Dec 02, 2021 | Asia

Building a Low-carbon, Smart Society with Technological Innovation

At the virtual TrustInTech Summit 2021 hosted by Huawei on December 2, 2021, Hou Jinlong, Senior Vice President of Huawei and President of Huawei Digital Power, delivered a speech themed “Building a Low-carbon, Smart Society with Technological Innovation”. Hou said, “Over the next 30 to 40 years, we will continue to see intelligence and low carbon gain traction. Going intelligent requires digital technologies, while decreasing our carbon footprint requires power electronics technologies. As these trends progress, the global energy industry will change from resource-dependent to technology-driven.”

Hou Jinlong giving a speech at the TrustInTech Summit 2021

Industry leaders from across the globe attended the summit, including Neil Bush, Founder and Chairman, George H.W. Bush Foundation for U.S.-China Relations, Pascal Lamy, Chairman of the Paris Peace Forum, Former Director-General of the WTO, William Nordhaus, Winner of 2018 Nobel Prize in Economics, Peter Curry, Former Clinical Lead for eHealth and Consultant Anesthetist, NHS, H.E. Satvinder Singh, Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for ASEAN Economic Community, as well as Derrick Pitts, Chief Astronomer and Director of the Fels Planetarium at the Franklin Institute, NASA Solar. Together, they discussed the challenges facing the economy, environmental protection, people's livelihood, technological innovation, and other challenges in the carbon-neutral era.

Below is the full text of Hou's speech.

Intelligence and low carbon are two key trends moving forward

The mission to achieve carbon neutrality has been taken up by people around the world, with more than 140 countries and regions already having made their own carbon neutrality pledges. Over the next 30 to 40 years, we will continue to see intelligence and low carbon gain traction.

Intelligence will soon be in our grasp, and when that technological leap is finally made, it will affect every individual, family, and organization, as well as society as a whole. Smartphones, smart homes, smart manufacturing, and autonomous driving have already been part of our lives, but there are still more intelligent applications yet to come.

At the same time, we are moving toward a carbon-neutral world. A low-carbon energy industry means clean power generation, electrification of energy consumption, and intelligent power scheduling. It also means gradually replacing traditional fossil fuels with power systems that primarily rely on renewable energy, starting us down the path towards full decarbonization.

Going intelligent requires digital technologies, while decreasing our carbon footprint requires power electronics technologies. As these trends progress, the global energy industry will change from resource-dependent to technology-driven. Fossil fuels like coal, oil, and natural gas are not sustainable, and are the very cause of the current climate crisis. Clean power enabled by technology will get us out of this mess and drive new economic growth and sustainable development for the whole world.

This is where we hope Huawei Digital Power will come into play. Huawei Digital Power is committed to integrating digital and power electronics technologies, developing clean power, and enabling energy digitalization. By pursuing innovations in clean power generation, energy digitalization, transportation electrification, green ICT infrastructure, and integrated smart energy, we are working with our global customers and partners to build low-carbon households, buildings, factories, campuses, villages, and cities. This will ultimately support the shift from a low-carbon world to a carbon-neutral world.

Tech for a better planet: Developing clean power and enabling energy digitalization

The global energy sector is already going digital, and digital technology is making energy more intelligent. By integrating digital and power electronics technologies and combining information flows and energy flows, Huawei is using bits to manage watts and enable digital sensing, control, and management of energy systems.

Moving forward, we will continue to pursue technological innovation and apply our discoveries to real-world scenarios in the following five areas:

First, to generate clean power, we will help create new power systems that primarily rely on renewable energy. In Qinghai province, China, we have already helped Huanghe Hydropower Development build the world's largest renewable energy base using wind, solar, and hydropower. Ultra-high voltage power lines are used to transmit clean power to households thousands of kilometers away. For example, there is a 2.2 GW PV plant that has more than 7 million PV modules covering 56 square kilometers, and produces nearly 5 billion kWh of clean electricity each year. Each PV module is precisely managed with intelligent, digital technologies, improving total power generation by over 2% and operation and maintenance efficiency by over 50%, while reducing the levelized cost of electricity. This project has also greatly improved local ecosystems, proving that technology can coexist with nature in harmony. Local farmers herd sheep under the rows of solar panels while the clear blue sky and sweet sound of the wind remain untouched.

Second, in energy digitalization, we will build a digital twin of the energy world. Digital technologies like cloud and AI will enable smarter energy production, transmission, transaction, and consumption. This will make energy and resource digitalization a reality, and energy production and use more efficient.

Third, we will pursue applications in transportation electrification, which is integral to achieving carbon neutrality, since the sector is responsible for 21% of global carbon emissions. Using digital technologies, we can redefine consumer driving and safety experiences in electric vehicles (EVs). EVs outperform fossil fuel vehicles in terms of acceleration, stability, and safety. For example, a 10-minute charge can allow EVs to drive 200 kilometers. This helps eliminate range anxiety, improves charging experience, increases the range per kilowatt-hour of electricity, and accelerates the wide adoption of EVs.

Fourth, we will further improve ICT infrastructure. As our world becomes more intelligent at an increasing rate, the amount of data being generated is skyrocketing. ICT infrastructure is the very foundation of this digital world. Currently, the global ICT industry consumes 2% of the total electricity, and that number will increase to 4%. Building green ICT infrastructure is becoming imperative. We will need green, low-carbon data centers and communications networks, so that each watt can support more computing power and connections. Ultimately, ICT infrastructure will become an engine for the green digital economy.

Fifth, we will help build low-carbon cities. With our integrated smart energy solutions, we can integrate power sources, grids, loads, and storage to build low-carbon buildings and campuses, which will reduce energy costs and increase energy efficiency. In Shenzhen's Futian District, Huawei Digital Power is already constructing its Antuoshan campus which will be built as a near-zero carbon campus featuring solar PV, energy storage, direct current, and flexibility. The campus is expected to be opened in 2022. Once it is up and running, the campus will generate 1.5 million kWh of green electricity annually, and its annual power consumption will drop from about 11.92 million kWh to 5.89 million kWh, saving over 51% of electricity and cutting carbon emissions by over 63%.

As of September 30, 2021, Huawei Digital Power has helped customers generate 443.5 billion kWh of green power and save 13.6 billion kWh of electricity. This is equivalent to reducing carbon emissions by 210 million tons and planting 290 million trees.

Working together to build a low-carbon, smart society

Over 30 years ago, we decided to bring telephone to every home, enriching people's life through communication. More than 10 years ago, we chose to deploy networks to connect every corner around the globe and build a fully connected world. Today, we are committed to bridging the energy divide, and providing stable and clean power for all.

A magnificent blueprint for carbon neutrality is unfolding before our very eyes. Let's join hands with our industry partners, both upstream and downstream, as well as governments, industry organizations, and standards organizations to innovate together and contribute to global energy innovation and sustainable development.Together, we will drive the shift toward a low- carbon, electric, and intelligent energy revolution, build a low- carbon, smart society, and share a greener and better future!