Driving sustainable subsea connectivity: Reducing environmental impact and energy use

As the demand for global connectivity continues to grow, the subsea cable industry is increasingly focused on sustainability. Cable systems must be designed to reduce their impact on the environment and be more energy-efficient, to ensure their long-term viability and to minimise their carbon footprint.

One way that the subsea cable industry is working to reduce its environmental impact is by implementing new cable deployment techniques. Innovations such as horizontal directional drilling and jet plowing allow cables to be installed with minimal disruption to the seabed, reducing the impact on marine ecosystems. Operators are also working to reduce the use of hazardous materials in cable construction, and to ensure that decommissioned cables are disposed of in an environmentally responsible manner.

Another approach being taken by the industry is the adoption of energy-efficient technologies in cable systems. For example, new cable systems are being designed to use more efficient repeaters, which boost the signal strength of the cable and allow data to be transmitted over longer distances with less power. Some operators are additionally exploring the use of renewable energy sources, such as offshore wind turbines or wave power, to provide power to their cable systems.

The industry is also focused on developing more sustainable business practices. One way that operators are doing this is by partnering with local communities and governments to ensure that cable deployment does not have a negative impact on the local environment or economy. Operators are also working to reduce their carbon footprint by minimising the use of fossil fuels in cable maintenance and repair operations.

Finally, the industry is working to improve the transparency and reporting of its sustainability efforts. Many cable system operators are publishing sustainability reports that detail their environmental impact and outline their plans for reducing it. By providing this information to stakeholders, operators can demonstrate their commitment to sustainability and help to drive broader awareness and action across the industry.

It is no doubt that sustainability is an increasingly important focus for the subsea cable industry. Operators are implementing new cable deployment techniques, adopting energy-efficient technologies, developing more sustainable business practices, and improving transparency and reporting. By doing so, the industry can help to reduce its impact on the environment, minimise its carbon footprint, and ensure the long-term viability of subsea cable networks.

Stay tuned for the penultimate article in SUBCO’s ten-part series on submarine optimisation and deployment, where we explore the potential of using undersea drones for monitoring and maintaining networks.

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