Information & communication technology (ICT) equipment and services consume over 8% of electrical power in the EU and produce about 4% of its CO2 emissions. These figures could double by 2020. The European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) manages voluntary codes of conduct for ICT companies to reverse this trend. Today in Brussels at the "ICT 2010-Digitally Driven" event, 16 more ICT firms have agreed to reduce the electricity consumption of their broadband equipment and data centres. This should reduce their electricity consumption, in many cases by 50%. Although a voluntary measure, 36 of Europe's biggest ICT companies already apply the codes of conduct. The Digital Agenda for Europe adopted by the Commission in May 2010 (IP/10/581, MEMO/10/199, MEMO/10/200) wants to ensure that the ICT sector leads the way on reducing its greenhouse gas emissions.
The first of the twin centres designed to promote common standards in electric mobility and smart grids on both sides of the Atlantic was today inaugurated near Chicago. Converging standards and interoperability between smart grids and electric vehicles will allow for deeper penetration of renewable energies in the electricity systems, thus facilitating the way to a low-carbon economy. Technology harmonisation will drive product and service innovation in the two world's largest economies and could prove instrumental in establishing global standards for electric mobility.
A report from the European Commission's in-house scientific service, the Joint Research Centre (JRC), indicates that overall electricity consumption is growing in the EU. Even if the EU and the Member States have adopted numerous successful…
How many plants can be found in the Alps that are not native to that region? Which animals were deliberately or accidently introduced to the Danube? How big a threat will they become to local wildlife? EASIN, the European Alien Species Information Network, launched today by the European Commission's in-house science service, the Joint Research Centre (JRC), takes a first step towards answering these and other questions related to 16 000 alien species currently reported all over Europe. This information network – the first of its kind in Europe – is an important step to deal with the threat of alien species that become invasive. Invasive species present a serious threat to biodiversity and natural resources, with an economic impact estimated at around € 12 billion per year.
Quantifying noise exposure will be significantly easier thanks to a new set of common noise assessment methods published today. Comparable data on noise exposure in Europe is a prerequisite to set up EU policies to reduce noise pollution, a growing health and economic concern all over Europe. The new methods – known as Common Noise Assessment Methods in Europe (CNOSSOS-EU) – were drawn up by the European Commission’s in-house science service, the Joint Research Centre. They assess noise from road, rail and air traffic and from industry, and will provide consistent and comparable data on the noise levels to which people are exposed. Member States will have to start using the new methods for the next round of EU-wide strategic noise mapping in 2017.
The European Commission, represented by its Joint Research Centre (JRC), and the African Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD), covering 15 African countries, have today signed a Collaboration Agreement. The two organisations aim to co-operate in the field of agriculture and land cover monitoring to support food security and the management of natural resources in East Africa. EU Commissioner for Science and Research, Janez Poto
nik, and Uganda's Minister for Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Daniel Omara Atubo, witnessed the signature in Nairobi (Kenya).
Lowered tariffs and harmonised standards – this is where the real savings for businesses and consumers will be achieved in the future free trade agreement between the EU and the US. To help reach the goal of having compatible standards across the both sides of the Atlantic, the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) and the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) today agreed to expand their current scientific co-operation to 10 different areas.
In 2007 data centres, housing computer servers for industry, enterprises and administrations across Europe, consumed 56TWh of electricity, close to the yearly total electricity consumption of the Czech Republic. If no specific action to improve the energy efficiency is taken, electricity consumption of data centres is expected to rise to 104TWh a year by 2020. Furthermore, CO2 emissions from the IT-sector, estimated to be 2% o total global CO2 emissions, equivalent to that of the airline industry, would increase significantly. The EU Code of Conduct for Data Centres launched today by the European Commission provides guidelines, recommendations and best practices, which could lead to a reduction in energy consumption of data centres of up to 20%. his work is in line with the 2020 energy saving targets making an important contribution within the ICT sector.
Investment in research and development by companies based in the EU grew by 2.6% in 2013, despite the unfavourable economic environment. However, this growth has slowed in comparison to the previous year's 6.8%. It is also below the 2013 world average (4.9%), and lags behind companies based in the US (5%) and Japan (5.5%).
Energy efficiency measures introduced across the European Union are already contributing to stabilise electricity consumption. A combination of labelling, minimum efficiency standards and voluntary agreements, together with national policies and incentives, have flattened the energy and electricity consumption in recent years. For the first time since 1990, final electricity consumption decreased in 2007 in EU households from 806.52 TWh in 2006 to 800.72 TWh.