, they also should report that.
  • ERF: what are you doing with the waste heat. Any datacenter working on that will report that.

All in all quite a complex equation. A proposition of “green farming” based on CoO’s sounds a lot easier…

We’re planning to use exclusively 100% renewable wind and solar power from our own production.
I don’t think there is much room to become more green than that (except using less energy overall).
Of course running completely without backup batteries would be even greener, but then there is no way to reach 90% availability consistently.

Optimizing PUE, WUE or ERF are great, but IMO these should not be tied to the source of energy that is used. One could even argue, that those things are less important overall when using green energy (compared to energy mix, or exclusively carbon based energy).

We are already producing heat (warm water) for 35 houses in a small village in north east Germany using mostly excess wind energy. For more info on this project click here.
In a future project this could become even more efficient when we heat up our water reservoir with waste heat from a (ThreeFold) server farm, instead using solely heating rods (which convert electricity to heat without any further productive use case).

Anyway, if a future GEP includes those aspects you brought up I will be glad to support it!

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First allow me to express my enthusiasm for using greener sources of energy for farming, this indeed is important and we need to find ways how to do this.

I believe we carefully need to think though, current proposal might have some downsides. The current suggested green farming model would only be active for e.g. 90% of the time but have same reward as for gold certified farming which is all about making uptime as high as we can e.g. 2 network feeds, 2 power supplies, more reliable datacenters, …

While I do like the proposal i’ve personally voted against because I believe we need more research, maybe brainstorming more about this on farming forum would be good.

ideas

we will have the concept of boosters, which are like extra rewards given for specific situations, being green could be one of those in beginning. Specs for this need to be defined.

we can define custom products which can use environments which are not life all the time.

from a user perspective the workloads need to be cheaper

remarks

If there is more downtime, people will not use the hardware as much, which means there could be a lot of hardware parked in those farms not being used, that is also not the greenest.

If pricing needs to be much cheaper for people having to use this, and the farming reward needs to be higher it might be that the model becomes challenging and not fair in relation to std farming, looks like some more thinking and research needs to be done here.

There could be some smart ways how it could be done, but this will require engineering e.g. battery storage, high power during day, but data still accessible during night… but ofcourse if GPU’s can only be used 8h a day, we don’t use HW effectively

also practically we need to be able to execute

  • for DIY farming we have no way yet how to certify and make sure the requirements are met
  • for Certified Farming we have voting on the TFChain now in 3.6 so this could be done

so what are we voting for, there needs to be something actionable, e.g. vote could be we will allow certain farms to get bigger reward because they will do something around green farming.

But for this we don’t need this GEP because this is already possible, with the current implementation of TFChain 3.6. We can register a farm and ask different reward if community agrees.

e.g. a big farm wants to do green but also invest a certain amount of money (e.g. in form of grant to some developers) to come up with a practical method how to do it and make sure the hardware is used, I am sure the community would vote for such a proposal.

The only change needed is to also have a label called green, in stead of only gold, but thats easy (-:

If the vote here is for something else, please lets make it more concrete.

Hope you don’t mind my comments

Kristof

@kristof. I think creating a label “green” with specific requirements for that label is indeed what this GEP wants to achieve. Let me go back to @jakubprogramming and put a proposal for this label together.

I suggest we accept the vote but for now it means we introduce a green label and the ability for farms to ask for a specific reward which then needs to be accepted by the community on the TFChain.

It does not mean a default 1.5x more reward, every farm needs to ask for custom reward, it’s the same for gold farming by the way.

So jus to be clear, the vote does not mean we accept the default reward, because this is not implemented that way. So there is no default 150% or 125% reward, its custom per farm.

If no objections by end of next week, suggest to close it.

Our intention with this GEP is to find a way to be able to use wind and solar power from our own production to supply green electricity to 3Nodes and participate as farmers. Without any further enhancements to the ThreeFold Grid a simple “Green Label” wouldn’t really help too much. That’s why I think additional changes are needed in order to make Green ThreeFold Farming a viable business model.

@weynandkuijpers and I were going to have a discussion about all of this last week, but unfortunately an emergency forced us to cancel last minute. So before we close the discussion on this GEP, please give us the chance to reschedule our meeting and talk about this. I will make sure to update this thread with everything we discussed.

In the meantime I would like to comment on some of the ideas and remarks you have made.
I am glad to hear that you agree that it’s important for ThreeFold to find ways to enable greener sources of energy to be used for ThreeFold farming. As I’ve already explained in detail, the main problem is that uptimes of 95% or higher are not realistically achievable using wind or solar power (unless enormous amounts of batteries are deployed as well). That’s why a lower uptime is needed to be able to exclusively use renewables in an economical way. Though I do see your point that giving the same default rewards (150%) for less uptime and thus possible use cases compared to Gold Certified Farming may not be the best solution.

I suggested to start with 125% rewards by default and only go to 150% for certified hardware.
Those numbers are open for debate and could be lowered. Maybe 125% rewards is the maximum that can be given to green farmers without being unfair to Gold Certified farmers, but that’s what this discussion is for. As I see and understand the ThreeFold project, preserving our planet is one of its core values. That’s why I figured giving higher rewards to green farmers may be a good way to incentivise the community to become more sustainable.

I can imagine that the concept of boosters could be applied in those situations as you suggested. I don’t see any problem in Farms that use physically green energy exclusively having to ask for a custom reward on a case by case basis. They will have to prove that their energy is green anyway so a certain degree of communication is already needed anyway.

Having a “Green Label” is certainly nice, but in the end I think it will only help Farmers that act as their own sales channels (which we are considering). I do think that there a quite a few companies and individuals that, given their workloads do not require constant availability, would even pay premium for 100% renewable capacity on the ThreeFold Grid. Of course others may be inclined to pay less, but I wouldn’t say that green capacity would necessarily have to be sold at lower prices in all cases. A special discount could be given to users running their workloads on excess energy that would otherwise be wasted (happens a lot with wind power).

Defining custom products which can use environments which are not live all the time is pretty much exactly what I had in mind too. There are so many types of workloads that don’t require permanent availability, so limiting Super Green Nodes to accept only suitable workloads would prevent users from deploying things like their web servers on nodes that may only be available 90% of the time. Since hardware is then used only for workloads that can handle lower availability, capacity on those nodes should not get significantly lower utilization. Why would users care if their archiving nodes start backing up at 8 or at 12 o’clock, as long as they know the nodes will be available 90% of the time (which is only 5% less than other DIY nodes). In the end those nodes will still be up and running about 22 out of 24 hours by average each day. If there are too many concerns about underutilized Green Nodes, maybe we could consider giving higher rewards only for nodes with actual utilization.

I hope we will get the chance to have our meeting on this topic soon. As I’ve said I will post an update here afterwards. In the meantime I kindly ask you to wait a bit longer.

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I am fairly new to Threefold farming. I am also mining HNT and most of my deployments are off grid using solar panels and batteries. These deployments are much more expensive and difficult to setup but, on the other side, the ROI is faster because these locations will earn more.

About Threefold, in my opinion, I agree to have a mechanism of rewarding these farms with a multiplier and should be the market to choose if wants to pay more for green energy, but the rewards applied to the miner should have a higher multiplier applied. As an example the deployments on the farms should cost x1.2 and farmer should earn x1.5 for a period of 3 years and x1.4 for 2 years to compensate the investment.

About the energy I would agree with a solution with solar and wind but with batteries as a backup. It is totally doable to have a system with 100% energy uptime if also using batteries.

I am curious how the source of energy would be monitored? Initial certification only? Periodic certifications?

I am also all for using staking as a mechanism of “commitment” with your uptime. I am also a miner of SCPRIME. I provide storage capacity, and I stake to assure that my uptime will be >95%. If , for some reason, can’t provide this uptime I will loose my stake. This may sound worst for farmer but on the other hand is far better for the project itself, because staking makes you run faster to solve issues and invest in your farm, like having spare parts available, batteries (more than you need), etc…

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