What IoT can do for decarbonization

Decarbonization is the use of low-carbon power sources to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and reduce greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere.

What Does Decarbonization Mean?

‘Decarbonization’ tends to refer to the process of reducing “carbon strength” lowering the amount of greenhouse gas emissions produced by the burning of fossil fuels.
Generally, this involves decreasing CO2 output per unit of electricity generated. Reducing the amount of carbon dioxide produced as a result of transportation and power generation is essential to meet the global temperature standards set by the Paris Agreement and the UK Government.

How Does Decarbonization Work?

Decarbonization involves increasing the prominence of low-carbon power generation, and a corresponding reduction in the use of fossil fuels. This includes the use of renewable energy sources, especially wind power, solar power and biomass.
The use of carbon power can also be reduced by the large-scale use of electric vehicles along with “cleaner” technology. By lowering the carbon strength of the electricity and transportation sector, we can meet our net zero emissions targets faster and in line with government standards.

When Does Decarbonization Occur?

Efforts made to decarbonize have been put in place by various countries, with more than 150 governments having submitted plans to reduce carbon emissions by 2030.
Changes made include Paris’ pledge to ban diesel vehicles from 2040, and TFL schemes to introduce electric and electric hybrid London buses and black cabs. Renewable energy sources are also being implemented more widely, and now produce a third of all power capacity worldwide. Greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel power stations can be capped by installing carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology, with around 20 large-scale CCS facilities currently in operation globally and more under construction.

Why is Decarbonization Important?

Following the prioritization of decarbonization outlined in the Paris Agreement, the UK government committed to achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045.

After Parliament’s declaration of a climate emergency, the Committee on Climate Change recommended that achieving this net zero was not only feasible but also necessary and cost-effective. Rapid decarbonization is becoming more necessary as the transport sector becomes electrified, increasing the demand for electric power. Greater energy efficiency is therefore becoming a priority to meet emission targets and improve air quality and global temperature.

How do we Decarbonize?

More energy-efficient and less carbon-intense energy sources are some of the most prominent ways decarbonization may be achieved. The global transport system is run primarily on carbon-based fuels such as diesel and petroleum, but electric vehicles becoming more widely-used would improve the contribution of the transport sector to reducing carbon emissions.

TWI is involved in this change, offering manufacturers support in joining challenging materials together, working on process improvement to optimize design, and helping to reduce costs to meet the challenges of welding and joining for electrification.

The UK’s independent Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has shown that the power sector could achieve emissions of 6 million tons of CO2 equivalent in 2045, compared to 87.3 million tons in 2019. With such changes being made, it is possible that the UK could become carbon-neutral through the process of decarbonization.

What can IoT Do?

Companies that revise their energy management strategies should start by investigating recent innovations across IoT technologies that make energy efficiency easier and more effective. For example, cheaper IoT sensors ensure more complete energy data capture, and more advanced analysis helps companies identify efficiency opportunities and verify the success of remodeling projects.
The use of IoT solutions for energy management is already a common application, with 47% of companies now using it with some capacity and an additional 46% of companies evaluating or trying out technology.

One focal point of innovation has been the rise of cost-effective IoT-enabled energy management systems for small premises. In December 2021, Siemens announced the acquisition of French IoT hardware and software firm Wattsense. The agreement adds a plug-and-play IoT management system for small and medium-sized buildings to Siemens’ building product portfolio. Wattsense enables buildings with no incumbent building management system (BMS) to deploy a simple IoT solution to tackle building management processes, including energy management.

In addition, advances across IoT analytics are helping businesses track and improve building management processes. For example, Spacewell’s DEXMA solution delivers AI-enabled recommended actions, as well as the energy and cost savings associated with each action. Boston Scientific employed Schneider Electric’s Building Advisor solution to save almost 405,000kWh in energy in the first two years, resulting in the receipt of a $41,000 performance incentive from National Grid.

Firms still relying on high-level energy data from utility bills and building-level meters risk being left in the dark about energy-wasting equipment or performance drift from HVAC systems. As momentum around sustainability increases and facility managers are put under pressure to meet net zero carbon targets, firms need to make sure that IoT sensors and monitoring technology form part of their energy management strategy.

We have installed IoT in our factory in Nagoya, delivered it, and developed it for our factory.
Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions such as “Is it possible to introduce IoT in such a place?” Or “Is it possible to solve this problem with IoT?”