Cutting costs and saving energy

Date: Fri, 10/30/2009 - 12:29 Source: Vodafone press department

Mobile technology could cut Europe’s annual energy bill by €43bn
Cutting costs and saving energy Vittorio Colao, CEO of Vodafone Group

A new report issued by Vodafone, in collaboration with Accenture, concludes that mobile technology could cut Europe’s annual energy bill by at least €43 billion and effect a reduction in annual greenhouse gas emissions by at least 113Mt CO2e by 2020. This represents 18% of the UK’s annual CO2e output in 2008 and approximately 2.4% of expected EU emissions in 2020. However, this opportunity can only be realised if industry and governments collaborate.
The report, titled “Carbon Connections: quantifying mobile’s role in tackling climate change,” demonstrates that mobile technology has the potential to be a major catalyst in driving carbon reductions across a range of industry sectors. It identifies 13 opportunities that could enable carbon abatement across 25 EU countries.*
Mark Foster, group chief executive of Management Consulting & Integrated Markets at Accenture, said, “There is a clear and immediate imperative to take further steps to reduce global emissions, and the communications industry will yet again play a pivotal role by enabling the transition to a low-carbon economy. For example being able to access high-definition video conferencing from a mobile device can cut down the need to travel.”
“Every business, large or small, will need to deliver its products and services in a way that minimises both cost and the impact on the environment. This report demonstrates the important role that mobile technology, in particular smart solutions such as machine-to-machine services, can play in carbon abatement while at the same time offering a financial saving for our customers,” said Vittorio Colao, CEO of Vodafone Group. “The challenge is for governments and industry to work together to create the necessary policy framework and investment conditions to stimulate their prompt deployment.”

The opportunities for carbon abatement fall into two main categories:

• Smart machine-to-machine (“M2M”) services: These connect one piece of equipment wirelessly with another and represent 80% of the potential carbon saving. They include:
o Smart grids — improve the efficiency of electricity grids through wireless devices to monitor power losses and load capacity of the electricity transmission and distribution network.
o Smart logistics — use mobile technology to track vehicles and their loads to improve the efficiency of logistics operations by utilising vehicles more fully and optimising fuel economy.
o Smart manufacturing — reduces the requirement for field maintenance through remote analysis of equipment performance.
o Smart cities — improve traffic and utilities management.

• Dematerialisation: This is the substitution of physical goods, processes or travel with ‘virtual’ alternatives, such as video-conferencing or online shopping. This represents 20% of the potential energy savings identified.
Vodafone has extensive experience in M2M from the earliest days of mobile networks and has recently launched a global M2M service platform which will help companies deploy and manage large, wireless M2M projects in areas including smart metering, connected cars and the remote monitoring of equipment. Companies will be able to centrally manage and control the process of rolling out M2M devices across several countries, increasing the speed of implementation and reducing the cost, complexity and risk traditionally associated with deploying such projects. Vodafone has also put in place a global M2M team to develop services that will analyse and provide solutions for emerging market trends.
The opportunities identified in the Carbon Connections Report will require approximately one billion connections, 87% of which will be M2M. It also recognises that a significant amount of capital investment is needed to deploy some of the services highlighted. However, the analysis suggests that the carbon pay back is very significant.

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