Thanks to the Internet of Things and the development of big data, new opportunities are arising on a daily basis that should facilitate the ecological transition.
Air pollution, extreme meteorological events, rising temperatures, reduced biodiversity, the environmental outlook is proving to be bleak at the beginning of the 21st century. Nevertheless, the human species is known for its adaptability, and technology now offers a way out.
Pragmatism necessary for ecological transition
While some people are advocating for a drastic change in our society, this scenario proves to be unrealistic. A brutal and total overhaul of our economic systems on a global scale seems unlikely. If CO2 emissions have drastically decreased in the first quarter of 2020 (-8.8%), it is highly likely that they will start to rise again in the near future.
The European continent has been working on various initiatives for the ecological transition for some time now. The share of renewable energies in energy consumption, for example, has risen from 9% to 17% in the last 15 years. The European Union is aiming for carbon neutrality by 2050.
While these efforts are commendable, they remain insufficient for many and the pro-environmental trend is far from being global. Let us recall that the most polluting countries are China, the United States, India, and Russia. If we analyze per capita data, Middle Eastern countries, led by Qatar, form the leading group.
Unless we can drastically change established mentalities and systems, a smooth ecological transition is essential. The possibilities linked to big data offer unprecedented opportunities in this field.
Environmental challenges to be met
Today, there are so many IoT devices available that estimates vary considerably from one source to another. In 2019, the McKinsey consulting firm projected that the number would reach 43 billion by 2023. It is likely that the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the trend. When combined with the deployment of 5G and the fact that the computing speed of computers has increased 100-fold over the past 15 years, humans have acquired powerful tools to accurately evaluate a multitude of parameters and scenarios.
Recently, the development of big data and the IoT have led to several advances. On the one hand, the collection and analysis of data now allows a better understanding of the phenomenon of climate change and the impact of weather. Events that were unforeseeable a decade ago can now be anticipated. This makes it possible to evacuate populations in time and to prepare as well as possible.
In addition, the collection and processing of data using various sensors makes it possible to adapt energy demand in real time. Cities are increasingly turning to a smart city model to optimize energy or traffic flows. Another major trend is smart grids and smart meters, which are now the norm in Europe. By 2024, 77% of Europeans will have a smart meter.
Changes at all levels thanks to data
Changes are made at all levels. In the agricultural sector, smart agriculture aimed at optimizing irrigation and harvests is on the rise. Our company Ryax is actively participating in the European Cybele project in this field.
In the secondary sector, the transition to Industry 4.0 is underway. What used to only concern very large companies in the past is now becoming accessible to SMEs and very small companies. Think predictive maintenance, intelligent energy use or supply chain optimization. The decrease in energy and the increase in efficiency are directly reflected in lower production costs.
Finally, in the third sector, the change is mainly in buildings and energy consumption. Remember that under the Tertiary Decree, buildings in the sector must reduce their energy consumption by 40% by 2030, 50% by 2050, and 60% by 2060.
Of course, these elements have to be weighed against the energy consumption linked to these new technologies and data centers, as well as the emerging issue of Green IT (sustainable IT).
If you are interested in these topics, we strongly recommend you consult our specific articles on each of these aspects:
- Data analysis for energy savings
- What solutions are available to limit the impact of data centers on the environment?
- Predictive maintenance: exploit your data to reduce your costs!
- Better regulation of building energy through data
- Energy Performance: The Challenges of Intelligent Buildings
- Smart cities: focus on energy issues [link to be inserted]
- IoT and sustainable development
- Artificial intelligence and sustainable development
How Ryax Helps Make Your Data Useful for the Green Transition
Currently, the amount of data stored and collected on a daily basis could make you dizzy. This is not necessarily necessary. Storing data without using it is like having all the ingredients in a cake but not being able to bake it. To give a more modern example, it is like having a cell phone but no charger. All the information is there, at your fingertips, but you cannot extract it, so it is useless. So, one of the important challenges in the coming years will be to ensure that the data collected is transformed into smart data.
In order to be able to use the data in any setting, a data processing tool is indispensable. Ryax offers an open source data engineering platform. This tool helps to automate data processing chains.
Once our solution is set up, it becomes easy to put the models in production in order to make the most of the data available.
Although it may seem tedious, taking the time to select the relevant data and establish a detailed policy to define what data to keep is essential, whether it is for an ecological transition or any other business application.
If you would like to discuss ways to optimize your data processing chains with Ryax, please do not hesitate to contact us.
The Ryax Team.