Rethinking energy to deliver sustainably

Case: Delivering sustainably

Energy was at the center of many discussions in 2022. As a telco, Telia has both a responsibility to limit its own energy use and an opportunity to support its customers’ efforts to do the same via digitalization. During the year, we made progress in both areas.

Since 2020, we only use renewable electricity to power our networks and data centers. In 2022, we took the next steps by signing Power Purchasing Agreements in Denmark and Estonia to secure supply and contribute to the production of wind and solar energy in our Nordic and Baltic footprint. Ultimately, the best kilowatt hour is the one never consumed. In this context, network modernization is essential to increase efficiency while carrying increased volumes of data as societies digitalize. Our 5G network is up to four times more energy-efficient than a 4G network in terms of energy per data bit transported.

Telia’s total power consumption increased by 4% in 2022 due to the rollout of 5G, but the dismantling of older infrastructure helped to offset this. Copper- based access was, for example, replaced with mobile and fiber connectivity, which saves substantial amounts of energy. Fiber-based broadband is approximately 15 times more energy-efficient per unit of data transported than the copper-based equivalent. In Sweden, our largest market, this transition has contributed to decreased electricity consumption compared to 2012, despite data volumes increasing by 1,800%. During the year, we also explored our role in the wider energy system by piloting smart battery solutions in Sweden. Peak shaving/load shift pilots in collaboration with battery provider Polarium demonstrated cost reductions of up to 10-15% achieved by charging lithium-ion batteries when prices are low and using stored capacity when demand and prices are high. The batteries also enable us to offer excess energy capacity to the grid at times when availability does not match supply, which makes the grid more resilient.

Our ambition is to limit energy use while enabling customers to digitalize and use resources more efficiently. Opportunities include replacing travel, optimizing logistics and energy use in buildings in
a precise way. Our IoT deliveries to energy and real estate companies grew in 2022. In total, we enabled an estimated reduction of 810 GWh during the year, the equivalent of annual electricity consumption of 90,000 households in Sweden.