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EC: Boost ICT research to reduce carbon footprint

Posted: 28 May 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:carbon footprint? Europe ICT? information and communication technologies?

The European Commission has released a statement outlining the role information and communication technologies (ICT) should play in improving energy efficiency and reducing Europe's carbon footprint.

This is according to an Agence France Presse report, which said that the commission stressed on the need for reinforced ICT research to improve the efficiency of computer components, as well as Europe's power grids, homes, buildings and lighting systems.

The paper, entitled "Addressing the challenge of energy efficiency through Information and Communication Technologies," fits the overall goal of the European Union to transform into a low-carbon, high energy-efficiency economy. This addresses the need to reduce EU's energy consumption, which is estimated to rise 25 percent by 2012, resulting in a substantial increase in greenhouse gases.

The commission added that ICT would not only improve energy efficiency and fight climate change but will also develop of a market for ICT-enabled energy-efficiency technologies and create new business opportunities.

To jumpstart the initiative, the EC calls for research to improve the energy efficiency of key areas beginning with ITC. The research would focus on new ICT technologies and applications that drive energy efficiency, as well as mean to reduce energy requirement of current technologies.

The commission also suggests focus on energy management systems for both new and old buildings. The energy management systems, which include smart metering and advanced visualization that will gather data on how the building's equipment is operating and feed it into a cognitive control system to optimize energy performance.

In addition, the EC urges further research on smarter indoor, outdoor and street lighting. One area that is already under development is OLEDs, which can be used for large-scale lighting. OLEDs offer the advantage of having a uniformly diffuse-emitting surface while remaining energy-efficient and environmentally safe.

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