Environmental impacts are far reaching, the effects of climate change devastating, and organizations are striving to shape their business in a way that is environmentally sustainable and equipped to thrive in the future.
Ronald van Loon is a Huawei partner, and discussed green solutions at Huawei’s Global Analyst Summit in Shenzhen China, where Huawei highlighted the importance of building a green intelligent world for 2030.
The intelligent world in 2030 will emphasize low carbon living, virtual tourism and classrooms, buildings that consume lower energy, electric and intelligent vehicles, virtual factories, better ways for businesses and people to collaborate in real-time, and more renewable energy solutions will go mainstream.
Huawei released a report called “Green Development 2030” that focuses on how green development will change people’s lives and industries. According to Huawei, “by 2030, we expect 80% of energy to come from renewable sources and energy efficiency to increase 100 times.” Digitization and decarbonization are the two most important factors driving green development. This article discusses in detail how digital infrastructures enhance innovation and act as a driving force for a green, intelligent future.
Carbon emissions come from energy supply and energy consumption and digital technologies will play an important role in reducing and managing carbon emissions. Digital technologies will enhance supply efficiency while promoting the use of renewable energy and maintaining a steady energy supply.
Digitalization, Decarbonization & Green Development
Renewable energy makes up 28.6% of the global electricity supply. This ratio needs to go up to 50% by 2030, and to accomplish this organizations must innovate by integrating digital and power electronics technologies.
As organizations explore the use of technology in their organizations and start to build, deploy, and expand their digital infrastructures, there is a corresponding substantial increase in network capacity and artificial intelligence (AI) computing power. As a result, businesses have a challenge to manage energy consumption from their digital infrastructures.
Improving the energy efficiency of a digital infrastructure becomes an integral part of strategic architecture design across networks, data centers, and operations.
- Network energy efficiencies can be achieved through architecture and software innovation.
- Renewable energy can be introduced into wireless and wired communication sites and power equipment, such as auxiliary systems, or new cooling equipment can be used in the data center.
- Energy efficiency must become a normal part of mobile communication site design.
By changing power supply systems and modernizing equipment and design, energy efficiency can be greatly improved and carbon emissions can be drastically reduced. By exploring new architectures, processes, materials, and algorithms, organizations can find new ways to save energy and make decarbonization and green development a regular aspect of digitalization and new infrastructure and architecture design.
The Role of Data in Green Development
Businesses are amidst ongoing stages of digital transformation and data is a driving factor for intelligent change. As organizations explore the use of data and AI, and approach designing their digital infrastructure and architecture, they are using various data centers located on-premise or in the cloud, for example. These data centers account for about 1% of global energy consumption.
For the next 5 years to 2025, global data creation will grow to more than 180 zetabytes. Considering that data is rising exponentially, organizations can be better prepared for a green future by considering the impacts of their carbon footprint in relation to the data center and taking measures to improve green development.
Data Architectures in 2030
The future will consist of data-centric advanced computing architectures, capable of reducing computing power, reducing data migration, and boosting system performance.
- Network data will be processed on nearby data processing units (DPUs).
- Neural network models on neural network processing units (NPUs).
- Computing will be everywhere and hard disks, network adaptors, and memory will become capable of data analysis and processing.
- Ubiquitous near data computing will be 10 times more energy efficient.
- Lossless ethernet technology for data centers will reduce energy consumption per unit computing power by 47%.
Intelligent technology will help data center operations management become fully automated, and data and AI will be used to analyze, enhance, and optimize energy efficiency. Digital twins will be used to track and monitor the carbon footprint of data centers in real-time. Data centers that integrate green development solutions and intelligent technologies will be better situated to explore new cooling systems, lower power consumption, and reduce carbon emissions.
“All industries are going digital and intelligent, and the world has set its sights on low-carbon development. These are incredible opportunities, and the time is ripe to seize them. Together, as an industry, as a society, we can build a greener intelligent world,” Ken Hu, Rotating Chairman, Huawei states in his speech in Huawei’s Global Analyst Summit in Shenzhen China.
Decarbonization Across Industries
According to the International Energy Agency (IEA) and BP Energy Outlook, global carbon emissions in 2020 came to 35 billion tons. These four sectors were responsible for 94.2% of the total carbon emissions:
- Electricity: 12.5 billion tons
- Industrial: 9 billion tons
- Transportation: 7.5 billion tons
- Construction: 4 billion tons
Building a Decarbonization Strategy
Green development is dependent on the debarconization of these sectors. Reducing carbon emissions in these sectors can be achieved by:
- Using clean energy (67%)
- Increasing efficiency (15%)
- Recycling (10%)
- Regulations (7%)
Digital technology plays an important role in industry decarbonization. Organizations in these sectors can explore key areas to reduce carbon emissions. These areas include electricity, transportation, buildings, and manufacturing.
The electricity sector can improve power grids, power storage, distributed power systems, intelligent power transmission, smart power transmissions using digital twins and facilitate the connections and management between systems and technologies.
Road, aviation, and shipping account for most of the carbon emissions in the transportation sector. This sector can benefit from electric vehicles, smart green transportation systems, and integrating transportation and energy networks.
Buildings in the industrial sector and construction industry require design innovation like enhancing building information modeling (BIM) with data collection and integration to improve material consumption. Cloud computing and AI-assisted data analytics can customize structure, systems, services, and management of buildings.
The manufacturing industry and industrial sector consume massive amounts of energy especially in steel, petrochemicals, and non-ferrous metals. Digital technology can increase modeling and simulation phases pertaining to physical and raw materials and reduce the number of R&D experiments which lowers costs and material consumption.
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Green development in 2030 can be achieved by improving carbon emission reduction for digital systems and building the capabilities to measure the impacts of carbon emissions on digital infrastructures.
By Ronald van Loon