Unlocking the potential of digital technologies for a sustainable energy transition
Digital technologies and innovations are playing an increasing important role in determining the success of energy transition across sectors and industries.
Artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, digital twins are among the digital technologies that are creating a foundation for digital communication. This is important as digital communication enables energy usage to be monitored and analyzed in near real-time, identifying usage patterns, peak demands and other determinants that help to optimize energy and operational efficiency and management.
Digitalization can contribute substantially to multiple aspects of energy transition from improving the accessibility and uptakes of renewable energy to supporting the process of carbon capture and storage.
However, there is a missing component to digital transformation, which is the environmental cost of operating these technologies from manufacturing to usage and end of life. The information and communication technology (ICT) sector, which is a key enabling sector for digital technology, currently accounts for roughly 1.4% of overall global emissions and the sector uses about 3.6% of the global electricity for its operation. Meanwhile, digital transformation continues to impact the energy sector and beyond. The global pandemic has only further accelerated this process.
If we were to fully realize the potential of digital technologies in accelerating the energy transition and enabling the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, it is important that the sustainability aspects of digital technologies are taken into consideration. Meaning, we need to take actions not only to limit the emissions of the ICT sector but to guide the sector to reach carbon neutrality through inclusive environmental standards and shifting towards the circular economy.
This side event will bring together experts from the energy sector to sharing their insights on the impacts digital transformation is having on the sector and tools such as standards can be leveraged to ensure the digitalization process itself is sustainable.