Impact of 5G technology

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July 2020 to April 2021

Project team

Benjamin K. Sovacool

Laurence Williams

This project will review evidence on 5G’s energy use, then construct scenarios where 5G has both positive and negative impacts on energy consumption.

The energy and climate impacts of 5G wireless technology

This project will review the evidence around 5G’s energy use, both in terms of the efficiency of the technology and the likely growth areas for data that its deployment will stimulate. We will then construct feasible scenarios where 5G has both positive and negative impacts on energy consumption. The presentation of these scenarios will help policymakers better understand the potential impacts of 5G on energy demand, and attempt to materially influence present-day decisions in order to avoid negative outcomes and/ or bring about positive ones.

What we are asking

  • What is the current academic understanding of the effect 5G will have on energy consumption and carbon emissions?
  • What promises, expectations and imaginaries are shaping the development of 5G in the UK? To what extent are these commitments publicly accountable?

Banner photo credit: Ajai Arif on Unsplash

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