MIT report outlines the decarbonization impact of connectivity for industries

A new MIT Technology Review Insights report explores the enabling impact of connectivity in decarbonizing some of the biggest emitting industrial sectors.

Called Decarbonizing industries with connectivity and 5G, the report is sponsored by Ericsson. It is based on insights from senior technology, business and renewable energy executives worldwide.

The report evaluates how the use of connectivity, including 5G and other digital mobile technologies, can enable the decarbonization of energy and electrification-, manufacturing- and transport industries.

The report concludes that 5G and other digital mobile technologies can generate a transformational acceleration of decarbonization efforts, based on their speed of deployment, lower latency and their ability to help organizations connect and manage disparate and remote assets.

Key findings include:

  • 5G is key to generating efficiency gains and new sustainable operational processes. In addition to significant operational performance improvements, 5G and other digital mobile technologies allow organizations to achieve considerable sustainability gains by increasing energy efficiency through better monitoring or reducing waste and material costs through optimized management practices.
  • Mobile network data can enhance analytics capabilities. The data generated from IoT devices, autonomous vehicles, and devicesoffer decision-makers greater visibility into their operations and provide a broader view of activities that create greenhouse gas emissions. This can generate a powerful analytics platform which can support decision-makers to decarbonize exponentially.
  • Some of the biggest emitting sectors are interconnected. Many organizations are interconnected through interdependent operational models and business eco-systems which already leverage shared data and insights. 5G can facilitate greater interconnected systems to allow vast amounts of data sharing across supply chains, logistics networks, and energy grids – allowing a real step change for radically lowered emissions.

Governments and companies are under intense pressure to transform the way energy and materials are generated and consumed to quickly reduce carbon emissions.

In August 2021, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its sixth report in which it unequivocally forecasts that, without substantial and immediate reductions in carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gas emissions, the world will face a series of irreversible climate tipping points, impacting everything from food production to migration patterns to the global economy.

Erik Ekudden, Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Ericsson, says: “Through connected technologies, the private and public sectors can harness all-manner of uses and solutions to combat climate change. Efficient logistics and manufacturing, renewable energy systems, and low carbon transportation are just some of the known uses. With a clear challenge in global energy consumption, effects of CO2 pollution, and inefficient use of resources we need to turn to those enabling technologies that can drive change fastest and we believe that 5G is one of our most powerful and scalable tools available to do so.”

Read the report: Decarbonizing industries with connectivity and 5G

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