World’s First Truly Renewable Energy Nation: Tokelau

Tokelau, a small group of Pacific atolls off the coast of New Zealand.
Tokelau, a small group of Pacific atolls off the coast of New Zealand.

Tokelau, a small group of Pacific atolls off the coast of New Zealand, is well on its way to becoming the world’s first truly renewable nation. Housing 1,400 people, the island is currently dependent on diesel fuel generators, burning 200 litres of gas daily. However, the residents hope to shed this wasteful habit by October of this year using solar energy. Surprisingly enough, the new solar panels are expected to supply 150% of their current energy needs, and will supply power for 15-18 hours.

Powersmart Solar, a lead contractor that builds and installs solar power generators, is building the island’s 4032 solar panels, 392 inverters and 1344 batteries. Concern over the rising costs of shipping diesel fuel to distant island nations, as well as the environmental impact involved with shipping and consuming the fuel, spurred the islands’ change towards solar energy. With many other neighboring islands facing the same problem when it comes to diesel fuel, Tokelau might be just the first of many Pacific Island nations to make the change.

Especially for solar energy generators, it certainly helps that Tokelau is a sunny island nation situated near the equator. However, these conditions also present themselves with plenty of challenges for Powersmart Solar’s team. Far from mainland New Zealand, Tokelau’s solar panels must be able to independently withstand hot temperatures, heavy rains, and gale-force winds. It must also have a reliable back-up system that allows for smooth power levels throughout the grid. It’s certainly not easy! However, despite a few delays in their first site in the Fakaofo atoll, Powersmart Solar’s team is optimistic that they will be able to finish by the October deadline.

Funding from outside companies, as well as a $7 million advance from New Zealand, has helped change the way Pacific Islanders view energy. This change in mindset may be just the right push to influence more continental nations to pursue similar goals, especially in light of the recent increase in extreme weather warnings.

This total reliance on solar energy may well catch India’s ear. Recently, India suffered a massive blackout that left over half a billion people in the dark. Many observers blame India’s reliance on coal and its outdated energy infrastructure for the disaster. This reliance couples cruelly with the recent droughts brought on by rising global temperatures; with their rivers drying out, their hydroelectric plants proved futile in supporting the electricity grid during peak hours.

Global powers need to consider the actions of even smallest of island nations. Less reliant on funding from wealthy oil and gas companies, the people of Tokelau wholly agreed that the best way to power their homes – and be kind to their environment – was to switch to renewable energy. Let us hope we learn these lessons before it is too late.

Comments

what about iceland?

Geothermal and hydropower—provide effectively all of Iceland's electricity and around 80% of the nation's total energy, with most of the remainder consisting of imported oil used in transportation and in the fishing fleet.

Thermal energy

How long will it take for the manufacturing, shipping, etc. to be offset for these solar panels.

To all you who think renewables cant compete, I say when it's 107F and you cant afford your electric bill because the economy has drained you dry you should probably read about solar, wind and geothermal. You can be entirely off the grid, It pays for itself. At some point all nations will have no choice but to discard corp. payoffs.

No one says renewables can't compete...they just can't compete yet.

Two answers; renewables can't compete in the market, it can compete in the open source arena.

One of the reasons I'm working on my opensourcetechnology.net website.

The transition is a multifaceted process, with many different approaches working in tandem.

Most important though; education.

Do you think that competition will create the best products?

Nope, not in the slightest. Cooperation works better than competition. That's why I'm talking open source.

Competition for what? Money? What competition around you do you see a value other then cash being aimed at? Walmart. Spend less save more. Spend less making crap and save more money by making crap and the company gets richer and your product may last a year before you either return it or throw it away. Volumes more resources are used to replace crappy material and goods then it if you made it to last with sustainable products. The Ford concept.. Built Ram Strong and made to last.. You choose.

Do you think that competition will create the best products?

Competition never creates 'the best products'.
It only creates products that can compete in a monetary environment (capability-wise, they will be close to each other).
But from a technological point of view, those products will not be anywhere near of what we are actually capable of creating.
Industries use 'cheap' (or cost effective) materials and means of production.
They don't use the BEST possible (synthetic) materials, nor do they create products that can be upgraded or have the highest possible efficiency we are capable of making.

The best computer analogy in that regard would be the following:
We had the capacity of using synthetic diamonds in computers since at least 1997 (1995/1996 being the timeframe they were made in chip like form applicable for electronics, better in purity and virtually indistinguishable from 'real' gems).
If they were used wherever possible in say 'hybrid form', by the year 2000, computers of that time would be by orders of magnitude, faster, more powerful, wouldn't need active cooling (due to diamond inherent thermal properties) and they would consume 1 tenth of power compared to current computers.

Competition works in an environment where money rules because it creates an illusion of 'progress' through constant revisions of outdated technology (I say revisions, because the technology is basically an improved rehash of what came before but nothing 'truly' innovative or revolutionary).

How do we go about being more cooperative? How do those involved get compensated?

Why does there have to be a 'compensation' of any kind involved?
Money and/or rewards are NOT motivations for technological progress (which requires creative/critical thinking and problem solving).
Einstein, Da Vinci and Tesla (to name a few) were not motivated by money, nor was anyone 'dangling' any 'rewards' in front of their faces.

So in that context, we create an environment where people are first and foremost exposed to RELEVANT general education, and are much more conscious of what is happening in the world.
We encourage cooperative behavior by creating such an environment.

A lot of scientists and researchers, not to mention artists are working in their areas because they WANT to.
A creative mind is actually HINDERED with monetary incentive (that much was already supported by scientific evidence and Daniel Pink who spoke at TED about motivation).
By contrast, there are also plenty of people who also enjoy working in the service industry (waiters, bartenders, etc.).

People are already coming out of their infancy by learning more and more that money is nothing more than a nauseating obstacle towards gaining access to anything.

You have more than enough people who work at home on numerous projects (many of which can be considered 'complex') for the mere fun of it.
Create that type of an environment and you will essentially see a literal explosion of technological development on a constant basis.

Very well put

One big compensation for mankind is being here another two hundred years rather then dying off in an extinctional pulse of our own making. We have built in obsolescence in everything we make creating waste and pollution and destruction of much life and draining our resources. In so doing we put an expiration date on mankind. Reversing this deadly game has a tangible reward. Getting to live and enjoy that life with a long and prosperous future ahead of us.

you sound very misinformed

It's difficult to tell who that comment was for...please be more specific.

So long as we have a capitalist society education, resources and mobility will always benefit top players. The army of busy bee's work and buy the product of the shop keeper that in turn pays the corporate well to do's. In short your delusion is that you have a choice. Spend 75% of your life working your arse off for a wage while someone else lives the best life possible. You just go to work day in and day out. And don't get sick, don't lose that job, Because then your life comes to an end. You have no other purpose in your life in this system other then to slave.

It cannot compete? Actually it can. Big oil frustrates it and has partners in the market to sabotage its marketability. Deliberately downing it's profit margin to kill companies that mass produce it. Soylindra was not a failure it was a victim of Market manipulation with Chinese solar power. Big oil had a lot to do with that given their GOP Backers.

If no one gets compensated for the work they do, other than a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction that the world won't end, then how do those who volunteer their services make a living? Also, who is going to pay for such and endeavor?

Graham
A resource based economy is an economic system where money does NOT exist in any shape or form.
Distribution of goods, services and resources is completely free without compensation, monetary exchange, or trade.

The point is in using technology we have to the maximum and automate everything (which can be done).
Today we can already automate over 75% of the global workforce with the technology we have... but 100% is doable because we have the ability to design automation for jobs that hadn't been automated yet.
Its already been done on a smaller scale... it simply needs scaling to a global level.

In this resource based economy, does everyone get the same stuff? How does food, water, shelter and clothing get allocated?

We don't all get the 'same' stuff.
Admittedly, the underlying hardware (think of what's 'under the hood') is basically the same, but designs, programs, etc. would be different just as its different now.
However, the hardware will be the same in the context that it will be made from the best possible synthetic materials we can make in abundance (and we have plenty to choose from)with the best efficiency possible (all of which would be in line with our latest scientific knowledge) which would also result in technology light years ahead of anything we currently have (mind you we are already capable of this, but due to profit based system, we don't do it because its deemed 'cost prohibitive' which means its more than doable from a resource/technology point of view, merely expensive from a $$$ or monetary view).

As for distribution of clean air, water, edible/nutritious food, clothing, housing, electricity, etc (basic necessities of life)...
I would imagine we would first want to provide those to people currently starving or dying of starvation (or those who severely lack in having them).
We first ship the necessary food, water, etc. to those who need it and stop people turning into dust in front of our eyes, then also build necessary facilities for organic food production which can be self-sustaining in those areas (and upgrading at the same time in more developed countries to do the same).

Mind you we are already producing enough food to feed 10 billion annually (and have been doing so for over 30 years) using outdated agricultural methods (whereas we can use superior methods such as hydroponics, aquaponics and aeroponics without using soil, chemicals, pesticides or gmo in fully automated vertical farms that would grow food up to 5x faster if we use omega gardens and it would inevitably use 75% less water).

Water can be extracted from the atmosphere using atmospheric water generators - or desalinated from the sea (technologies that existed for a LONG time).

Are there any examples from any societies that suggests that this type of economic model will work?

What would have to be done about trade agreements, boarders, copyrights, patents, etc?

Patents, borders, trade agreements, copyrights, etc. would effectively cease to exist.
Because the resource based economy would be based on open-source methodology.

Patents stem from private ownership and monetary based economics - trade is similar because today it is based on monetary exchange compared to actual sharing and sustainability.

A resource based economy would be a system based on access and user-ship.

Seeing how we have the ability to produce abundance in ALL human needs several times over for every person on the planet (along with about 90% of wants), there would be 0 requirement to return to 'trading' for exchange.
Everything, or at least practically everything would be automated (majority of the production industry already is).

This kind of economic model is new... but its not a utopia or perfection.
In order for it to work however, people need to be first and foremost exposed to relevant general education - and they would have to make the choice to transition to this kind of economy (which is doable).
A great deal of the global population in developed nations realize the world needs a change.
But one cannot force this type of change on people- because if you do, then you will basically pervert it into something its not and it will be met with severe resistance.
Encouraging people to think in a critical capacity and exposing them to the realities of what humanity was capable of from a resource/technological point of view a century ago, and moreso, today.

Are all good ideas or inventions then used for the greater good? Are all ideas and inventions public property, for lack of a better term?

I'm not sure if I asked this or not, it is difficult to review my comments on the reply section...does everyone get the same stuff?

Do they get the same amount of food, or gas, or same size house, etc.?

If they do not get the same "stuff", how then and who will manage the distribution of products?

The point is not in who gets the bigger house and whatnot.
One has to look at things from a sustainability point of view.
Do you really need a big whooping house with 50 spare rooms if you will just be using it yourself?
Hardly.
For that matter... if you get a 50 story hotel all to yourself... where the heck does it end?
Shall we say that one should get an entire continent?
For what?
you can only occupy or use an absurdly small amount of space or thing at any given time.

As for production... since its fully automated, people would get things according to their needs and uses.

so... we all have basic human needs: clean, air, clean water, edible/nutritious food, clothing, energy, housing, transport, access to relevant education, and of course basic amenities that come with households (the best of what technology has to offer however - not the pitiful toy-like stuff we make today).

We make sure these are there for every person on the planet.
That no one has to worry about basic necessities ever again (that is pretty easy to do these days).

As for wants... how do you determine what you want... well, probably it will have a lot to do with the culture you grow up in.

There is no reason to think people cannot have/use 'the latest and the greatest'.
Sure we can... but not everyone will want to.
In regards to electronics... if a new product is developed that is technologically better in every respect compared to the one you had before, then you will be able to put yours up for recycling (which will be harvested for materials) and you will just take the new one.
Why would you want to pile up stuff in your home just so it will take up space?
I mean, no one will prohibit you from doing so, but A LOT of people have their houses filled with stuff they don't use and are just gathering dust and whatnot.
They can opt to use these things for recycling so we can harvest their materials and for example provide something useful to each other.

But... at the same time, we can make technology which can be upgraded and is made to last for a VERY LONG time (over a lifetime) and easily recycleable (this can be extended to everything if we use superior synthetic materials which can be made in abundance).

Over 90% of wants can be met on-demand with proper implementation of technology.

The reason technology is not used for betterment of people is because we live in a system that doesn't allow it - therefore, we need to change the underlying system and a way of thinking.

Ok, so who then determines who gets what?

Is there a standard size house for a family of two parents and three children?

Nobody determines anything.
A resource based economy is a system where governments and people in positions of power simply don't exist.

And no... this (again) isn't 'utopia', 'anarchy' or whatnot.

You might recall I mentioned educating the general population with relevant general education (not industrialized academic education).

By doing so, you expose people to information that matters - such as all subjects relating to man (especially our actual technological abilities). This will result in people being much less prone to manipulation or taken advantage of by others. By also encouraging critical thinking plus the application of the scientific method in everyday life (arriving at decisions by examining the issue and looking up relevant information that would help solve it, as opposed to 'making' them by using personal bias and lack of information) and finally being problem solvers - humans gain the ability to govern themselves (ergo, the 'requirement' of governments falls apart - and actually, many such people today are HINDERED by governments and the present socio-economic system).

As for the sizes of the house...
Relevant general education would cover sustainability (and modular options so that potential things could be added to the existing design in the future should the need arise).
Depending on the size of the family, a suitable house (or numerous options to pick from) would be presented by the computer. The family will also be able to design their own home.
I would imagine that we wouldn't be packing a 4 member family into a tiny home.
Rather, parents would probably want their own roomy room, comfortable bed, and children would get their own rooms, each of which would be designed to change as the child grows older to accommodate their needs (you cannot have a toilet designed for grown-ups being used by kids that are effectively too small to sit on it properly).

I would suggest you go to youtube and watch Jacque Fresco's presentations on the subject.
you could visit www.thevenusproject.com as well and look into FAQ section which answers many of the questions you might have (it would take rather lengthy amount of time to explain it all properly, and I wouldn't want to overtake this area with that).

I enjoy your comments much more than the Venus Project's website!

Do you think that mankind is not capable of self government?

What computer are you referring to that picks the size of your house?

In regards to self-governing... I mentioned that the 'need/requirement' for governments and humans in positions of power (of any kind in any shape/form) would most likely fall apart with relevant general education of the general population.
Politics and governments don't build societies - that much has been down to people with necessary problem-solving skills such as engineers.
We might have created politics to ease certain decision-making, but it turned into a power-grabbing fetish mixed with lies/deception/corruption and everlasting perpetuation of the status quo.
Change never came from those in positions of power, but rather people such as ourselves (the 'ordinary' folk).

Politics and governments throughout history have made incremental changes that basically 'patched up' existing systems (to a degree) but failed to resolve the underlying cause of those issues - in essence, they are doing exactly the same things pharmaceutical companies are doing (treating the symptoms, but not the cause) - the system then became bloated with various organizations, rules, regulations and bureaucracy which effectively complicate and slow down the process of implementing groundbreaking changes that would be beneficial to everyone (with monetary value/exchange adding to the core issue).

As for the computer that could/would be used.
Although current computers can pull what I'm suggesting with relative ease, we wouldn't be using computers we have right now seeing how they are pitiful compared to what we can actually do.
Carbon nanotubes were applicable in electronics since the early 1990's... synthetic diamonds were patented for creation of semiconductors and electronic application along with methods of production in 1996.
Meaning that computers by the year 2000 could have been orders of magnitude much more powerful/efficient and made in paper-thin form compared to computers of today (this is not fiction - its a realistic expectation of a material that is inherently superior to silicon in every conceivable way - of which scientist were well aware of back in the day).

But, since we currently live in a system designed to maximize profits, there isn't an underlying interest in using superior materials (even though they can be produced in abundance) because right now they are deemed 'cost prohibitive' by the economy (or should I say, their price is arbitrarily determined by those who 'sell' such materials in the first place)

We have had the ability for holographic projection for some time now.
Presenting people with millions of design options would be relatively simple - it would be like picking and mixin/mashing various templates, or you could specify what you would like and see how it looks in holographic form.
Once you have finalized the selection, the design would be transferred over to a self-assembled 3d contour crafting robot, and a house can be made (with pluming and electrical systems in less than 24 hours - this technology was featured back in 2007, but 3d printing by itself is just about 30 years old technology - which means we could have used it extensively back in the 1990-ies at the very least).

Right now humanity uses new technologies when the market deems them 'cost effective' (cheap) and profitable, ignoring the premise we have the ability to produce superior materials (which would result in light-years more advanced technology) in abundance and that we can automate the process to such a degree that would eliminate majority of the workforce.

Many governments would 'dread' this type of change.
Most would see it as science fiction instead of reality (because they were never exposed to such ways of thinking).
Our real level of technological capabilities would probably scare a lot of people because most are stuck with a mentality that is about a century out of date (in some cases, more).

Thanks again Deksman...

I suppose one last question I would have is regarding "voluntary steralization".

The project speaks over and over again about how we already have the ability to feed the whole world and then some, but then proposes voluntary steralization as one of its main tenants.

In my opinion, the idea and semantics of it all is pretty close to euginics.

Your thoughts?

Graham

The Venus project and the Zeitgeist movement, as far as I know, do NOT advocate eugenics.

What they do mention is that the fertility rates of developed countries (in which people received proper education, have higher equality, access to proper medical care and security in terms of needs) is lower.
Poorer countries and people with lack of education, not to mention stability, lack of access to proper medical care and inability to access needs have much higher fertility rates (to 'ensure' survival).

By contrast, you can give each person on the planet one acre of land and the whole population would fit inside the state of Texas like that (with the rest of the planet being void of human activity).

I don't know where you read it, or who might have told you so, but eugenics are not something TVP advocates.
And even if voluntary sterilization was mentioned (it might have been), Jacque Fresco might have mentioned it in a capacity where people would be able to make a private choice to undergo the procedure or not.
I mean, vasectomy does the same for men - so basically, people would probably be able to make a personal decision on whether or not to to have the ability to reproduce at any point in their lives in order to avoid potential 'unwanted pregnancies' etc.
Right now, such procedures can be costly.
In RBE, it would be done completely free (seeing how money wouldn't exist).
But no one would force people/individuals to do undergo such a procedure and it would be reversible (for both men and women).

The closest that might come to 'eugenics' is the utilization of technology to enhance existing abilities.
As for genetics... and the potential for 'abuse' - we are talking about a society where EVERYONE was exposed to relevant general education.
Competition is discouraged, instead, cooperation is encouraged.
Why would there be a requirement for genetic enhancements in society where everyone would help each other and competition is limited to potential friendly games?
Unless of course we are talking about life extension abilities, or superior regeneration rates and much more adaptive/powerful immune systems.

Again, such things would be voluntary and accessible to everyone (not just the selected few).
We are talking about a system of access and usership not ownership and private property.
Fundamentally different perceptions and way of thinking emerges in such a society.
You cannot project existing notions on such a system because it would not be applicable.

The Venus project and the Zeitgeist movement, as far as I know, do NOT advocate eugenics.

What they do mention is that the fertility rates of developed countries (in which people received proper education, have higher equality, access to proper medical care and security in terms of needs) is lower.
Poorer countries and people with lack of education, not to mention stability, lack of access to proper medical care and inability to access needs have much higher fertility rates (to 'ensure' survival).

By contrast, you can give each person on the planet one acre of land and the whole population would fit inside the state of Texas like that (with the rest of the planet being void of human activity).

I don't know where you read it, or who might have told you so, but eugenics are not something TVP advocates.
And even if voluntary sterilization was mentioned (it might have been), Jacque Fresco might have mentioned it in a capacity where people would be able to make a private choice to undergo the procedure or not.
I mean, vasectomy does the same for men - so basically, people would probably be able to make a personal decision on whether or not to to have the ability to reproduce at any point in their lives in order to avoid potential 'unwanted pregnancies' etc.
Right now, such procedures can be costly.
In RBE, it would be done completely free (seeing how money wouldn't exist).
But no one would force people/individuals to do undergo such a procedure and it would be reversible (for both men and women).

The closest that might come to 'eugenics' is the utilization of technology to enhance existing abilities.
As for genetics... and the potential for 'abuse' - we are talking about a society where EVERYONE was exposed to relevant general education.
Competition is discouraged, instead, cooperation is encouraged.
Why would there be a requirement for genetic enhancements in society where everyone would help each other and competition is limited to potential friendly games?
Unless of course we are talking about life extension abilities, or superior regeneration rates and much more adaptive/powerful immune systems.

Again, such things would be voluntary and accessible to everyone (not just the selected few).
We are talking about a system of access and usership not ownership and private property.
Fundamentally different perceptions and way of thinking emerges in such a society.
You cannot project existing notions on such a system because it would not be applicable.

Directly from the website, there are 18 Aims and Goals of The Venus Project.

"This new experimental research city would be devoted to working towards the aims and goals of The Venus Project, which are..."

"#4 Assisting in stabilizing the world’s population through education and voluntary birth control."

This is in the top five of eighteen of The Venus Project's Aims and Proposals. This is a fundamental aspect of the research city.

What I don't understand is the confidence you have that you can care for the entire world with the technology we have available today, yet do not have the confidence to encourage the act of multiplying; in fact you will discourage it.

In this resource based economy, wouldn't the new ideas and opinions of everyone been benificial? Why then limit the population to a size you feel appropriate?

What is, by the way, the appropriate size of the worlds population?

What The Venus Project and The Zeitgeist movement mention is that the fertility rates of developed countries (in which people received proper education, have higher equality, access to proper medical care and security in terms of needs) is lower.
Poorer countries and people with lack of education, not to mention stability, lack of access to proper medical care and inability to access needs have much higher fertility rates (to 'ensure' survival).

By contrast, you can give each person on the planet one acre of land and the whole population would fit inside the state of Texas like that (with the rest of the planet being void of human activity).
And humanity has been producing enough food to feed 10 billion annually for just over 30 years (using inefficient/outdated/toxic methods no less).

If voluntary sterilization was mentioned (it might have been though I don't remember ALL of the classes from Fresco), Jacque Fresco might have mentioned it in a capacity where people would be able to make a private choice to undergo the procedure or not.
I mean, vasectomy does the same for men - so basically, everyone would be able to make a personal decision on whether or not to to have the ability to reproduce at any point in their lives in order to avoid potential 'unwanted pregnancies', etc.
Right now, such procedures can be costly.
In RBE, it would be done completely free (seeing how money wouldn't exist).
But no one would force people/individuals to do undergo such a procedure and it would be reversible (for both men and women).

The closest that might come to 'eugenics' is the utilization of technology to enhance existing abilities.
As for genetics... and the potential for 'abuse' - we are talking about a society where EVERYONE was exposed to relevant general education.
Competition is discouraged, instead, cooperation is the dominant/driving force of Humanity.
Why would there be a requirement for genetic enhancements in society where everyone would help each other and competition is limited to potential friendly games?
Unless of course we are talking about life extension abilities, or superior regeneration rates and much more adaptive/powerful immune systems.
Again, such things would be voluntary and accessible to everyone (not just the selected few).
We are talking about a system of access abundance and usership not ownership and private property that wallow in artificially induced scarcity for the pursuit of profits (like its done now).
Fundamentally different perceptions and way of thinking emerges in such a society.
You cannot project existing notions on such a system because it would not be applicable.

considering the current state of the planet don't you think we should learn to cope with the power that renewables can supply rather than carry on the way we are and wait for the renewables to catch up!!

No, our society couldn't operate for ten minutes with the power available from "renewables". Alternative sources of energy have had billions of dollars thrown at them and there isn't much to show for the effort.

I am so glad and excited to see kind of news that shows the beginning of a new development. Most of all, this is not a utopia or a dream! This is the requirement of world nature, the human mind. Good luck people who contribute!

[quote]
Directly from the website, there are 18 Aims and Goals of The Venus Project.
"This new experimental research city would be devoted to working towards the aims and goals of The Venus Project, which are..."
"#4 Assisting in stabilizing the world’s population through education and voluntary birth control."
This is in the top five of eighteen of The Venus Project's Aims and Proposals. This is a fundamental aspect of the research city.
What I don't understand is the confidence you have that you can care for the entire world with the technology we have available today, yet do not have the confidence to encourage the act of multiplying; in fact you will discourage it.
In this resource based economy, wouldn't the new ideas and opinions of everyone been benificial? Why then limit the population to a size you feel appropriate?
What is, by the way, the appropriate size of the worlds population?
[/quote]

Well, lets see:
The experimental city would be able to support a population of certain size - also, we are talking about a time-frame before RBE kicks in.
This implies that in order to initially build the city, it will have to be done using money (albeit it will be used as a template for future cities that can be constructed during the transition period and once RBE sets in).
Land will be of specific size relative to the size of the city, and the population would have to be of the size that would be sustainable for that particular city (seeing how the city would be designed to produce enough goods/services to accommodate a specific population) - at least in the beginning.
The city itself would be designed with the ability to expand/grow and accommodate larger populations.

Voluntary birth control would probably be utilized in a capacity that prevents unwanted pregnancies (for those who don't want them but say want to have sex on a regular basis) or possible overcrowding of the city in the beginning (space-wise), therefore, individuals would be exposed to this information beforehand (and both men/women will probably have safe medical options that can be reverted at any time that would temporarily inhibit their reproductive abilities - without affecting sexual performance/pleasure, expulsion of fluids, etc. - women will probably have an equivalent of the pill for birth control, just this could be done in a medical procedure that puts the egg production on halt for a certain amount of time, and men might have an equivalent of vasectomy, or just making their sperm unable to impregnate females for a temporary period).
Also keep in mind that we already have options for life-extension - therefore, having children anytime soon would hardly be necessary (speaking strictly for myself, I don't want children at all) seeing how individuals in countries where they were exposed to proper education, have stability, access to medical care, etc. don't really start up families early on and take their time by doing other things.

As for discouraging multiplication of the population.
First, we'd have to conduct a survey to see just what exactly is the carrying capacity of Earth (and any given area), how many/what kind of resources we have in various locations (especially those where populated cities would be), etc.
This information will be available to everyone.
I don't think procreation will be discouraged really - its just that people won't see the need in doing so anytime soon given the sustainability that can be achieved, the things a person can do (huge possibilities), life extension, etc.
Having said that, Earth is hardly overcrowded and can support a much larger population - its just our footprint is extremely large and wasteful because people apparently fail to realize we can have ample amount of space for ourselves, while reducing our overall footprint on the planet by orders of magnitude (for example, growing organic food in fully automated vertical farms and eliminating agriculture for the most part, restoring that land back to its original/natural form).

Look at the fertility rates today: educated countries are below the replacement line.
This wouldn't be different for those living in the experimental city or later on in RBE - so don't look into the subject of 'voluntary sterilization' or voluntary birth control' too much or project things that might be twisting the meaning of the terms.

As everyone's needs would be met in abundance (not to mention wants), people would have free/unrestricted access to proper medical care that is safe, security in their lives, etc, the desire for 'settling down' would simply be pushed to a much later dater - that's all.

Our population in RBE globally speaking might even fall to less than 7 billion at some point... but this wouldn't be done forcibly or by 'programming' people to do that.
The population would decrease on its own due to exposure to education, etc.

Sustainability and ensuring everyone are provided for and switching to extreme levels of automation and newest technologies available to us (accessible to EVERYONE) would be our first priority.
Then we can worry about population rates - but its hardly anything sinister or dangerous for the future survival of Humanity.

Heck... many of us who are alive now will be able to live for a VERY long time (orders of magnitude more) either via life-extension technologies - or other methods (technology is hardly the only way - regular exercise, reduced diet and meditation [especially meditation - which would depend on what you use it] can probably easily extend ones life expectancy to levels previously unheard of.

Thank you Deksman.

You're welcome Graham.

I realize certain points may not be clear cut... but with some explanation it becomes clearer.
Of course, no one said that RBE is 'perfect' - far from it - its just a heck of a lot better than what we've been living in for a long time now.

The sun doesn't shine for 15-18 hours per day! So they bought 1344 batteries. Now every 2-3 years they'll have replace the old batteries with new ones! I hope that Powersmart Solar told them this! That means Tokelau is on the hook for $403,200 worth of battery purchases every 2-3 years! Good luck with that bill ... no free lunch!

On renewable power generation:

1. Space based solar power - launching orbital solar collectors into orbit that would have approximately 22x higher energy hitting them... which can then be wirelessly transferred to us on Earth safe, without any losses or damage to ourselves or the environment : this was possible since 1970-ies.

2. Geothermal - first geothermal power plant came into operation in 1911. Tapping into just 1% of Earth's Geothermal potential would result in enough power/heat for the next 4000 years. The necessary materials were available on landfills since the late 19th century (no need for new resource extraction from the Earth) and the globe could have transitioned to Geothermal by 1929.

3. With currently available commercial Solar cell technology, it would take less than 1% of Earth's land mass to meet the necessary power requirements that are projected for the year 2050 - tying this into point number 1, in RBE, solar technology would not be made from 'cheap' materials, but rather, superior synthetic materials that we have the capacity to produce in abundance using state of the art methods of production and latest science, which would result in technology that's extremely advanced (a quantum jump if you will). - However... point being, that even currently available commercial renewables are more than enough to meet our demands.

4. Generating power from powerplants is not strictly needed anymore. Today we already have synthetic metamaterials that utilize carbon nanotubes capable of producing power, heat, light, etc. on-demand.

5. Combination of wind, wave, tidal, pizoelectric, etc. would result in ridiculous energy surplus that we wouldn't even know what to do with (all of which was possible decades ago).

Renewables can definitely provide more than enough in their 'commercial' form as they are... while in RBE, they would be made with superior synthetic materials, state of the art methods of production and latest science to achieve maximum technological efficiency in a sustainable capacity - which would result in quantum jump more advanced technology (probably even beyond that).