Huawei’s Ryan Ding: Green ICT for New Value

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At the Green Development Solution Launch held on the second day of Win-Win·Huawei Innovation Week, Ryan Ding, President of Huawei’s Carrier Business Group, stressed the need for operators to prioritize energy efficiency and called for the establishment of a standard, industry-wide indicator system for energy efficiency during his keynote speech titled “Green ICT for New Value”.

Ding explained, “Every major advancement in history has been accompanied by a significant improvement in the energy efficiency of information transmission. The increase in carbon emissions generated by exploding data traffic will become a global problem that must be tackled in the next five to ten years. Increasing energy efficiency will be the way forward.”

According to third-party research, data traffic generated by digital services is expected to grow by 13-fold over 2020 by 2030. This means that, if energy efficiency improvements are not made, the ICT industry’s energy consumption and carbon emissions will see a 2.3-fold increase. According to ITU, the ICT industry will need to reduce its carbon emissions by at least 45% by 2030 to meet the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Paris Agreement’s goal. More than 120 countries and regions have made “carbon-neutral” commitments, according to the United Nations Environment Programme report. However, like other industries such as electricity and construction, the ICT industry faces a conflict between development and energy consumption reduction. However, he also pointed out that the key to solving the problem is to return to energy efficiency, including energy conservation and emission reduction of carriers’ ICT infrastructure. What’s more, ICT technologies enable green carbon reduction in thousands of industries, which can reduce carbon emissions by 10 times.

Ding said, “We are now facing an unprecedented challenge: As more and more industries are going digital, the demand for data will rise sharply, which will result in a surge in energy consumption. In the meantime, the whole world is working to combat climate change, and the ICT industry must urgently achieve carbon peak and carbon neutrality.”

Improvements to energy efficiency will benefit operators in three ways. First, user migration, site upgrades, and network power reduction will bring them OPEX savings. Second, improved energy efficiency will support the migration of 2G and 3G users to 4G and 5G services. Third, operators’ efforts to reduce carbon footprint will positively impact the environment, helping them better fulfill their social responsibilities.

To help operators achieve these goals, Huawei has proposed a three-layer solution: green sites, green networks, and green operations. First, they have developed solutions to improve site energy efficiency by adopting a highly integrated design, using new materials, and moving main equipment and power supply units outdoors. Second, the company’s simplified network architecture makes forwarding faster and supports the construction of simplified, all-optical, and intelligent networks. Finally, at the operations level, Huawei offers a solution that generates and distributes optimization policies while making energy efficiency more visualized and manageable.

So far, these green development solutions have been deployed for operators in more than 100 countries. In Germany, for example, Huawei’s PowerStar solution has helped realize minute-level energy efficiency self-optimization, improving energy efficiency greatly. In Spain, Huawei’s optical cross-connect (OXC) solution has been deployed on a customer’s backbone network, increasing energy efficiency by 81% and reducing costs by 29%. In Turkey, Huawei has deployed its green site solution for a customer, where equipment rooms are replaced with cabinets, eliminating the need for equipment rooms and air conditioners. The solution is expected to save 19,000 kWh of electricity per site per year. By delivering environmental benefits and fulfilling social responsibility through carbon reduction and emission reduction. Currently, operators worldwide are building more than 2.8 million 5G base stations that require continuous power supply to operate. Operators who adopt advanced base station deployment methods will not only reduce electricity costs for operators, but also achieve energy saving and emission reduction.

“Energy efficiency is the first fuel.” The International Energy Agency (IEA) has already provided the solution: energy efficiency can ease the contradiction between energy consumption growth and green development. At the same time, the contribution of energy efficiency to carbon reduction will account for more than 40 per cent of the total carbon reduction of human society in the next 10 years.

According to Ding, this solution is also applicable to operator networks. Therefore, energy saving and emission reduction in ICT infrastructure also follows the principle of energy efficiency first. But with rapid development, it is not easy for operators to improve the energy efficiency of their ICT networks. This is why opening the lock on energy efficiency has become the key to opening the door to green development for operators.

Huawei and its operator partners are already working together to increase their “carbon handprint” by empowering carbon-intensive industries to boost energy efficiency using ICT solutions. The emissions reduction they enable can be 10 times their own emissions. Many success stories have already been seen in key carbon-intensive industries like ports, coal mining, and steel.

For example, in Tianjin port, based on China Mobile’s 5G and autopilot technology, 76 driverless collector trucks are operating in formation in a limited site. Compared with the previous single container operation, energy consumption decreased by 20%, comprehensive operating costs decreased by 10% and overall operating efficiency increased by 15%.

In the 5G-powered coal mining, manual scheduling caused long transportation time and fast heat dissipation, which was not conducive to energy conservation and emission reduction previously. Based on China Unicom’s green ICT technology, workers can remotely control and monitor the hot metal tanker in real time, shortening the transportation time from half an hour to seven minutes.

In addition to helping operators drive green carbon reduction in a wide range of industries, Huawei is an enterprise with 200,000 employees and a large number of factories and office buildings. It is also actively pursuing green development.

According to Ryan Ding, on the production domain, distributed photovoltaic panels are covered on the rooftops of Huawei’s southern factory in Dongguan, reducing carbon emissions by more than 30,000 tons each year. On the operation side, Huawei migrates R&D labs from traditional distributed labs to centralized labs and uses new energy-saving technologies to save more than 290 million kWh of electricity each year. Huawei’s Chengdu Research Center has achieved 100% renewable energy use, providing more than 200 million kWh of hydropower annually, which is equivalent to a reduction of 177,000 tons of carbon dioxide.

There is a saying in Huawei that “the parachutes made by ourselves jump first.” Huawei’s green emission reduction aims to implement the dual-carbon target and build an environment-friendly model. ICT innovations drive green and low-carbon development, which is valuable and replicable.

At the end of his speech, Ding called on the establishment of a unified, industry-wide indicator system as this would help establish baselines against which energy efficiency can be measured and serve as a guide for the green development of the ICT industry as a whole. Ding closed out his speech saying, “Huawei is ready to work with operators and create new value with green ICT.”

The NCIe energy efficiency indicator system proposed by Huawei has been approved by ITU-T SG5 and is now in the process of public consultation.

5G will create greater value over the next decade. It will be the key enabler for enriching our life, transforming industries, and lighting up society. Thailand has already entered the golden age for 5G success. Moving forward, we are ready to push the boundaries of 5G innovation and empower Thailand as ASEAN 5G leader.

As the digital economy comes our way, Huawei is proud to be part of Thailand’s telecommunication footprints for the past 23 years. Under the mission of “Grow in Thailand, Contribute to Thailand”, Huawei is collaborating with customers, industry partners and the public sector to bring digital services to every person, home, and organization for a fully connected, intelligent and low-carbon Thailand.

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