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An Environmental Approach to Power Digitalisation
November 10, 2020 News


As organisations across different industries digitally transform, they are taking on more and more advanced and powerful technologies. In doing this, however, energy consumption is becoming a big challenge for organisations, not to mention the impact it is causing on the environment.

At a recent Better World Summit 2020 (Power Digitalization 2025) panel session, Huawei talked about how companies can accelerate their technological advancements while, at the same time, be kind to the environment.

The purpose of the summit is to explore how ICT can be used to more effectively combat the spread of COVID-19 and boost post-pandemic economic recovery. Alongside telecom carriers, regulators, analysts, media and partners around the globe, Huawei delved into how ICT is providing new value in a wide range of fields.

“With the development of emerging technologies such as 5G, cloud, AI, big data and the IoT, digital transformation has [ushered in a] digital era where things are sensing, connected and intelligent. Ubiquitous connectivity and omnipresent intelligence are becoming reality”, stated Zhou Taoyuan, President of Digital Power Product Line, Huawei, opening the session.

According to Zhou, there will be a significant increase of 5G stations deployed worldwide, with about 130 million stations projected at the end of 2020 and also millions of data centres emerging every month. One of the challenges in this advancement is power consumption, since developing this number of technology centres require high amounts of energy.

He added that building numerous 5G stations and data centres bring challenges in energy infrastructure, including high-power consumption, long construction periods and operations and management costs. “Traditional energy solutions just would not do. To solve these problems, the industry needs to pay more attention and invest more in [energy-efficient technologies]”, said Zhou.

As the session went on, Alberto Carrillo Pineda, Director, Science Based Targets, Carbon Disclosure Project, further discussed the effects of traditional energy consumption methods worldwide. According to Alberto, such methods typically produce “a great imbalance between the amount of greenhouse gases and carbon in our atmosphere. This imbalance is causing the accumulation of unwanted gases and is the main cause of global warming”.

Alberto added that the rate at which we are releasing the greenhouse gases into the atmosphere is accelerating every year and the trend has not changed despite companies having the clarity of its effects. Also, the global mean temperature is already 1.1 degree Celsius higher compared to the era of the first industrial revolution.

As a solution, Alberto suggested that organisations should aim for a “net-zero emissions” economy through the following steps:

  • Transition from fossil-based to clean and renewable energy.
  • Shift from an internal combustion engine to electrified clean transportation systems.
  • End deforestation and restore natural ecosystems.
  • And move from an extractive linear economy to a circular and regenerative one.

To talk about how Huawei can help in this transition into more efficient and environmentally-friendly energy consumption, Fang Liangzhou, Chief Marketing Officer of Huawei Digital Power, introduced Huawei’s PowerX 2025 Target Network – Huawei’s range of solutions for sustainable 5G and data centre deployments.

Fang explained that one of the goals of the PowerX 2025 Target Network is to implement 5G without adding operational expenditures, lowering cost, increasing revenues and turning communication stations into what Huawei calls “social stations” that provide functions like site sharing, energy infrastructure sharing and advertising space rental.

The 5G PowerX also lowers TCO through the utilisation of lithium batteries and solar panels that will power both the cell site and the equipment room, where the hardware resides. It embodies a “1 site 1 blade” solution which features natural cooling, a small footprint, maintenance-free capabilities and fast service provision.

By adopting AI and IoT, the 5G PowerX also optimises coordinated scheduling between various systems, such as power supply modules, site hardware and the network. This enables intelligent power output and intelligent O&M for site power systems, driving the full “smartification” of the site’s power network.

As for data centres, Huawei’s DC PowerX was designed to tackle issues such as long data centre construction period, high-energy consumption and challenging O&M using AI and predictive maintenance. It will allow organisations to build a simple, green, smart and reliable next-generation data centre facility that adheres to the “four reconstructions” principle, which are zero wait time for rollout, zero waste of energy, zero manual O&M and zero service interruption.

In a press release, Huawei said that they will keep cooperating with global operators to face the challenges and seize the opportunities brought by the digital world, aiming to infuse operators with “green power” and help them grow their business sustainably well into the future.