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Greener Telecom Part of China's Five-Year Plan

Excerpts from an address at the International Telecommunications Union's 2011 Green Standards Week sheds light on on Green ICT initiatives within China's communications industry.

During the 11th Five-Year Plan, China’s communication industry is moving rapidly to meet the needs of the society. The communication networks are expanding at a fast pace with around 200% growth in the switch capacity and over 1.5 million base stations. However, the rapid growth has resulted in the surging power consumption in the industry. According to the statistics, the comprehensive power consumption of the industry in 2010 has increased by 15% to reach 33.4 billion kWh, equivalent to 5.07 million tons of standard coals…Having the world’s largest fixed and mobile communication networks, China shoulders a challenging task in energy conservation and emission reduction in the industry.

Scientific progress and innovations will be the important pillar for economic transformation in the 12th Five-Year Plan…Today, communication networks are going to upgrade and the 3G network construction is under way. We shall take this great opportunity to develop new products and build world leading technology based on scientific progress, innovations, and green concepts.

First, we shall strengthen the innovation and application of energy-saving technologies, use various new technologies, techniques, devices, materials in energy conservation and emission reduction, widely apply environmental-friendly, low energy-consuming communication devices, promote matured and efficient energy saving technologies, strengthen energy consumption analysis, actively reduce the power consumption per unit, raise the proportion of new energies, and push forward energy conservation and emission reduction in an all-around way.

Second, we shall make efforts to optimize current network structures, make breakthroughs in key energy-saving technologies, and improve the usage of devices. We will speed up the network upgrade for more power efficiency and phase out old and energy-consuming devices. Priority will be given to improve the energy efficiency of mobile base stations, IDC, business platforms, switch rooms, and air conditioners. While reducing energy consumption, we will continue to raise network operation efficiency.

Third, we shall increase the sharing and joint construction of infrastructures. The sharing and joint construction of telecom infrastructure would effectively save land and resources, protect environment, and reduce redundant construction.

Fourth, improve the energy conservation of the overall industry chain and fully promote emission reduction. Centered on basic telecom operators, we will work with parties in equipment manufacturing, terminal production, project design, construction, and network maintenance. According to the requirements of low energy consumption and emissions in product design, transportation, maintenance, and recycling, we will formulate a complete industry chain for the energy conservation and emission reduction in the telecom industry and build a sound eco-environment.

Green ICT in China