The same systems can also monitor other factors such as soil nutrients, the presence of pests, or when a plant is beginning to wilt, allowing farmers to make better informed decisions on managing their harvests.
Further down the supply chain 5G has the potential to drastically reduce food waste while also making the industry safer, more transparent, and more accountable. This includes the tagging of where food is produced, when its ingredients were harvested, or even the identity of a specific piece of livestock. And within food production facilities 5G can be used to support networks of sensors which monitor everything from compliance with regulations to the supply, storage, and packaging of ingredients.
How 5G and the IoT can reduce the carbon footprint
5G sensors can enable a power supply to an individual device to be based on its specific need, and switched off when not required. This is already gaining popularity in the area of HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air-Conditioning). The same principles can be applied in transportation systems such as smart motorways, and public utilities such as street lighting.
5G is also becoming an increasingly important tool in providing energy failover solutions such as automatically bringing micro-grids online when needed. This enables better and more intelligent integration of energy produced from fossil fuels and energy from renewable sources.
Powering the 5G network itself
Whilst the overall energy consumption calculations are complex due to the number of network components affected by 5G, and the impact of possible future changes in user behaviour which are touched on below, ITU standards have called for 5G to require much less energy to run than 4G. It is expected that the new technology will reduce overall network energy consumption by a factor of between 10 and 20.