21 Oct Impact of ICT on world energy consumption
National Academy of Technologies of France (NATF) 2015
How does ICT impact on worldwide energy consumption and greenhouse-gas emissions? This is what NATF went to find out when auditioning French and foreign experts to evaluate the overall energy and environmental balance that is due to the ICT sector, considering the impacts generated by the operation of its various hardware and infrastructure, and the savings it spawns in other areas of activity. The final energy and carbon balance of ICT, the Academy report concludes, is clearly a positive one.
In 2012, ICT accounted for 4.7% of worldwide electricity consumption, and a total carbon footprint of about 1.7 percent (including private, industry and telecom hardware and infrastructure and data centres). These numbers are on an upwards trend, but in smaller proportions than the growing use of ICT, thanks to its contribution to reduce these footprints in other areas of activities such as in the transport sector, buildings, manufacturing industries, or even dematerialised procedures.
The report focuses on the (global) transport/mobility sector benefitting from digitisation in and around vehicles, with gradually reduced/optimised travel needs (example United States). It also lists current lines of research aimed at better performance of computing, with lower energy consumption.
Group Leader: Erol Gelenbe, Professor in the Dennis Gabor Chair Imperial College, London, and NATF Fellow and Yves Caseau, Director of the Digital Agency, AXA Group, and NATF Fellow