The Climate Group and the Global e-Sustainability Initiative published a report called Smart 2020: Enabling the Low Carbon Economy in the Information Age that outlines how the information and communication technologies (ICT) sector can dramatically cut global emissions and energy costs by 2020.
The report sees the potential for a global reduction in emissions of 15 percent and energy efficiency savings of $946.5 billion through five key components.
- Smart motor systems: optimized motors and industrial automation
- Smart logistics: increases in transport and storage efficiency
- Smart buildings: better design, management and automation technologies
- Smart grid: better monitoring and management of electricity grids
- Dematerialization: e-commerce, e-government and videoconferencing replacing physical products and meetings
The report concedes that the growth of ICT will double its carbon footprint by 2020, but it has the ability to cut emissions in other sectors by up to five times that amount.
In the U.S. special section (PDF) of the report, released just yesterday, the groups claim that ICT solutions could cut U.S. emissions by up to 22 percent and save up to $240 billion in energy costs. The technology already exists to achieve these savings, but it will take changes in government policy to implement them on a large scale and quickly.
This report, along with many others that outline the road to carbon reduction, stresses the importance of a smart grid above all else. Obama reaffirmed his commitment to environmental policy again yesterday, but let's hope that the advisers who have his ear are convincing him of the need for a national grid.
written by Skyler, November 19, 2008
written by Jim Peden, November 21, 2008
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