LIFE4GREENBROADBAND – Reducing CO2 emissions of the electronic communications network by implementing free cooling and solar power solutions
Duration of the project:
1. 9. 2021. – 31. 12. 2024.
The telecommunications industry is included in the “industry, energy supply and product use” sector representing 420 MtCO2 or around 17% of the non-ETS sector GHG emissions. However, the carbon footprint of the telecom sector lacks reliable data, resulting in inadequate knowledge and awareness about the need to reduce Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from this area.
The development of the telecommunications network is necessary due to the roll-out of new technologies, such as 5G, and the ever-increasing demand for greater internet speeds, which are a precondition for industrial development (specifically to accommodate technologies such as Industry 4.0, the lnternet of Things or real-time two-way communication). However, the network’s expected development will bring about a much higher energy intensity (the amount of energy used to produce a given level of output or activity) in the operation of the telecommunications network. Increased energy use in future networks will bring about a significant increase in GHG emissions, if energy efficiency and renewable energy measures are not widely incorporated within the telecommunications network. To decouple the telecommunications network’s future growth from rising GHG emissions, it is necessary to: (i) demonstrate energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies in the network; (ii) raise awareness about the need to reduce GHG emissions in this sector; and (iii) propose optimal and targeted measures to increase the use of renewable energy sources (RES) and application of energy efficiency measures in the sector.
The LIFE4GREENBROADBAND project’s main objective is to increase the Croatian electronic communications network’s energy efficiency and use of renewable energy, in order to reduce GHG emissions. It will seek to achieve this through implementing energy efficiency and renewable energy measures, so as to reduce energy consumption, increase the use of RES and reduce the CO2 emissions of base telecommunication stations (BTS), which are an integral part of the electronic communications network. By reducing GHG emissions from the telecommunications industry, LIFE4GREENBROADBAND will help contribute to the sustainable transition towards a climate-neutral economy by 2050 and to reaching the EU’s emissions reduction targets for 2030.
The project’s specific objectives are to:
- Implement best practice solutions for renewable energy and energy efficiency in the electronic communications network which can be replicated, transferred and mainstreamed;
- Improve the knowledge base and propose measures to the relevant public authorities for the development and implementation of effective climate change mitigation actions in the telecommunications sector;
- Improve policies and measures for implementation of energy efficiency, renewable energy and GHG reductions in the telecommunications sector;
- Raise public awareness on the need to reduce GHG emissions from the telecommunications sector;
- Assess the feasibility of large-scale uptake of free cooling and solar plant solutions in the telecommunications sector;
- Set energy performance standards for base stations as an integral part of the telecom network in terms of energy used per amount of data used;
- Multiply the impacts of the project’s solutions and mobilise a wider uptake of free cooling and solar plants in the sector, and transfer knowledge, methods and practices to other telecom operators in the EU;
- Inform interested stakeholders, particularly telecom operators, about project activities, results and benefits to increase replicability and transfer of project methods and techniques; and
- Promote the use of best practice RES and energy efficiency technologies in the telecommunications sector.
- Solar plants installed at 120 BTS locations;
- Indoor free cooling solutions implemented at 200 BTS locations;
- Annual production of energy from RES of more than 510 MWh achieved in the Croatian telecom network by 2024;
- Croatian network’s annual energy consumption reduced by 1 210 MWh by 2024;
- Croatian network’s annual CO2 emissions reduced by over 400 tonnes by 2024;
- Annual production of energy from RES of almost 4 430 MWh achieved in European telecom networks by 2027;
- Annual energy consumption in European telecom networks reduced by nearly 10,480 MWh by 2027;
- Annual CO2 emissions in European telecom networks reduced by 3 500 tonnes by 2027;
- Business plan for large-scale uptake of free cooling solutions and solar plants in the telecom industry, and a summary of the plan (including benefits and financial performance indicators), both disseminated to relevant stakeholders;
- Measures proposed and policy brief drafted for decreasing GHG emissions in the telecom industry, presented to the relevant public authorities;
- GHG performance benchmark for the Croatian telecom industry developed and disseminated to stakeholders;
- GHG inventory report for the Croatian telecom industry drafted and disseminated to stakeholders;
- Online workshops to replicate and transfer the project’s results within the A1 Group; and
- 100 000 individuals/entities made aware of the project and the need to reduce GHG emissions in the telecom industry.