Sustainability In New And Emerging Technologies

White Paper / Apr 2021

In total, new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things will save approaching 1.8 PWh of electricity in 2030, and an additional 3.5 PWh of (hydrocarbon) fuel use, resulting in total savings of 5.3 PWh of energy. Offset against this benefit is 653TWh of electricity consumption required to power solutions deployed using new technologies.

For comparison, the total electricity consumption of the global ICT industry is forecast to increase to around 8 PWh by 2030 , meaning that together new technologies will generate energy savings equal to around 58% of the total power consumption of the ICT industry.

The vast bulk of the savings are related to IoT-enabled applications, which together account for in excess of 95% of both electricity and fuel saved. This is due to the fact that IoT represents the interface of new technological environments to the 'real world', and it is in the real world where most energy is used and most savings can be made. The most impactful IoT applications include:

  • A range of smart grid applications (including Electricity Smart Meters, Grid Operations, and Generation) together accounting for approaching 1.4 PWh of electricity savings in 2030.
  • Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems accounting for approaching 130 TWh of electricity savings in 2030.
  • Road Fleet Management, accounting for around 1.25 PWh of fuel savings in 2030.
  • Road Traffic Monitoring & Control, accounting for around 290 TWh of fuel savings in 2030.