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We need to grow green – The Global Energy Consumption of Information Technologies [Infographic]

December 18, 2019

The use of the internet, global communication and computing are still rising at a fast pace. And all this digital world is based on electricity. Today five percent of the global energy consumption is based on digital devices and the supporting infrastructures. The need for more computing power and energy is still increasing at an enormous rate. New technologies like IoT and artificial intelligence are demanding more and more power. Consumers in the times of 5G are enjoying video streams in ever better quality.

The use of energy is divided between devices, data centers, and networks. While devices are getting more and more energy efficient, the total number of smartphones, computers, and IoT devices is increasing. It is doubling from 2019 to 2020. Data centers are getting bigger and bigger. The new class of large-scale data centers is called hyperscale. Theses centers have at least 5000 physical servers with an ultra-high speed, high fiber count network.

Every klick you take, every thing you buy on the internet and every movie you watch adds up to the global energy consumption. The estimation is that our needs for communication, commerce, and entertainment will rise to 21% by 2030 to a total of eight thousand terawatt hours. That are 1.3 million wind turbines or 3000 nuclear power plants.

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