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Charles Yang from Huawei: Enabling Operator Success Amid the Global Transition to Carbon Neutrality

Feb 27, 2024

[Barcelona, Spain, February 26, 2024] Recently at MWC 2024, Huawei held the Global Digital Power Forum. Charles Yang, Senior Vice President of Huawei and President of Global Marketing, Sales and Services, Huawei Digital Power , delivered a keynote speech on "Enabling Operator Success Amid the Global Transition to Carbon Neutrality." Charles shared his insights into the latest industry trends, innovative solutions, and successful practices.


Charles Yang, Senior Vice President of Huawei and President of Global Marketing and Sales services Dept, Huawei Digital PowerCharles Yang, Senior Vice President of Huawei and President of Global Marketing, Sales and Services, Huawei Digital Power 


Charles Yang stressed that carbon neutrality has transitioned from a global consensus to a global action. Decarbonization, electrification, digitalization, and intelligence are emerging as the four key pathways for energy evolution and transformation. In the context, operators have been deeply integrating energy efficiency improvement and carbon emissions reduction plans into their sustainable development strategies, accelerating the energy transition for greener ICT. To achieve their carbon reduction goals, operators need to seize the opportunities for energy transition presented by global carbon neutrality, while they are also facing three challenges: great pressure on emission reduction, high electricity expenditure, and slow growth.

In turn, these challenges drive operators to transform from energy consumers only to energy consumers, producers, and enablers. As energy consumers, they can utilize innovative technologies that enable each watt to power more bits, achieving more efficient energy consumption. As energy producers, they can consume green electricity they generate by deploying distributed PV systems at sites and campuses. Besides, with energy storage systems at sites, they can set up a virtual power plant (VPP), which supports peak shaving and frequency regulation for power grids. As energy enablers, operators can use bits to manage watts. That is, they can use digital technologies to improve efficiency and ensure energy stability in both conventional and renewable energy systems.

  • Energy consumer: maximize efficiency and minimize consumption

As energy consumers, operators will build green sites, data centers, and charging facilities, and improve the overall energy efficiency to achieve net zero emissions.

Site power facilities can be simplified from rooms to cabinets or from cabinets to poles. Natural cooling will negate the need for air conditioners and fans, boosting site energy efficiency (SEE) from 60% to 97%. 

Cooling systems consume around 30% of the total energy required for data center facilities. Technologies such as free cooling and AI energy efficiency optimization can reduce the data center PUE from 1.45 to 1.15.

Gasoline powered vehicles are one of the world's top 3 emitters of carbon dioxide, which are rapidly replaced by electric vehicles (EVs). However, the charging facilities cannot keep pace with the development of EVs. Operators including DT are playing an active role in charging facility construction, with the company already deploying more than 200 charging stations.

  • Energy producer: maximize infrastructure value by energy production and regulation

Operators will become energy producers and actively participate in energy production and regulation.

With regard to energy production, operators have nearly 10 million sites and tens of thousands of campuses worldwide, which emit several hundred million tons of carbon dioxide. In South Africa, to address frequent power outages, 6.5 kW PV systems were installed at base stations to generate 11,000 kWh of green electricity per site each year, reducing carbon emissions by 6 tons. The site availability rate has increased from 79.5% to 95%, and the traffic has grown by 30%. In China, an 800 kW PV system in a data center campus generates 1 million kWh of electricity each year. In Germany, a 7.8 MW PV system in an enterprise campus generates 8.5 million kWh of green electricity each year, achieving self sufficiency with green energy. Several operators are also developing utility-scale power plants. For example, Orange has announced that it will build an 80 MW PV plant in France, which will generate more than 1 billion kWh of green electricity for the company in the future.

With regard to energy regulation, a power grid may become unstable as it takes on a greater proportion of renewable energy, which increases the gap between peak and off-peak electricity prices. Therefore, peak shaving and frequency regulation signal an opportunity for increased revenues. Energy storage systems can be used at sites to curb the price differences. They will store power when the electricity price is low and discharge power during peak pricing periods, reducing electricity costs. In Hangzhou, China, staggering electricity usage helps a customer reduce electricity costs by nearly 20% and saves about US$800 per year. As energy storage systems at sites can also be part of a VPP and scheduled as an adjustable load, operators are able to make more revenue. In Shenzhen, China, encouraged by the government, 10,000 sites have been reconstructed into VPP sites that not only supply power for 5G but also participate in the peak shaving and frequency regulation of urban power grids. This will add US$1000 in annual revenues for each VPP site.

  • Energy enabler: build a safe, stable, and efficient energy supply system

In the future, operators will become energy enablers through the use of digital technologies, enabling safe, stable, and efficient energy supply systems for both conventional and renewable energy. In Shanxi, China, operators help coal mining groups use technologies such as 5G, cloud, and AI to remotely control mining in deep wells. Robots perform automatic inspection in mining areas and driverless vehicles transport cargo, reducing operational costs through automation.

It is a well-known fact that weather has a significant influence on renewable energy sourced from either solar or wind. Digital technologies can help accurately predict and quickly schedule power to balance supply and demand. In Sichuan, China, a meteorological model is used to help the world's highest-altitude PV power plant increase the power prediction precision by 25% or higher. In addition, communications technologies will facilitate remote O&M and scheduling of renewable energy, significantly reducing O&M workloads.

Huawei has been providing operators with products that combine digital technologies such as 5G, AI, and cloud. They enrich communication around the globe and enable digital transformation across various industries. In the global transition to carbon neutrality, Huawei will also provide operators with products and services that integrate power electronics technologies, such as PV, VPP, and energy management. In addition to driving business growth, Huawei's products and solutions will help operators and society as a whole move closer to carbon neutrality. Looking ahead, Huawei Digital Power will work alongside operators to write a new chapter in green development and help them succeed amid the global transition to carbon neutrality.

While others try to predict the future, we create it. In the journey of green development, let us collaborate to create a greener and more sustainable society for the world, securing a brighter future for generations to come.