How much gear is attached to the edges of our global ICT infrastructure? Our 2014 estimate is over 19 billion items. This up ~1 billion over 2013. The increase is driven by mobile and consumer media devices, but we are constantly adding new categories like wearable devices. We will update this table as new information comes in over the course of the year.
Updates from Africa and the Middle East. Click here for regional Green ICT updates from around the globe. Click on 'Africa-ME' tag above for all news about the region.
Internet Now! is an Oxfam-led initiative to bring fiber-optic connectivity to 100 communities in Northern Uganda. Local internet access is through micro-centers - "small metal containers housing 5-6 computers. Local young people aged between 18 to 30 years, an age group severely affected by unemployment in the war-ravaged region, are employed to do 'microwork' at the centers. Microwork is a type of business process outsourcing breaking large cloud-based tasks down into several parts...Computers at the centers run on 23W and are powered entirely by solar energy." This combination of containers, PV solar, and low-power gear is typical of appropriate ICT in developing regions. More examples.
Upcoming Green ICT conferences and workshops around the world. We just added a 2014 events in Croatia, India and the Untied States. We have also included links to past conferences to aid your search for Green ICT materials.
Quiz: Which region has the most Green ICT conferences?
New ICT facilities implementing the latest in Green ICT technologies and practices garner much publicity, yet a lot is being done with existing ones. The latest post looks at what a major financial services company accomplished through interdepartmental cooperation.
We've covered technology to reduce paper use when printing. What about reducing ink use? A high school student's study found that his school could save $21,000/year by switching typefaces...and the United States government could save $234 million!
We've been following the issue of conflict minerals in our e-devices for more than five years. Our readers will know that cassiterite, the mineral ore form of tin, is a conflict mineral when mined in Central Africa. It turns out that much more tin - over a third of the world's consumption - is mined in Indonesia. Tin extraction there is not driven by conflict, but is still a brutal business for the miners and takes a toll on the environment.
We've noted a number of studies that suggest moving to the cloud is the greener solution for most organizations' ICT needs. That's great for client companies, but what about the cloud provider? Companies striving to reduce their C02e footprints while providing cloud services face a challenge: they end up internalizing the very emissions their customers are externalizing. Business software and services provider SAP is facing that challenge. Here is what the company plans to about it.
This is solar-powered base station on top of a mountain in Lapland (Finland).
Remote ICT infrastructures are embracing renewable energy for everything from earthquake mitigation in Japan. CO2e reduction in India to . Fuel/power costs appear to have gone down since 2009 for off-grid mobile operations, but are still significant. Asia leads world in current renewable base stations and in growth potential. One operator - Indus Towers - now has 20,000 zero-diesel sites.
We've developed and refined our definition of Green ICT over the years, but it is always useful to learn from others. SITA-Research Center is a European initiative "to encourage the collaboration of IT scientists world wide to develop Sustainable Information Technologies and Applications...we focus on simple principles which sustainable IT solutions should meet: Longevity - Efficiency - Refinability - Scalability." How do these four concepts map into our Green ICT perspective?
There is a rich global mix of advanced concepts and technologies emerging from research labs that may improve the future sustainability of ICT equipment and infrastructures. We'll regularly update this post with technologies to watch. (You can see all the technologies which hold the promise of greener ICT in the future by clicking the 'FutureTech' tag, above.) Our latest posts span the development of graphene as a more energy-efficient alternative to silicon to research into the potential for human urine to power a mobile device.