Is 5G Bad For The Environment?


With 5G slowly making its way into in our lives, it is common to see opponents criticize its devastating impact on wildlife. But is this impact as devastating as many people think? In a recent article, the CENGN (Centre of Excellence in Next Generation Networks) shows 4 ways 5G is helping the environment. Here is a summary of the 4 main points discussed.


Today, one of the main challenges we are facing in our combat against climate change is energy consumption. With the 5G network, we could have the possibility to use efficient technologies such as smart meters and smart energy grids to monitor and manage our energy consumption more effectively. According to a United Nations article, advanced ICT solutions powered by 5G offer the tools to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2030. As for antennas, 4G towers actually consume more energy than the new 5G stations. 5G towers have less heat-generating electronic components, which means they cool down more easily.


5G will allow mass IoT (Internet of Things) sensor deployments, with inexpensive sensors to detect harmful chemicals in the water supply and alert people of possible health risks. These sensors will be able to manage leaks in waterlines, provide early flood warnings and to transform the agriculture industry – as it currently accounts for 70% of the world’s consumption of freshwater per year on average. By pairing IoT with 5G, farmers will have at their disposal GPS guidance systems, soil electrical conductivity mapping, sprayer controls that will reduce water waste, and chlorophyll sensors to manage their crops more efficiently – while limiting the use of harmful substances in our water such as pesticides, among others.


5G city sensors will enable us to monitor and improve air quality by measuring pollutants and particulates in real-time. With this improvement, connected traffic lights will have the possibility to be programmed dynamically, gauging and adjusting traffic according to vehicular volume. With 5G technologies, better traffic flows, as well as better air quality and less congestion will be important changes. You’ve probably heard of driverless cars, and you might know that they’re expected to decrease carbon emissions and to offer a 20-30% improvement in energy savings.


According to the article, buildings use up 42% of global energy consumption with lighting, heating, cooling, etc. Building automation will help save energy and reduce carbon emissions while combating climate change. For example, IoT-based smart sensors that automatically turn lights off when they are not needed can reduce energy consumption up to 70%. Our energy consumption will also change drastically with automated temperature levels and a better monitoring of heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems.

Read the full article here.

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