Page 9 - European Energy Innovation - Winter 2016 publication
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Winter 2016 European Energy Innovation  9


Figure 3. Energy efficiency of core-network equipment

Source: [Vereecken et al., IEEE COMMAG, Vol. 49, No. 6, 2011].

ENERGY-EFFICIENCY INCREASE IN                  aspect must be considered in particular  new technologies appear which may
THE CORE – THE CHALLENGE                       for core-networks since all Internet     drastically increase energy efficiency.
The fast Internet bit-rate increase            traffic has to pass this part of the
puts an additional challenge on the            network. The non-consideration of the    It is relevant to note that this
respective equipment vendors. On               strong Internet bit-rate growth with     proposal does not intend to reduce
the one hand, they must seek for new           regard to core-network equipment         the respective vendors’ efforts to
technologies for further efficiency            energy consumption is common             developing better equipment energy
increase, even though many areas               practice in assessments today.           efficiency. The intention is to achieve
have already been optimized. As in                                                      somewhat better assessment fairness
example, with latest power-supply              One possible solution to this problem    for a certain group of equipment.
units, there is little space left for further  consists of applying an analogue to
improvements. On the other hand,               using intensity energy-consumption       We will discuss this approach
they may even be penalized for not             or GHG-production metrics when           in relevant sustainability fora,
decreasing the energy consumption of           assessing companies with regard          including CDP and the QuEST Forum
their equipment. The latter meanwhile          to these impact factors. Here, the       Sustainability Initiative.
happens in an increasing number                respective numbers are normalized
of environmental-performance                   to, e.g., company growth or number       CONCLUSION
assessments. Here, the goal often is to        of goods sold, in order not to penalize  Core-network equipment in the
demonstrate year-over-year decrease of         growth. This is done, for example,       Internet is getting more energy-efficient
relevant impact factors, namely, energy        in assessments done by the Carbon        quickly, but this trend today cannot
consumption and/or GHG production.             Disclose Project (CDP).                  compensate even faster bit-rate growth.
Most assessments today use metrics                                                      We therefore propose to apply Internet-
(for energy consumption or efficiency)         The analogue to intensity metrics        growth metrics in energy-efficiency
which do not consider the exponential          can be some sort of Internet-growth      or GHG-production assessments. This
bit-rate increase with whom today’s            metrics. Here, the approximate average   approach will be discussed in relevant
core-network equipment efficiency              efficiency increase as per Figure 3,     sustainability fora. l
cannot keep up. This also disregards           duplication in energy consumption
the fact that proper use of the Internet       per 10-fold bit-rate increase, can be      Contact details:
is one of very few known ways to               considered.
decrease global energy consumption                                                        Dr. Klaus Grobe
elsewhere, an effect known as Green-           Falling behind this trend may then be      ADVA Optical Networking SE
by-ICT that can substantially over-            penalized, whereas staying ahead can       Fraunhoferstr. 9a
compensate energy consumption                  be rewarded. Such a metric can – and       82152 Martinsried, Germany
growth in parts of the Internet. This          should – be applied until disruptive
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