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Supercharging decarbonisation through intelligent technologies

last modified Feb 25, 2020 05:07 PM

Digital tools could reduce carbon emissions by more than 50 per cent.

new review from our researchers in the Cambridge Centre for Advanced Research and Education in Singapore (CARES) has shown how integrating digital tools into the world’s energy systems could drastically reduce carbon emissions.

The review re-assesses the famous marginal abatement cost curve (MACC) popularised by McKinsey and finds that digitalisation of energy systems completely alters the curve, thanks to the creation of novel pathways for the transition to low-carbon energy. If cyber-physical systems are integrated into our energy systems, carbon abatement potential can be expected to increase by 20%, rising to 30% when artificial intelligence (AI) is included.

An international team of researchers from Singapore, Switzerland, the UK (University of Cambridge) and the US found that while existing digital technologies have numerous and effective applications when considered individually, the potential reduction of carbon emissions is multiplied when they are combined. Such combinations are called cyber-physical systems – interacting networks of physical infrastructure and computers that allow for smarter analysis, decision-making and optimisation of energy systems.

 

Read the full CARES article.

Read the full review here.