Page 20 - European Energy Innovation - Spring 2015 publication
P. 20
Spring 2015 European Energy Innovation


Energy efficiency gains in a connected world

By John Higgins (pictured), Director General of DIGITALEUROPE

Technologies such as The SMARTer2020 report WHERE ARE THE LOW
broadband connectivity, calculated savings of $1.9 HANGING FRUITS?
wireless mobility, cloud trillion in gross energy and fuel Figure 1 differentiates between
computing, social media, consumption, and a reduction edge devices (computers,
sensors and the Internet of Things of 9.1 Giga tonnes of carbon monitors, printers etc.),
are transforming our society and dioxide equivalent (GtCO2e) of networking devices (equipment
many aspects of our daily life. greenhouse gases through ICT- that connects edge devices to
Many appliances that previously enabled solutions across the six the network) and networked
operated in isolation can now be sectors: power, transportation, infrastructure devices (load
controlled remotely and are able manufacturing, consumer and management systems and other
to interact with other devices. service, agriculture, and buildings. network infrastructure). These
categories allow for different ways
The effective use of these But these savings come at a to achieve energy efficiency.
connected devices and IT cost. Data traffic might be tripled
infrastructure represents a real from today’s levels by 2017. Also The most obvious and easiest
opportunity to improve energy network connectivity requires way to harvest energy savings is
efficiency and environmental some energy consumption with edge devices since they can
sustainability for all industries and as appliances use ‘network easily power down their main
economies particularly within the standby’ power just to remain functions when not needed.
framework of future Smart Grids connected to the network. Power management has been
and Smart Cities. As shown in the joint IEA/4E implemented for many edge
publication, “More Data, Less device product categories such
Energy”, the current annual as imaging equipment, PCs,
standby power consumption displays, or TVs. These products
of networked devices is over are appropriately covered by the
600 billion kilowatt-hours, European regulation 1275/2008
which is greater than Canada’s on network standby or any of
and Germany’s 2011 annual their product specific regulations.
electricity consumption. With The graph below shows the trend
up to 50 billion devices forecast of sleep mode power reduction at
to be connected to networks the example of a consumer inkjet
by 2020, global standby power printer. Studies have also shown
consumption is projected to decreasing energy consumption
nearly double by 2025. for white goods and consumer
electronics in a residential setting
The challenge for industry is to in the US, despite an increase in
reap the opportunities while the number of these products in
continuing to deliver on the the market.
energy efficiencies of IT and
consumer electronics devices In addition, many devices
and infrastructure. It will be key that connect to a network are
to enable connected devices to battery powered, e.g. mobile
power down to low power modes phones, but also smoke alarms
as soon and as long as possible or connected wearables. These
without compromising the battery-powered products have
functions or services. an intrinsic motivation to use as
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