Long blamed as a major producer of greenhouse gas emissions, the aviation industry may have some competition. Researchers are finding the telecommunications industry is now responsible for the same proportion of greenhouse gas emissions the aviation industry produces.
Researchers at Bell Labs and the Centre for Energy-Efficient Telecommunications (CEET) believe the information communications and technology (ICT) industry is responsible for 830 million tons of CO2 annually, accounting for 2% of total global emissions. Experts project the ICT industry’s CO2 output levels will likely double by 2020.
Alcatel-Lucent, the University of Melbourne, and the Victorian State Government have partnered to create CEET. It’s the world first research center exclusively dedicated to energy-efficient telecommunications technologies.
In order to curb these emissions, more feasible and accurate models need to be created, and these models need to account for energy use, data traffic, and CO2 production in networks, among other things. Current models are deemed inaccurate.
Researchers tested two new models that more accurately reflect energy consumption and CO2 emissions of the ICT industry. The models produced better, more accurate estimates and made it clear that in order for the ICT industry to curb emissions, the keys are facilities that more efficiently use power, creating and using more energy efficient equipment, and utilizing renewable energy sources.