Mobile network operators association the GSMA has called on policymakers to “harness the potential of mobile connectivity and smart technology” to achieve net zero by 2050.
Research released by the GSMA and the Carbon Trust to coincide with COP26 has suggested that smart technologies are significantly underused by energy-intensive industries, especially power and manufacturing. According to the authors, better use of smart technology in those two sectors could contribute 40% of the required carbon emissions savings for the world’s net zero goals and limit global warming to within the COP26 agreed target of 1.50C above pre-industrial revolution levels.
In the energy sector, connected technology is only used in around 35% of solar grids and 10% of wind grids globally. Connected technology is used in 1% of factories across the manufacturing sector globally. Without using connected grid technology, carbon emission savings would be approximately 10% less – equating to an additional 1 gigatonnes of unnecessary CO2 by 2030 according to the researchers.
Increased connectivity and mobile technology by those sectors could enable global savings of around 11 gigatonnes of carbon emissions by 2030. Looking at specific sector approaches to smart technology, the researchers said that close to half (46%) of the cuts required in carbon emissions in the energy sector could come from the rollout of connected wind and solar energy grids – equivalent to 4 gigatonnes of CO2 or decommissioning around 1,000 coal-fired power plants by 2030.
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