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More than half of the world’s population currently lives in cities. This growth is expected to continue with city residents estimated to make up two-thirds of the population by 2050. Megacities – with a population of more than 10 million – are proliferating, fuelled by economic growth and rapid industrialization.
Sustainability is an increasing focus both for society and industry.
ISO and IEC produce many joint standards which specify how to improve the energy efficiency of information and communication technology (ICT). A number of these publications deal specifically with the excessive energy consumption of data centres. Several UN sustainable development goals (SDGs) can rely on the benchmarks provided by these standards to measure progress.
Technological development in the electronics industry has evolved not just at a rapid pace but has been accelerating steadily over the past 20 to 30 years. There have been many success stories and many failures. Competition is fierce. Companies that were start-ups a decade ago are now leaders in the electronics sector while many that were at the top have now ceased to exist. The advent of smart technology and the ever growing demand for smart devices and connectivity are bound to speed up the process even more.
Take a look around you. Is there anything we can do without electricity? Be it lighting, education, healthcare, productive work of almost any kind - everything requires electricity. And yet, today, there are around 1,1 billion people worldwide without any electricity access at all. Not providing electricity is the same as denying the fundamental right to be part of today’s opportunities in an increasingly connected world. Direct current (DC) electricity could be the solution.
The demand for energy is growing fast, for electricity even faster. To meet the needs of over 9 billion people by 2050, energy production will have to double while at the same time greenhouse gas emissions will have to be drastically reduced. This can only be achieved through a transition from a carbon-based economy towards a sustainable and efficient energy model that is accessible to all on the planet.
In hundreds of smart city projects around the world, governments, municipalities and private stakeholders are investing in smart grids, open data platforms and networked transport systems to meet the challenges of environmental sustainability, population growth and urbanization.
The IEC regularly supports key global and regional industry events, which can present the IEC endorsement on their website and materials.
Africa is the world’s second-fastest-growing region, topped only by emerging Asia. Over the coming years the African economy is expected to grow by 7,7% annually – almost double the rate of advanced economies. Even though Africa is starting from a low point, corresponding roughly to where Southeast Asia was 30 years ago, the opportunities are huge. Already now Africa is third in terms of investment, right after the European Union and China. A more reliable infrastructure and consistent energy access could significantly accelerate this trend.
With mass urbanization emerging as an unstoppable trend across the world, cities need to become sustainable on many levels. The solution is to design smart solutions at all levels to help meet multiple challenges and lead to the development of smart cities.
The IEC’s Immediate Past President addressed electronics leaders from 22 countries during the WEF (World Electronics Forum), underlining the importance of International Standards for innovation and global trade in electronics. WEF was hosted by CEA (Consumer Electronics Association) and took place in parallel to CES® (Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas.
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