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Sustainability in Communications Technology (CT) equipment, infrastructures and operations, including telecom, broadcast, & networking

ICT4D in the United States

VNL Halifax solar base stationOur coverage of ICT4D - information and communications technology for development - has been tracking the deployment of renewable-powered mobile base stations as an alternative to diesel power in remote areas. There are now tens of thousands of these sites, primarily in Asia. One player in this space, Indian telecom equipment manufacturer Vihaan Networks Limited (VNL) , is bringing this technology to rural America. This is a great example of global cross-fertilization within ICT4D.

'Internet of Things' Presents Green ICT Challenges

We've counted over 24 billion pieces of e-gear attached to the global ICT infrastructure. The 'Internet of Things' (IoT) will dramatically increase this number by the end of the decade. Can technology keep up with the energy and resource demands?

ICT Facilities Now Using Bloom Energy Server

The Bloom Energy Server is a "distributed power generator" that uses fuel cells to convert air and natural gas into electricity. We wrote in 2010 that the 'Bloom Boxes' are "already being used by ICT companies, but not for for mission-critical ICT applications." By mid-2012 we could report that they are used for applications ranging from television to telecom. We've updated this post with a video about e-Bay's Utah datacenter.

The "C" in ICT is Driving Global Energy Consumption

We launched Vertatique with the statistic that data centers consumes ~2% of global electricity production. We now know that the globe's broader ICT energy footprint is ~8%, the majority of which is NOT from data centers. The contribution of communications, driven by explosion of cloud computing and mobile devices, has helped drive the number higher. Here are the facts and figures.

Innovative Internet for Remote Areas

Billions of people live in areas still without telecommunications access. Innovative delivery ideas emerged in 2013, including balloons. 2014 updates include a Facebook video explaining its solutions using satellites, drones, and lasers, Google's plans to add satellites to its mix of balloons and drones, and an announcement of a surprising new player.

Fuel Cells Green ICT Infrastructures Worldwide

Fuel cells, including those powered by biogas, are a growing part of sustainable ICT infrastructures.

We have been tracking the adoption of the Bloom Energy Server for ICT over the past three years. We've noted Bharti Infratel's use of fuel cells to replace diesel generators at off-grid telecom sites India. Here are more products and deployments; the most recent post is about Nokia's fuel cell technology.

Data Centers Not Largest Locus of ICT Energy or Emissions

Most Green ICT attention focuses on the datacenter. Five years of work consistently holds that datacenters represent a minority of total ICT energy consumption and carbon emissions.

Microgrids for Green ICT

Microgrids - small electricity generation and distribution networks - are becoming an increasingly common way to support ICT in remote areas. What distinguish a true remote ICT microgrid from a locally-powered remote piece of ICT gear like a base station? A microgrid is an integrated network consisting of one or more power generating systems, storage, control electronics and a diverse load. Imagine interconnected solar PV and with diesel generation backup powering not only that base station but also a community charging station for phones and tablets and a school's wireless router. To the extent that ICT microgrids support a significant proportion of renewable generation, they contribute to Green ICT and help bring urgently-needed sustainability to ICT4D. Here is a look at the big picture. Future updates will include implementations.

Diverse Winners of Green Mobile Awards

GSMA's Global Mobile Awards' Green Mobile Awards are for "mobile industry organisations that are focused on the reduction of environmental impacts through eco-friendly, innovative policies, products, programmes or initiatives, as well as organisations outside of the industry that utilise the mobile platform to communicate, innovate or drive eco-friendly programmes, services and initiatives." Here's a look at the 2009-2013 winners and at the trend toward greener mobile base stations.

Hong Kong's Green ICT Awards Oldest Ongoing Recognition in Asia

Hong Kong Green ICT Awards logoHong Kong's Green ICT Awards started in 2011, making them the oldest ongoing Green ICT recognition program* in the Asia-Pacific region. The roster annual winners illustrate the diverse nature of the area's ICT-savvy users and their Green ICT practices.

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