ICT in the low carbon world

The world is using more and more energy, as its population continues to increase and the general rise in average living standards continues. To continue living our lives as we do, we need to make more efficient use of natural resources. The application of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) can make it possible.

The ICT sector itself is a huge consumer of energy, so innovations within its own equipment and processes can make a significant contribution to a lower carbon world.

The use of ICT applications for activities and practices and products that tend towards dematerialisation can provide energy savings through increased energy efficiency and reduction in the consumption of other resources (e.g. paper, CD material). Examples might include e-government (focus on e-health and e-taxation), audio/video conferencing, e-work, and the dematerialisation of materials and services (including e-ticketing, mobile ticketing, e-banking, e-invoicing, e-books, etc.).

However, it is the use of ICT in other areas that are the game-changers for a low carbon world, that speak to an 'act differently' mantra. Take buildings alone which in the developed world are responsible for close to 50% of energy consumption, large percentages of which is being wasted.

This report sets out to illustrate examples of how ICT can help the development of a more energy-efficient and lower carbon world. It does so by focusing on the following three areas - smart logistics, smart grid/smart metering, and smart buildings.