How the IoT is helping in the fight to combat climate change

Al Sisto

Blog by: Al Sisto - 19 / Nov / 2021

Climate change is the looming doomsday device of the modern era. And governments all over the world are banding together to tackle the challenges. According to Interact, the best-case scenarios that the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) describes require aggressive mitigation of global carbon emissions, calling for them to fall to levels from 40 to 70 percent lower than their 2010 levels. And even reaching that goal will only slow global warming. At the new levels, the IPCC projects, average temperatures could still climb by 2 degrees Celsius by 2050. But the IoT is helping in the fight to combat climate change through smart deployments. And we’re going to explore a few of them today.

LED and smart grids

The switch to LED lighting reduces power consumption dramatically. And then internet of things (IoT) devices are used to connect these lighting sources into a smart grid, there are big payoffs. The scope for energy saving in a domestic and corporate environment is so significant the US government is supporting the switch. And, according to Forbes, Hive has introduced a similar range of smart devices related to domestic energy consumption, including a smart plug that can be turned off remotely. And similar devices are already in place across the corporate landscape for smarter, energy-efficient offices and production facilities. That’s important because the increasing load of IoT devices must be offset by an efficient energy supply.

Industrial IoT byproduct

Industrial IoT or IIoT is gaining traction for the efficiencies it can offer. But beyond that, manufacturers end up impacting climate change as a side effect of these deployments. This covers a range of unintentionally eco-friendly improvements from fuel-saving shipping to demand-based production that will help to reduce greenhouse gasses. According to Solum, “the use of IoT has the potential of reducing emissions by as much as 63.5 gigatons by the year 2030, should all industrial sectors participate.” And Northstream identifies the cost reduction achieved is often a result of optimising the use of production materials ranging from electricity, fuel and water to cotton, iron, timber and more. This means that as part of those commercial initiatives aimed at financial benefits, there has been a positive contribution to sustainability.

Move to renewables

Every sector can switch its energy usage to more renewable sources. According to the WWF, “We need to cut man-made greenhouse gas emissions drastically, phase out fossil fuels and move to renewable energy. We need to use less energy and be more efficient in the energy that we do use...” IoT can enable that by monitoring and managing energy usage. This is in the home through devices like smart meters and in the workplace through clever tech like solar-power monitoring systems. IoT specialists can help your organisation identify the gains available through IoT applications for renewable energy. But it’s clear this is one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gasses, so IoT in this area pays huge climate change dividends.

 

Topics: IoT, IIoT, climate change

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