“Clean Tech With A Purpose”
There is an obvious business case for clean tech in the communication industry. Energy cost amounts anywhere between 35-75% of an operating costs for a Telecom operator and hence energy efficiency itself makes clear business sense. In emerging markets, high diesel costs, transport (sometimes via helicopter) and theft of this diesel, brings OPEX for energy close to 75%. India alone uses 2.7 billion litres of diesel to power mobile base stations.
1.6 billion people have no access to electricity and about the same have no access to communications. Thus you truly cannot think of bridging the Digital Divide without tackling Energy Poverty. Thomas Friedman called it “Where ET meets IT” and it is this unique coming together of Green ET (Energy Technology) and IT/ICT (Info-communications technology). There are clear business opportunities for innovation and application in emerging markets, and this is what G-ET-IT focuses on.
G-ET-IT focuses on “where ET meets IT” (Energy technology meets IT/communications also known as Info-communication Industry or ICT) or Green ICT.
ICT offers new solutions to Energy Technology (hybrid and smart power management, smart grids, micro-grids, energy efficiency calculators, etc) and ICT has found to be a tool for the reduction of Greenhouse Gases (GHG) by up to 15-20% (see the Gesi report, SMART 2020). Meanwhile, renewable energy is a viable option for use in the ICT industry and it makes good business sense to go green, especially in developing nations dealing with both the Digital Divide and Energy Poverty.
In many countries, Green is becoming a vendor selection criteria and many vendors and service providers are now claiming to be green. To be able to differentiate greenwashing from genuine “green” efforts, GET-IT suggested to TELECOMTV to make a Green Planet documentary. The documentary co-produced by GET-IT is almost completed and is available at www.telecomtv.com/greenplanet and will soon be linked directly from this site. Developing metrics for green and exchanging best practices will be key to the advancement of Green in the ICT industry.