5G to play key role in building a greener UK economy

August 17, 2020 //By Nick Flaherty
5G to play key role in building a greener UK economy
5G will play a key role in reducing carbon dioxide emissions in the UK, says a report from telecoms provider O2.

5G and connected technology, such as smart grids and autonomous vehicles, could see the UK save up to 269 megatonnes of CO 2 by 2035, almost equivalent to England’s total emissions in 2018 (280 megatonnes). 

The utilities and home energy sector could see the greatest benefit, as up to 181 megatonnes of CO 2 could be removed from the sector by 2035

Advances in mobile technology are set to play a key role in helping the UK achieve Net Zero by 2050. Powered by 5G, the application of smart connected solutions in key sectors could save the UK up to 269 megatonnes of CO 2 by 2035. If achieved, this would save almost as much CO 2 as all of England’s emissions in 2018 (280 megatonnes).

The report from O2, a subsidiary of Telefonica, conducted with IC&CO and Cenex, found that 5G connectivity for utilities and home energy will see the greatest benefit. O2’s research findings estimate that smart tech will enable up to 181 megatonnes of CO 2 to be removed from the sector by 2035. The mobile network is in the process of rolling out 5G across the UK, with 60 sites already live and plans to reach 70 before the end of the year.

Heating houses and powering the myriad devices that keep Britain moving has a significant energy cost, but 5G could help reduce this by enabling reliable and ultra-fast communication between machines, powering next-generation smart meters to enable households to track and reduce their consumption.

For energy providers, 5G enables efficiencies, including smarter transfer of energy from electric vehicles straight to the national grid.

As flexible and home-based working looks set to become more commonplace beyond the COVID-19 lockdown, up to 43 megatonnes of carbon could be removed from the economy as people become less reliant on transport, and 5G-powered autonomous vehicles and smart tech make the UK’s transport system greener. Much of this reduction in


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