On April 27, Huawei, China’s ICT giant, released its Green Development 2030 report at the Huawei Global Analyst Summit 2022. A number of industry experts including the CMO of Huawei's ICT Infrastructure Business, Kevin Zhang, President of Huawei's SingleRAN Product Line, Aaron Jiang, and representatives from Global Enabling Sustainability Initiative (GeSI), China Mobile, State Grid Yancheng Power Supply Company, BYD, etc., attended the forum and shared their stories.
Huawei’s Green Development 2030 report included Huawei’s own outlook and input from nearly 100 industry experts as well as more than 30 third-party organizations comprising policymakers, associations, think tanks, and enterprises, focusing on how digitalization and decarbonization can drive green development, as well as potential applications of green ICT in key industries by 2030.
In the report, three pathways for future ICT innovation to empower green development were proposed: improving the energy efficiency of digital infrastructure, increasing the share of renewables in electricity generation, and the enabling of green industries.
In 2020, global carbon emissions reached 35 billion tons, of which carbon emissions in the power, industry, transportation, and construction sectors account for the top 4, amounting to 94% of the overall carbon emissions. “ICT can help reduce emissions by 3.6 billion tons in the transportation industry, 2.7 billion tons in the manufacturing industry, 2 billion tons in agriculture, 2 billion tons in construction, and 1.8 billion tons in the energy industry,” informs GeSI CEO Luis Neves.
Zhang echoed Neves’s claim and suggested it’s not enough to only focus on energy consumption, as the industry should pay more attention to energy efficiency, or more simply put, achieving “more bits, less watts”. The ideal can be achieved through maximizing the use of renewable energy, as well as the introduction of AI technology and so on to innovate and create “green sites”, Zhang claims.
According to Zhang, 40% of global carbon emissions come from parks, and ICT technology can play an enabling role in carbon management and energy management. Huawei has previously collaborated with the State Grid Jiangsu Power Supply Company to jointly built a zero-carbon smart park. “After one year, we have helped the park achieve a renewable energy ratio of 85%, saving about 3 million kWh of electricity and reducing carbon emissions by 56,005,600 tons per year,” said Zhang.
Wang Guoping, Deputy General Manager of State Grid Yancheng Power Supply Company, who also attended Huawei’s forum acknowledged Zhang’s claim, and spoke about how State Grid has put forward the development idea of transforming from a power supplier to an energy service provider. Wang also emphasized the importance of multi-energy integration, smart zero-carbon management, and efficient operations.
In addition, Li Zhongyan, Deputy General Manager of China Mobile's Planning & Construction Department shed light on the operator's newest "C2 + Three Programs" green action plan, which has been updated to meet carbon emissions peak and carbon neutrality goals. The action plan covers three programs (energy saving, clean energy, and industry enablement) and six green initiatives (green networks, green energy consumption, green supply chains, green offices, green enablement, and green culture).
China Mobile plans to cut energy consumption and carbon emissions per unit of telecom services by at least 20%, reduce its own electricity use by more than 40 billion kWh, and enable other industries to cut emissions by more than 1.6 billion tons by the end of the 14th Five-year Plan period, supporting China's "dual carbon" goals of reaching the carbon emissions peak by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2060.
The “dual carbon” goal is a grand one, requiring all industries and companies to join forces and improve their own low carbon operations. At the forum, the Head of ICT Security at BYD's Information Center, Luo Xiaoping explained how they are using green optical networks to enable smart manufacturing and green and low carbon operations. According to Luo, a 5G optical transmission network was used at BYD’s new production line, which not only reduced the overall cost by 50%, but also avoided electromagnetic interference problems common in traditional factories.
Outlooking the future, Aaron Jiang, President of Huawei's SingleRAN Product Line, says “We expect that by 2025, equipment overlaid with intelligent energy-saving means to reduce network energy consumption will reach more than 50%.”
In the past years, as the U.S. imposed a trade ban on a number of Chinese companies including Huawei, the company has seen its revenue suffer, dropping 49.6% year on year in 2021, according to its recently released annual report. The company has previously reiterated its faith and increased its R&D investment, ranking second in the 2021 EU Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard. Following China’s carbon neutrality goal and the global trend to go green, Huawei has also listed green development and green transformation for other industries as part of its own mission. By the end of 2021, Huawei reported saving 84.2 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity and reducing CO2 emissions by about 40 million tons, by providing greener solutions to carriers in more than 100 countries and regions.
Cover image from Huawei's Green Development 2030 report.