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ICTs can help reduce emissions, says report


19 November 2009

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According to a new study by IDC and other industry partners, ICTs have considerable potential to reduce carbon emissions. The report, to be presented at the Copenhagen climate summit, revealed that integrating ICTs in energy, construction, transport and industrial sectors will reduce carbon emissions by 25%.

Framingham, Mass., London, Milan, Singapore: IDC, in association with leading industry partners, has evaluated where information and communications-based technologies (ICT) can bring immediate benefit in reducing carbon emissions.

carbon issue.jpg
Image credits: Google/ Carbon emissions

This work focuses on critical ICT-based technologies: technologies that are currently mature enough to be implemented within three years (given investment and government approval); have significant network and processing bandwidth requirements; and are standalone technologies, applicable to specific industries and usage patterns.

IDC's main findings on these technologies, which will be released prior to the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, are that:

  • ICT-based technologies, if used intensively, have the potential to reduce carbon emissions by 25% in the G20 countries, compared with 2006 baseline emissions.
  • Significant reductions can be made across all the sectors surveyed by IDC: energy generation and distribution, buildings, transport, and industry.
  • Integrating renewable energy into energy distribution using smart grids, ICT-enabled smart building systems, ICT-optimised supply chains, and variable motor controls in industrial machinery are the leading technologies for reducing emissions in each of the sectors surveyed.

Commenting on these results, Roberta Bigliani, research director at IDC Energy Insights, said, "ICT-based technologies have considerable potential to reduce carbon emissions. The advantage of the technologies we have identified is that they are already reasonably mature, if not widely implemented. Given that carbon emissions reductions made quickly have more impact on global warming than those that take longer to implement, we recommend that governments and industry immediately evaluate and implement these technologies."

Vernon Turner, senior vice president, Enterprise Infrastructure, Consumer and Telecom Research at IDC added, "Robust IT and communications infrastructure is necessary to get the full benefit from these technologies. Our research shows that use of capacity in mobile and fixed infrastructure, integrated with energy efficient IT infrastructure, is required to support the technologies we have identified in this report."

Chris Ingle, associate vice president, Consulting, added: "The budget constraints facing many large economies creates an investment challenge for technologies that contribute to reducing carbon emissions. Government and industry need to work on structured finance instruments, which allow them to make these investments based on future savings, rather than capital investment."

Results of the first IDC ICT Sustainability Index will be released at an international press conference to be held Thursday, 10 December 2009 (13:30 - 17:00 CET) at the Skuespilhuset (The Playhouse) in Copenhagen, Denmark.

 
Source : IDC

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