Big IT corporations can emerge as key members of a grand coalition for global clean energy transitions due to their unrivalled investment capacity and innovation potential.
FREMONT, CA: The majority of big tech businesses have already become dedicated to reaching zero emissions from their operations. These goals establish a crucial precedent for the rest of the economy, considering the corporations' status as often-emulated "trendsetters." Their efforts in digitization, artificial intelligence, and information systems can be game-changers in developing the smarter, more flexible energy systems required to achieve net-zero emissions.
The energy and carbon profile of tech organizations differs significantly depending on their business model. Some of the world's largest tech firms are almost entirely digital and electrified, and others have vast carbon-intensive hardware manufacturing supply chains and global shipping and delivery networks. Outsourcing is common in several of these industrial and logistics sectors.
The most significant opportunity for IT businesses, though, is to use their clout to effect major changes across the entire energy system, not just in their supply. There are only a few sectors where their combined expertise, scale, and devotion may have a transformative effect.
Improve the digital transformation of the electricity sector
Even if the direct use of fossil fuels in vehicles and industry continues to account for the vast majority of energy consumption, wind and solar PV are pushing the rise of low-carbon electricity supply.
Organizations in the tech sector may play a significant role in helping to level out electricity usage. Currently, major IT businesses are rapidly striving to increase their zero-carbon promises by engaging in hydrogen and battery storage, in addition to wind and solar, to ensure that their data centres are supplied with clean electricity constantly.
Activate the full power of digitalization
Wind and solar PV will undoubtedly carry most of the load, but other clean energy technologies will be required for a net-zero transition to be effective. It's just not possible to duplicate each joule of fossil energy with the equal joule from a low-carbon source. Energy efficiency must be increased throughout the board as part of the energy transition.
Big tech firms have immense knowledge and talents to depend on. They examined their operations as part of their endeavor to lower their direct carbon footprint. Due to advancements in computing and infrastructure and a transition to a higher share of cloud and hyper-scale data centres, there has been a significant decoupling among data use, internet traffic, and electricity use in recent times.
Empower consumers to make better informed low-carbon decisions
The products of giant technology corporations are profoundly established in daily life, changing purchasing habits and social relationships. These items can also assist consumers in being more proactive in embracing behaviours that reduce emissions while maintaining their current lives.
These behavioural shifts can be considerably facilitated by big tech consumer products that make them convenient and appealing. Carbon calculators might be included in smartphone apps to tell consumers about the "expense" of travelling by foot, bike, public transportation, or car. They may make it easier to integrate shared mobility with traditional public transportation networks.