Digitalization is Necessary for a Carbon Neutral Planet

10.12.2020 by Carsten Kreutze

Research has shown that digital technologies are a major player in helping to protect the climateIn fact, it’s estimated that 120 megatons of CO2 can be saved by digitalization. That is almost half of the CO2 that Germany has to reduce within the next 10 years to achieve its 2030 climate targets.

Buildings, manufacturing, mobility, and business are the first four fields of application that have been examined by a recent Bitkom study. Within these four areas, digital technologies can achieve a particularly large CO2 savings effect. "Digitization gives us an extremely powerful tool to reduce CO2 emissions quickly and effectively," says Achim Berg, president of BITKOM, Germany’s digital association.

Building A CO₂-neutral Europe

Buildings make a decisive contribution to a CO2-neutral Europe, states the Buildings Performance Institute Europe (BPIE). Their brand new analysis recommends three key areas to be watchful of: increase renovations of existing buildings, use more renewable energy, and reduce heat and ventilation energy consumption by 18%.

Ambitious climate targets require extraordinary measures, which is why digitization is so paramount. It’s obvious that things are trending toward smart and connected buildings. There’s a growing amount of data produced by increased equipment with sensors and control technology for climate protection.

But, action must be taken quickly. Existing digital innovations should be used across the board to drive sustainability in real estate forward. Because what is crucial above all is speed. "The faster and more consistently digital technologies are implemented, the more CO2 we can save in the future," emphasizes Berg.

Speed and efficiency are the keywords that put artificial intelligence (AI) at the forefront of climate-friendly technologies. It is not a dream of the future, but already a very promising reality today: CO2-friendly offices and retail buildings, universities and hotels are being operated AI-driven, and existing buildings in particular are being operated in that way with great success.

What An Impact

Artificial intelligence is a smart way to assist buildings on their way to decarbonization by means of heating, ventilation and air conditioning. And it does so without having to replace the existing systems. The climate impact of this is enormous. The self-learning solution "energyControl" reduces energy consumption by more than 20%. And, AI enables CO2 savings to be realized quickly and automatically.

The smart solution runs through a continuous learning process. In order to aid buildings in becoming carbon neutral, predictive control helps it to make its decisions, considering weather and occupancy data and their forecasts, usage and opening times. We’re no longer in a time where energy can be wasted. These tools are the future of climate-friendly commercial spaces.

Buildings on a CO₂-saving track with AI

Artificial intelligence has the most power to move real estate portfolios toward CO2 neutrality in an easily implementable way. Fast action is needed now to ensure we meet climate targets by 2030. Existing green innovations should be deployed across the board to achieve the greatest possible impact.

How about making it compulsory for buildings to not consume more energy than necessary? That would be a great start.

Let’s use the momentum of smart connectivity in buildings now, for a better climate later.

Carsten Kreutze is CEO of Recogizer. He has extensive experience in establishing companies, product development and strategic marketing. He sees enormous potential for energy saving in utilizing artificial intelligence and a cost-efficient contribution to the sustainability of real estate and climate protection.

Carsten Kreutze | Managing Director

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