The Climate Group, a global NGO, advocates a widespread switch to LED lighting, especially in public spaces and for street lighting, to cut carbon emissions by 1.4 million tons annually. The US Department of Energy supports those goals through its Outdoor Lighting Accelerator program, which offers technical, financial, and regulatory assistance.
Meanwhile, innovative manufacturers are dedicated to making investment in LED pay even greater dividends by developing city-wide digital lighting networks that function as IoT-enabled digital canopies. When integrated into these networks, connected sensors can enhance city efficiency, helping reroute vehicle traffic, for example, or making it easier and faster for drivers to park, further reducing emissions.
Ericsson Research projects that what they call the smart grid could alone cut greenhouse gas emissions by 3.9 percent by 2030. This steadily developing IoT-enabled energy supply network, which can detect and adjust for local changes in energy use, provides numerous green benefits. One small component of the smart grid, the smart electricity meter, enables real-time two-way communication between consumer and utility, making it easier for the latter to meet energy demand with less waste by coordinating energy conservation as well as energy generation. Utilities might start rewarding consumers for using less energy during high-demand hours, for example.
To help reduce carbon impact in everyday economic activity, the World Green Building Council is coordinating local efforts to ensure that all new buildings operate at net zero carbon. IoT sensors available today support all of the Council's main pillars, including reducing energy consumption, generating renewable energy on-site, and performing closed-loop measurement of carbon consumption and waste.
IoT-powered smart services and industry could account for a 3 percent carbon reduction by increasing efficiency and eliminating reliance on disposable materials (such as paper) in both the public and private sector.
Smart agriculture, according to Ericsson Research, could facilitate another 3 percent reduction. Today's smart agriculture efforts including better cow monitoring, which identifies ailing livestock based on the animal's position and behavior. Being able to screen, treat, and remove sick animals has improved meat and dairy yields and reduced over-treatment with antibiotics, while creating opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from unfit animals.
Crucial carbon savings can be realized in the developing world as well. Low-cost, low-power IoT devices could bring precision agriculture (which minimizes use of fertilizer, pesticides, and water) to modernizing countries much more quickly than has been possible up to now. That means avoiding years of wasteful over-consumption of water, fuel, and soil additives.
Early adoption of IoT monitoring and rerouting for oceanic cargo shipping shows that it's possible to reduce fuel consumption by up to 15 percent. Preventative maintenance that avoids five-week overhauls in favor of on-the-spot repairs could also reduce the need to build redundant fleets.