Telecommunications giant Verizon Communications has signed up with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to help build out a blueprint for green operations within the information and communications technology (ICT) industry.
Although there really aren't many details in this first-of-a-kind announcement, it will cover both energy-efficiency and the integration of green or renewable energy sources into ICT operations. The focus will specifically be on:
- Energy efficiency and energy management and Verizon buildings and facilities
- Data center energy efficiency and energy management
- Work to advance smart grid technologies in both residential and commercial settings
Telecos are, after all, one of the most energy-intensive sectors in the world economy. The NREL suggests that the industry eats up 3 percent of the U.S. power consumption, with half of that coming from telecommunications activities.
Although a recent report suggests that growth of data center power consumption has been less dramatic than anticipated over the past several years, the Carbon Disclosure has released its own white paper, "Building a 21st Century Communications Economy," which outlines recent trends for the sector.
According to that paper, the ICT sector could help the United States cut greenhouse gas emissions by 13 percent to 22 percent annually. It generates roughly $4,000 of net income per ton of carbon dioxide emissions, double that of the "consumer staples" sector. One big factor for the ability of the sector to decrease carbon emissions in months to come will be adoption of broadband bandwidth, according to the report. Of course, that is a double-edged sword for companies like Verizon -- even though it will benefit internally from telecommuting and other alternative work arrangements, as more people use cloud services, it puts even more pressure on telecommunications companies and Internet service providers to become more energy-efficient.