Telefonica Achieves 8.6% Reduction in Energy Consumption

Telefonica is making significant strides in enhancing energy efficiency through the application of technological advancements and innovative projects, effectively managing the substantial surge in data traffic observed in recent years.
Telefonica’s 5G network in SpainSince 2015, Telefonica has achieved an impressive 8.6 percent reduction in energy consumption, despite an 8.6-fold increase in traffic during the same period.

Telefonica, as part of green initiatives, has embarked on a series of innovative projects under its Autonomous Network Journey (ANJ) program to enhance energy efficiency. These initiatives are aimed at optimizing energy consumption, reducing environmental impact, ensuring service quality, and fostering innovation, says Telefonica.

Telefonica’s commitment to energy efficiency dates back to 2005, with tangible impacts recorded since 2010. Through 1,574 projects, Telefonica has achieved recurring savings exceeding €2.2 billion, along with avoiding more than 13,800 GWh of energy consumption and preventing 4 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent emissions.

These efforts align with Telefonica’s Energy and Climate Change Objectives, including a 90 percent improvement in energy consumption per unit of traffic by 2025 compared to 2015, achieving 100 percent renewable electricity consumption by 2030 across all markets, and reducing operational emissions by 90 percent by 2030 compared to 2015, aiming for net-zero emissions by 2040, inclusive of its value chain.

Telefonica’s pursuit of efficiency spans various fronts, primarily through network modernization efforts such as transitioning from copper to fiber optics, which is 85 percent more efficient, and the deployment of 5G technology, up to 90 percent more efficient than 4G. Additionally, initiatives like cloud migration, virtualization, Power Saving Features (PSF), and AI/ML platforms aim to optimize energy consumption by up to 40 percent while maintaining service quality.

Efficiency gains are also achieved through infrastructure upgrades, including power plant renovations and enhancements to air conditioning systems. By employing measures like free cooling, immersion cooling, and equipment consolidation, Telefonica aims to reduce energy consumption significantly. Furthermore, legacy switch-offs, particularly in the migration from copper infrastructure to ultra-broadband solutions, contribute to efficiency gains by minimizing network coexistence.

Telefonica’s commitment to sustainability extends to promoting renewable energy sources, including hybrid stations with solar energy and high-cycle batteries, as well as the adoption of environmentally friendly fuels like hydrogen and methanol. By the end of 2023, 100 percent of Telefonica’s electricity consumption in several key markets will come from renewable sources, with global penetration at 84 percent.

Moreover, Telefonica is actively engaged in self-generation projects, with 484 renewable installations worldwide, including solar panel solutions. Initiatives like Energy Savings as a Service (ESaaS) agreements and internal carbon pricing mechanisms underscore Telefonica’s disruptive approach to energy efficiency, ensuring sustainability remains at the forefront of its operations. Through these concerted efforts, Telefonica continues to lead the telecommunications industry in driving innovation while promoting environmental responsibility.

Baburajan Kizhakedath