By Plumb, Larry
Nation's Cities Weekly , Vol. 32, No. 14
The idea that broadband and information and communications technology (ICT) have boosted economic productivity is now common knowledge. Less understood but equally well documented is that ICT also has transformed the relationship between economic production and energy consumption, starting from when sending faxes began to substitute for sending letters.
Recent studies have shown how broadband usage and ICT can have a huge environmental impact by increasing the economy's energy efficiency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions:
* The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) has calculated that 10 kilowatt hours (kWh) of energy are saved in the U.S. economy for every 1 kWh of additional electricity used by ICT. For more information about energy savings from ICT, download the report Information and Communication Technologies: The Power of Productivity on the ACEEE website: www.aceee.org.
* The Boston Consulting Group estimates that the concerted application of information and communications technology will enable energy-efficient behaviors that can reduce U.S. COC emissions by as much as 22 percent by 2020. The reductions can be accomplished via environmentally friendly practices such as smart logistics, smart buildings, smart power grids and reduced travel through video conferencing and telework. …