North American Network Operators Group

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political ramifcations of internet power use

  • From: michael thomas guldan
  • Date: Mon Dec 18 17:49:41 2000

i'm actually a bit surprised that this didn't show up here first.

basically there are competing views on how much energy the internet
and it industries use.  

a choice quote:

"Moving 2 megabytes of data on the Net, they said, requires the energy 
equivalent of 1 pound of coal. And with hundreds of millions of new 
digital devices, ranging from digital X-ray machines to Palm handheld 
computers, getting plugged in, the future of our economy depends on 
burning more fossil fuels, including coal, which produces 56 percent 
of the electricity used in America. All those Net-related electronics 
consume "up to 290 billion kWh [kilowatt-hours] of demand. That's about 
8 percent of total U.S. demand," they wrote. "Add in the electric power 
used to build and operate stand-alone [unnetworked] chips and computers, 
and the total jumps to about 13 percent. It's now reasonable to project 
that half of the electric grid will be powering the digital Internet 
economy within the next decade."

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