September 18, 2022

Integrating ICT with power electronics technologies

Contributed by:

Ms. Sun Yafang

Member of Core Elite Group, Huawei Technologies

This Commissioner Insight was published in the 2022 State of Broadband Report,

In 2015, the 193 UN Member States officially adopted 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with the aim of balancing the economic, social, and ecological dimensions of sustainable development by 2030. These goals are closely interrelated and provide a clear roadmap for promoting global sustainable development. However, many of the goals are being hindered due to a variety of reasons.

With the rapid development of the digital economy, carbon neutrality has become a shared mission worldwide, with most major economies having set clear timetables and goals for carbon neutrality. These goals raise new requirements for green and low-carbon transformation of the economy and society in a systematic, large-scale, and concrete way. Today, we can be sure that intelligence and low carbon will be two trends in the next three to four decades.

Going intelligent requires digital technologies, while decreasing our carbon footprint requires power electronics technologies. Integrating these technologies into products and solutions is key to green and low-carbon transformation.

As a major contributor to both sectors, Huawei is moving in the same direction as its peers around the world. Specifically, Huawei is dedicated to working with global customers and partners to promote clean energy generation, build green and low-carbon ICT infrastructure, and accelerate green transportation, ultimately helping to build zero-carbon buildings, campuses, and cities.

As networks and 5G evolve, sites are greatly increasing their power consumption. The resulting increase in OpEx and carbon emissions represents significant challenges for the communications industry. In China’s Zhejiang province, China Mobile (Hangzhou) and China Mobile Group Design Institute teamed up with Huawei to build a converged site in Hangzhou using a simplified solution that replaces rooms with cabinets and cabinets with poles. A single cabinet replaces the original six. This saved 80 per cent of floor space, allowing for the installation of a Huawei Smart PV power system that yields 20 per cent more energy than a traditional one. The project cuts electricity costs by CNY 13 000 per year, equivalent to reducing carbon emissions by 8 tonnes. If the solution is adopted in sites worldwide, carbon emissions would be cut by around 28 million tonnes each year, which is equivalent to planting 38 million trees. As an engine of the digital economy, data centres are shifting towards low carbon to meet global carbon neutrality goals. In partnership with Huawei, Moro Hub, a subsidiary of Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (DEWA), has built the largest 100 per cent solar-powered data centre in the Middle East and Africa. In phase 1, it took only fifteen months to complete the construction of a data centre covering an area of 2 000 m2 , a record for data centre construction in the Middle East. Carbon emissions are expected to drop by roughly 10 517 tonnes a year, which is equivalent to planting more than 17 000 trees.

These are just two examples of what can be achieved by integrating ICT with power electronics technologies. By working closely with industry partners, we will continue to innovate in scenarios such as ICT infrastructure, new energy vehicles, and clean power generation. Looking ahead, Huawei will continue to leverage technologies to help achieve the UN SDGs with industry partners to create a better and greener future for everyone.

The ideas and opinions expressed in this insight are those of the authors; they do not necessarily reflect those of ITU and UNESCO or the Broadband Commission. The mention of specific companies, products or services does not imply that they are endorsed or recommended by ITU or UNESCO or Broadband Commission in preference to others of a similar nature that are not mentioned.