How much gear is attached to the edges of our global ICT infrastructure? Our estimate has now reached 17 billion items, driven by mobile and broadcast devices. The World Bank tells us that the western hemisphere now has more mobile phones than people. This is an average number; 30% of Latin America's population lack access to mobile services.
Upcoming Green ICT conferences and workshops around the world through November 2013, including events just added for Beijing, China and for Pittsburg, USA. We have also included links to past conferences to aid your search for conference materials.
Pop Quiz: Which region has the most Green ICT conferences?
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.
Powering Telecoms: West Africa Market Analysis presents this view of the Green Telecom opportunities in the Ghana/Nigeria region. "…a subscription base of 24.9 and 107 million respectively…29,835 sites providing mobile network coverage to around 80% of current population in these two countries. Nigeria has a whopping 24,252 telecom tower sites in total while Ghana has a network base of 5,583 sites…Out of the total 24,252 telecom sites in Nigeria, around 52% of the sites are off-grid…against only 11% of in Ghana. The remaining sites…have grid power supply of variable quality and reliability. Due to Nigeria’s poor grid power supply, over 81% of its on-grid sites suffer power outages for up to 6 hours a day. Only 2% of off-grid sites are deployed with green power…~ 55% of off-grid sites) still rely heavily on diesel generator backup power, running 24x7. The remaining off-grid sites (43%) are deployed with battery hybrid solutions. Most of the on-grid sites have diesel generator as backup power source.
Location is becoming increasingly important to the sustainability of ICT facilities. We've been tracking facilities in North American and Europe which try to leverage geographic features for greener operations. Our latest example has Apple benefiting from its Nevada (US) site's underground water and low risk of natural disasters.
The US ENERGY STAR program looks only at energy efficiency and not other sustainability factors. About twenty set-top boxes (STBs) or cable, IP, or satellite from seven manufacturers came in at less than 65W in the program's Total Energy Consumption (TEC) metric. This is a big improvement from two years ago, when our top twenty cut-off was 100W.
Updates from Europe. Click on "Europe" tag above for all news about the region. Click here for regional Green ICT updates from around the globe.
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. (Information about the ICT implications of Japan's earthquake and tsunami have been moved to its own post.)
Fast Company's list of 100 Most Creative People in Business 2012 is topped by Chinese activist Ma Jun, Director of the nonprofit Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs (IPE). Ma's focus on pollution began in the 1990s and became critical to Green ICT a few years ago. "In 2009, his team began to notice several cases of health problems due to heavy-metal pollution being reported in local newspapers. 'To our surprise, the source wasn't mostly mines or government-operated smelters,' he says, 'but factories manufacturing global IT equipment'…By April 2010, Ma had discovered 29 major tech brands using factories with hazardous operations." Ma and IPE gained global recognition in 2011 by challenging the Apple, allegedly the largest and least responsive of the tech giants implicated in Chinese pollution. Learn more from our 2011-12 coverage of Ma, IPE, and Apple.
What is a battery? A device to store energy and convert it to electricity on demand? This is an important question as ICT facilities and infrastructure elements increasingly rely on sophisticated battery-based systems such as UPS. Potentially greener alternatives are emerging to chemical batteries, with flywheels appearing to have the most momentum for ITC facilities going into 2013.
Let's start by reviewing the role energy storage devices play in ICT. A 2011 APC white paper lists three applications:
A MarketsandMarkets report says, "The global volume of e-waste generated is expected to reach 93.5 million tons in 2016 from 41.5 million tons in 2011 at a CAGR of 17.6% from 2011 to 2016." Three strategies for dealing with an organization's aging ICT gear are scrap, external reuse, and internal reuse. Internal reuse offers a growing number of increasingly sophisticated options.
A number of sustainability rankings in the US and Europe let us take a look at how telecom providers perform compared to each other and to broader tech sectors. Vodafone is the top global performer; Sprint-Nextel is tops in the United States. Sprint was rank tops in the US for its take-back program.