We wrote in 2007, "…cable subscribers who feed TV sets and VCRs directly with analog cable taps (at least 32 million HH) may have to use STBs [set-top boxes] from their cable companies. The elimination of analog cable signals could drive [another] spike in energy consumption." A 2011 NRDC report reveals that this has, unfortunately, come to pass:
Much work in Green ICT is 'supply side': how to best implement an ever-expanding ICT infrastructure to meet an ever-expanding demand for ICT services. It's time to give attention to 'demand side' strategies which reduce the need for new ICT capacity in the first place. Here is what some enterprises are doing.
We had already noted the unnecessary demand placed on ICT infrastructure by document sharing via email. We advocate that organizations evolve to working on and sharing documents via web-based collaboration tools.
International CTIA WIRELESS 2011® Emerging Technology (E-Tech) Awards include a "Green Telecom & Smart Energy Solutions, Applications and Hardware" category. Winners are:
We're updating our 2010 look at Green ICT Earth Day activities with 2011 news.
Kansas City (MO, USA) carrier hotel 1102 GRAND announced that it had "recently implemented Kansas City Power & Light’s (KCP&L’s) Custom Rebate Retrofit Program and projects a Wattage reduction of 53 percent just in time for Earth Day 2011." 1102 Grand principal Darren Bonawitz emailed these lessons learned. "In our experience, it is always easier to cost justify implementing large scale infrastructure replacements with more eco-friendly options when expanding or replacing equipment at the end of its life cycle. Those projects do not happen every month or year even. In between, commercial companies can take advantage of programs to complete smaller projects that still provide incremental energy savings. A series of smaller projects are often easier to implement and the sum of their energy reduction can be just as significant as a single large scale retrofit."
This isn't really ICT-related, but we could not resist. The CIA's Earth Day press release leads with, "The Central Intelligence Agency’s practice of shredding and burning classified papers...is one of several ways the CIA conserves energy, reduces its impact on the environment, and lowers costs through its sustainability efforts. Exhaust from the Agency’s on-site incinerator generates steam to heat water at CIA Headquarters. In addition to saving fuel, that process reduces the amount of waste—which would otherwise be destined for landfills—by nearly 1,000 tons per year." Burn before showering.
According to Pike Research, "capital investment in energy-efficient network equipment will reach $122 billion by 2014, representing 46% of the total network infrastructure market...The opportunity is largest for mobile network operators, which we expect will represent almost two-thirds of the green telecom market. This focus is especially relevant as mobile operators deploy 4G networks at scale over the next few years."
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ID-TELMIT 2012, billed as "Indonesia's Largest ICT & Media Convergence Conference & Expo", intends to cover how to "apply Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to other industrial fields such as Green Convergence, Smart Grid…" I see this as more evidence that the global ICT community is becoming increasingly focused on this opportunity.
Vertatique emphasises 'Green ICT' over 'Green IT' to embrace the opportunities in communications infrastructures and operations: telecommunications, broadcast media, etc. One such opportunity in occurs as the global telecommunications networks migrate from a circuit switching (TDM) to packet switching. ('Data' communication now dominates traffic as even telephony moves to packets (VoIP).) An investor makes the case that his portfolio company making energy-saving migration switches is "cleantech".
A report from the Environmental Defense Fund's Climate Corps illustrates a few basic concepts of Green ICT that can often get obscured in more sophisticated discussions.
Climate Corps fellow Jen Snook discovered an opportunity to save lighting costs in 100 million square feet at telecom company AT&T. This represents the space used for equipment, which Snook discovered was lighted 100% of the time but was typically occupied only about 10% of the time.
As we learn that most ICT impact occurs outside of the data center, understanding the the impact of "CT" becomes as important as that of "IT". GÉANT, the multi-gigabit pan-European research and education (R&E) network, has completed an GHG audit of its network backbone using the ISO 14063 standard. Its report both offers insights and raises questions.