It is difficult to get reliable data on how long we hold onto the 19+ billion edge devices attached to the global ICT infrastructure. Diverse device types and cultural practices complicate the issue.
Researchers around the global are exploring innovative ways to sustainably recharge the billions of edge devices attached to the global ICT infrastructure. Experiments use everything from plants to urine . (You may have to reload page to display videos.)
Short updates from Asia-Pacific. Click here for regional Green ICT updates from around the globe. Click on 'Asia-Pac' tag above for all news about the region. Our latest item looks at mobile growth in the region.
The New York Times reported in July 2016 about China's growing Bitcoin mining industry. The article's energy-consumption figures suggest that 40% or more of global Bitcoin mining now takes place in China. Photos show these mining centers looking more like aging industrial buildings than gleaming modern data centers, but energy-sourcing issue are the same everywhere. We've noted how energy availability plays a big roll in siting data centers and Chinese Bitcoin mining is no different. "[One operator] said he had become an expert in finding cheap energy, often in places where a coal plant or hydroelectric dam was built to support some industrial project that never happened. The Bitcoin mining machines in his facilities use about 38 megawatts of electricity, he said, enough to power a small city."
We've been tracking the potential of "energy harvesting" to power devices without conventional batteries or grid connections since 2011. The latest market entrant demonstrates this segment continues to expand.
Freevolt from Drayson Technologies Limited "...provides power for Low Energy Internet of Things (LE-IoT) devices. Its a...technology that harvests radio frequency (RF) energy from wireless and broadcast networks such as 2G, 3G, 4G, WiFi & Digital TV... Freevolt technology can extend device lifetime by constantly trickle charging the battery and removing the need for battery swaps or plug-in charging." Freevolt was recognized as a 2016 Sustainia 100 solution. The Sustainis citation noted the technology's potential for ICT4D. "Freevolt enables the cable-free installation of connected devices in hard-to-reach or dangerous location, bringing off-grid charging to rural markets."
Mobile devices replace the storage capacity and I/O options laptops with a host of cloud services. We first saw this when iPhone users began placing unprecedented demands on the cloud in 2009. Statistics compiled since then reveal the the amazing growth and scope of this demand. This only increases the urgency for cloud providers go green.
Akamai's State of the Internet for Q1 2016 reports, "Thee growth in data traffic is being driven both by increased smartphone subscriptions and a continued increase in average data volume per subscription, fueled primarily by increased viewing of video content. In the first quarter, data traffic grew 9.5% quarter over quarter and 60% year over year. Looking at [Q1 2011 through Q1 2016], cumulative voice-traffic growth was only 46%, while cumulative data-data growth was just under 1,600%." All this growth drives an increase in datacenter servers (below) as well as of the telecom infrastructure, itself.
We have been covering the use of datacenter waste heat to warm facilities from municipal buildings to swimming pools since 2009. That led to coverage of a 2011 Microsoft research idea for how individual servers might become 'data furnances'. That original post with excerpts from the researchers' publication is available below.
Three European companies have now brought the idea to market. Two explain the concept with a video.
Upcoming Green ICT conferences and workshops around the world. We just added information about an online event and update the call-for-papers deadline for an event in Split.
We have also included links to past conferences to aid your search for Green ICT materials.
|Which region has the most Green ICT conferences?|
We have long advocated for Green ICT awareness in ICT4D. A 2015 paper "Assessing University Students’ Attitude toward Green Computing Practices" from Nigeria provides insight into the short-term future of Green ICT in the region.
Content Delivery Network (CDN) services provider Akamai has launched a major initiative to reduce its GHG emissions. Most notable is its commitment to an absolute, not relative, reduction.
Akamai's May 2016 announcement: "Today we are committing, by 2020, to reduce our absolute greenhouse gas emissions below 2015 levels by sourcing renewable energy for 50 percent of our network operations."
Most ICT gear - core facilities, communications infrastructures, and edge devices - runs on DC power. Converting AC to DC within a building is inefficient, on-site renewable power generation is often DC to begin with, and super-efficient LED lighting is also DC. All this seems to make DC power distribution an attractive option for ICT facilities, but there have been vigorous arguments for and against. Recent events, beginning a 380-V DC standard for ICT power distribution in 2011, suggest the tide is turning in favor of DC distribution.
Image courtesy IEEE Spectrum