Research from WorldDAB has found that DAB radio offers a higher concentration of sustainability than AM & FM radio. They published a factsheet offering a summary of findings across numerous studies into the environmental and economic impact of broadcasting on DAB radio and other platforms. Collating information from different countries, the DAB+ research studies have focused on energy consumption, transmission costs and recyclable initiatives for DAB+ digital radio.
The study found that the broadcast of radio services via DAB+ would only require 10% of the currently used effective radiated power (ERP). With the average two-person household using approximately 2 MWh of energy per annum for terrestrial broadcasting services, WorldDAB believes that approximately 5600 could save their energy use by switching to DAB+.
At £0.00033 per hour of distribution, DAB+ sits as the most affordable means of distribution while FM is the most expensive at £0.000105 per hour. The study also found that if the audio industry were to cease dual broadcasting, there would be a net benefit of more than £200 million.
As of January 2017, Norway switched off FM radio in favour of digital radio. As the first country to switch off analogue for all major radio stations, Norway has a well-developed system for recycling electronic waste. When the analogue radios were handed over, 90% of the components would be recycled into new materials, while 9% would be used for energy recovery. In the run-up to switching off FM in Norway, a campaign was launched to inform consumers on how to recycle their FM receivers or upgrade them to digital radio using an adaptor.
Taking notes from Norway’s successful electronic waste system, Switzerland has launched Swico Recycling. The national, not-for-profit organisation encourages residents to return discarded electronic and electrical equipment used in the areas of informatics, consumer electronics, communications, graphics industry and measurement and medical technology.
WorldDAB found that DAB+ radio requires less energy than FM. In Germany public broadcaster, Bayerischer Rundfunk found that DAB+ required a fifth of the energy FM necessitates. Similarly, public broadcaster, SRG SSR in Switzerland estimates that total energy consumption for broadcast radio distribution via DAB+ will be less than 10% of what it was for FM. Additionally, BBC estimates that the UK would use less energy by switching to DAB+ radio distribution.
Pick of the DAB Radios
Majority Arbury Portable Digital Radio – Learn more
Majority Eversden Portable Bluetooth DAB+ Shower Radio – Learn more
Majority Girton Portable Digital Radio & Alarm Clock – Learn more
Majority Homerton DAB+ & Internet Radio Music System – Learn more
Majority Oakington Digital Radio & Music System – Learn more
Majority Petersfield Go Pocket DAB+ Radio – Learn more
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