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Contribution Details

Type Book Chapter
Scope Discipline-based scholarship
Title Opportunities of 5G Mobile Technology for Climate Protection in Switzerland
Other Titles Conference paper
Organization Unit
  • Jan Bieser
  • Beatrice Salieri
  • Roland Hischier
  • Lorenz Hilty
  • Volker Wohlgemuth
  • Stefan Naumann
  • Grit Behrens
  • Hans-Knud Arndt
  • Maximilian Höb
Item Subtype Original Work
Refereed Yes
Status Published in final form
  • English
Booktitle Advances and New Trends in Environmental Informatics : Environmental Informatics and the UN Sustainable Development Goals
ISBN 978-3-031-18310-2
Number 21
Place of Publication Cham
Publisher Springer
Page Range 217 - 235
Date 2023
Abstract Text 5G mobile networks are intended to meet the increasing requirements placed on mobile communications. Producing and operating 5G infrastructure causes direct effects on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Meanwhile, 5G is expected to support applications that contribute to GHG abatement. We investigated (i) the GHG footprint of 5G infrastructure, and (ii) the GHG abatement potential of four 5G-supported use cases (i.e., flexible work, smart grids, automated driving and precision farming) for Switzerland in 2030. Our results show that 5G infrastructure is expected to cause 0.018 Mt CO2 e/year. Per unit of data transmitted, 5G is expected to cause 85% less GHG emissions in 2030 than today’s 2G/3G/4G network mix. The four 5G-supported use cases have the potential to avoid up to 2.1 Mt CO2 e/year; clearly more than the predicted GHG footprint of 5G infrastructure. The use cases benefit especially from ultra-low latency, the possibility to connect many devices, high reliability, mobility, availability and security provided by 5G. To put 5G at the service of climate protection, measures should be taken in two fields. First, the GHG footprint of 5G should be kept small, by installing only as much 5G infrastructure as required, running 5G with electricity from renewable energy sources, and decommissioning older network technologies once 5G is widely available. Second, the GHG abatements enabled by 5G-supported use cases should be unleashed by creating conditions that target GHG reductions and mitigate rebound effects. The final outcome depends largely on the political will to steer the development into the direction of a net GHG reduction.
Digital Object Identifier 10.1007/978-3-031-18311-9_13
Other Identification Number merlin-id:23088
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Additional Information Conference proceedings 978-3-031-18311-9 (E)