Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs, in collaboration with service providers and other leading research organizations around the world, is launching the Green Touch™ Initiative (read the press release here), a global consortium focused on making communications networks a 1,000 times more energy efficient than they are today. Gee Rittenhouse, head of Research at Bell Labs tells us more about it.
Here are more info on this initiative from the Green Touch™ website:
With exponential increases in information and communication traffic, the industry’s contribution to the global carbon footprint is forecast to double over the next ten years. While incremental approaches to reducing energy consumption are critical, they will ultimately fail to keep pace. A more ambitious and visionary solution is required to achieve targets in the long term and address the growing demand for energy driven by dramatic increases in the number of users, video usage, the advent of machine-to-machine communication and the growing role of information and communication technology (ICT) for energy reduction efforts in other industries.
Based on research conducted by Bell Labs, we know that today’s networks have the potential to be 10,000 times more energy efficient than they are today. A concerted effort to bring energy efficiency closer to these theoretical limits would not only shrink the estimated 2% of the world’s carbon emissions ICT contributes directly, but also lower the 98% contributed by all the other sectors touched directly and indirectly by ICT.
Nothing less than reinventing the network as we know it. The Green Touch™ global consortium is committed to inventing and delivering the technologies that will be at the heart of sustainable communication networks in the decades to come.
The goal of this new consortium is to create the technologies needed to make communications networks 1000 times more energy efficient than they are today.
A thousand-fold reduction is roughly equivalent to being able to power the world’s communications networks, including the Internet, for three years using the same amount of energy that it currently takes to run them for a single day.
An early goal for this initiative is to deliver, within five years, a reference architecture, specifications, technology development roadmap and demonstrations of key components needed to realize a fundamental re-design of networks (including the introduction of entirely new technologies) that can reduce energy consumption – both by individuals and in aggregate – by 1000 times as compared to current levels.
Through a focused and collaborative cross-industry initiative, we intend to define the challenge, conduct breakthrough research, and deliver innovative new technologies and sustainable solutions that can be applied across ICT and beyond — for a greener and more sustainable communications future and for the benefit of all.