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Optical networks and the ecodesign tradeoff between climate change mitigation and adaptation, and critical raw material depletion

  1. Optical networks and the ecodesign tradeoff between climate-change mitigation and adaptation, and critical-raw-material depletion ECOC 2022, Workshop, Optical Networks – Will they destroy the planet or save humanity? Basel, September 18, 2022 Dr. Klaus Grobe, ADVA Anyone who believes exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist. Kenneth E. Boulding, 1910-1993, English-born American economist, educator, interdisciplinary philosopher, and inventor of the Circular Economy concept
  2. © 2022 ADVA. All rights reserved. 2 OVERVIEW / CONTENT Relevant environmental aspects of optical networks 1. Conclusions 2.
  3. © 2022 ADVA. All rights reserved. 3 Relevant environmental aspects of optical networks
  4. © 2022 ADVA. All rights reserved. 4 Environmental aspects and risks (not ICT-specific) Physical climate risks (examples, from our TCFD* analysis 2020) Extreme precipitation events in Asia and the Mediterranean – and not only there… More consecutive hot days, soil-moisture decrease, higher risk of droughts in Europe, southern US Sea level rise 0.3-0.6 m (toward 2100), especially at US west coast and in Asia Critical environmental aspects (globally, in reporting, assessment, …) Climate change Circular economy (raw material, waste) Water, pollution, ecosystems Mitigation Adaptation Own performance Enabling activities Adapted activities Enabling adaptation *) Task force for climate-related financial disclosure
  5. © 2022 ADVA. All rights reserved. 5 Network infrastructure power consumption [H. Mellah, B. Sansò, June 2011, DOI: 10.1109/WoWMoM.2011.5986484], [Vereecken et al., IEEE COMMAG, Vol. 49, No. 6, 2011], [Tucker et al., ECOC 2008, based on METI, 2006, Nordman, 2007], [ADVA research and specifications] • Following Internet bandwidth increase, router, switch and WDM power consumption is exponentially increasing • Energy efficiency increase cannot cope with bitrate increase – and is saturating • Must work on photonics energy efficiency 1E+0 1E+1 1E+2 1E+3 1E+4 1E+5 1E-1 1E+0 1E+1 1E+2 1E+3 1E+4 1E+5 Power consumption [W] Throughput [Gbps] Switches Routers WDM Transponders WDM Plugs Per equipment class, almost linear in time
  6. © 2022 ADVA. All rights reserved. 6 1990 2000 0 10 20 Global CO 2 emissions [GtCO 2 /a] 2010 2020 2030 30 40 50 ICT emissions Greening-by-ICT carbon savings ICT emissions … [IPCC AR6, 2022] [#Smarter2030, Executive Summary, GeSI, 2015] • ICT can over-compensate its damages • ICT-enables GWP savings in other sectors can be higher by ×10 • Is the 1.5°C pathway still feasible? • Must work on maximizing greening-by-ICT [A.S.G. Andrae, Int. J. Science and Engineering Investigations Vol. 8, Issue 86, March 2019]
  7. © 2022 ADVA. All rights reserved. 7 WEEE … [O.S. Shittu, I.D. Williams, P.J. Shaw, “Global E-waste management: Can WEEE make a difference? A review of e-waste trends, legislation, contemporary issues and future challenges,” Waste Management, Vol. 120, Feb. 2021, pp. 549-563,] 0 20 40 60 80 Global WEEE generation [Mt] 2020 2022 2024 2026 2028 2030 • The amount of waste electronic and electrical equipment (WEEE) is increasing globally • Efficiency in reuse and WEEE recycling is limited • Very complex material compounds • Functional obsolescence • Reverse logistics • Must improve the circular-economy aspects of reuse and recycling WEEE : Waste electronic and electrical equipment
  8. © 2022 ADVA. All rights reserved. 8 Critical raw material • ICT requires critical raw material • The EU 2017/2020 Critical Raw Materials lists include: Rare-Earth elements, Gallium, Germanium, Indium, Tantalum, Platinum-Group Metals, … • Must improve the circular- economy aspect of highest material efficiency [Study on the EU's list of Critical Raw Materials (2020) Final Report, Technical Report, September 2020, DOI: 10.2873/11619] 5 4 3 2 6 3 4 5 6 7 Economic importance Raw-material supply risk Phosphorus 1 Light/Heavy Rare-Earth Elements Magnesium Titanium Cobalt Platinum-Group Metals Niobium Indium Germanium Gallium Tantalum Antimony Beryllium Strontium Scandium (Not complete)
  9. © 2022 ADVA. All rights reserved. 9 Climate-change adaptation… Must work on climate- change adaptation – of the ICT sector itself! Ahr valley, Germany, July 2021 © SanGero – © Heinz –
  10. © 2022 ADVA. All rights reserved. 10 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 2020 2030 2040 2050 Lifetime GWP [tCO 2 e] 400G/600G DWDM No Replacement Replace every 8 Years Optimum Replacement Reality is even more complex … • How long should a WDM system be used – until this gets GWP net-negative? • New replacement system has better energy efficiency, however, its production etc. cost CO2 • Problem : for certain equipment with very high use-phase dominance, timely replacement makes sense to minimize total lifetime emissions – this contradicts certain circular-economy recommendations and requirements GWP : Global warming potential Equipment production emissions Major classes of optical-networking equipment must be treated differently regarding ecodesign…! This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No 776714.
  11. © 2022 ADVA. All rights reserved. 11 Conclusions
  12. © 2022 ADVA. All rights reserved. 12 Conclusions • Climate change may be most pressing today, but… • Are we missing the 1.5°C pathway already? • Through everything into lowest ICT emissions?? • ICT the only big emissions-reductions enabler (Greening-by-ICT) • We might have to look much more at ICT climate-change adaptation • Must also consider critical raw material, WEEE, and recycling Optical networks are much more on the positive side of things …! 1 2 3 3 Author‘s choice only
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