Networking the Green Economy: How Broadband & Related Technologies Can Build a Green Economic Future

On March 4, 2010, Progressive States Network, Communications Workers of America, Sierra Club and the Blue Green Alliance released a joint report Networking the Green Economy: How Broadband & Related Technologies Can Build a Green Economic Future.

While building a green economy is often discussed as a distinct goal from investing in broadband or overcoming the growing digital divide in our society, new communication technologies are actually a critical part of making our energy-hungry economy more sustainable and energy-efficient.

This report details three broad areas of energy savings from networked technology that can help achieve energy savings and environmental goals:

  • Smart Grids to improve the transmission, management, and distribution of energy in a strategic, efficient and reliable manner.
  • Smart technologies that reduce energy use at home or office – including smart buildings and other demand-management tools.
  • Broadband-based services including telehealth, long-distance business communication, and e-commerce to reduce travel and associated fuel costs.

Restoring regulations that protect consumers, as well as protecting the rights of workers in the industry, are also critical pieces to assuring that consumers derive real benefit from smart grid technology.

In addition to investing in smart meters, energy efficient programs should be implemented to encourage less energy use and subsidize this consumption shift to low-income households.

America's green economic future depends on us people having access to broadband technologies. We must commit to ensuring that everyone, regardless of their geographic location, income-level, educational background, race or age, has access to the technology that is needed to compete and excel in a global economy.

The report was initially released at a Capitol Hill briefing hosted by Congressman Edward Markey, Chairman of the US House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, who joined the sponsoring organizations to discuss how smart buildings, smart grids, digital education, and other components of a highly-networked economy will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, conserve energy resources, and promote good green jobs.

Speakers included:

PSNCommunications Workers of AmericaSierra ClubBlue Green Alliance