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ITS and smarter grids could create 700,000 jobs, says new report

According to a new study from the London School of Economics (LSE), a US$22 billion (£15 billion) investment in broadband, smart grids and transport management systems would provide a greater economic stimulus than spending the money on roads and bridges. Produced in partnership with the Information Technology and Innovation Fund and funded by IT giant IBM, The UK’s Digital Road to Recovery report models the likely economic impact of the additional investment in broadband networks, smart grid technologies, and ITS, such as congestion management infrastructure.

The introduction of digital networks capable of cutting energy use, limiting congestion, and boosting home working could help the UK create and retain 700,000 jobs, while delivering deep cuts in carbon emissions, The report calculated that an additional US$7.4 billion (£5 billion) in broadband investment would help to create or retain 280,000 jobs, while US$7.4 billion (£5 billion) for smart grid systems would create or retain 235,000 jobs, and investing the same sum in ITS would result in 188,000 jobs.

The report comes just a week after chancellor Alistair Darling pledged to invest US$14.8 billion (£10 billion) in improving the UK’s broadband networks, but the report's authors say, that while the new spending was welcome, similar levels of funding were required for smart grid and ITS. Report co-author Patrik Karrberg says, that providing short term economic stimulus funding for digital networks, smart grids and transport technologies, would result in deep long term cuts in carbon emissions. “New intelligent transport networks, such as the systems being trialed in Sweden, that change traffic lights as buses approach to give them priority, are one of the best ways of getting more people on to public transport.”
 

May 1, 2009

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