Efficiency can save mobile nets US$2bn in energy cost – GSMA

| June 22, 2012

First published in Communications Day

GSMA updated its 2009 Green Manifesto this week, outlining potential savings of up to US$2 billion per year for the world’s mobile network operators if energy efficient networking technologies are adopted.

Using data from the GSMA’s Mobile Energy Effiicency Benchmarking service to calculate both the energy costs and related CO2e emissions globally, the report found that if all networks with above average energy consumption are improved to the industry average, the industry can shave a collective US$1 billion off its annual energy bill. By improving to the top quartile of the benchmark, the savings would double to US$2 billion, GSMA said.

The new Manifesto also looked at data from 34 mobile operators since 2009 and their energy consumption trend. Despite considerable growth in mobile connections and traffic, total network energy consumption increased “only slightly” between 2009 and 2010, while total energy per unit traffic declined by about 20% and the energy used to support each connection declined by 5%.

These trends put the industry on track to meet the Manifesto’s stated goal to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions per connection on mobile networks by 40% by 2020, GSMA said.

Meanwhile, the GSMA also highlighted the CO2e savings now enabled by the use of ICT and increasingly connected devices.

“Machine-to-machine (M2M) devices are beginning to connect everything from cars to health services and even entire cities, which will have a positive impact on many industries,” GSMA said. “Approximately 26 million mobile M2M connections worldwide are enabling GHG emissions savings estimated to be about 3 million tonnes (Mt) of CO2e annually.”

Asia Pacific accounts for 23% of the world’s M2M connections and 30% of the emissions savings. The US and Western Europe account for 50% and 17% of M2M connections respectively and 38% and 23% of the CO2e savings.

The number of mobile M2M connections worldwide will reach 100 million by 2015, GSMA said, resulting in possible GHG savings of 18 Mt CO2e.

“Mobile has the potential to enable much greater emissions savings of at least 900 Mt CO2e in 2020, which is 1.7 per cent of the global 2020 GHG emissions forecast by the International Energy Agency (IEA) in its ‘business-as-usual” scenario’,” the report said.

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Category: Applications, Global energy, Green ICT, Mobile, Networks, Renewables, Smart cities

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