time for more efficient digital media and devices

Soaring Electricity Use

The NY times reminds me it is all very well to talk about digital media, but if it is not sustainable, research will not be sustained.

“In fact, if you compare how much electricity is used by the most common electronic devices with traditional large appliances, you’ll find that actually the electronic gadgets use more — not in every house, but in many households in OECD countries,” the report states, adding: “Not only is this surprising, but it is the major reason why residential electricity consumption is increasing in most countries.”

“It would also cost households around the world USD 200 billion in electricity bills and require the addition of approximately 280 Gigawatts (GW) of new generating capacity between now and 2030,” he added. The report is called “Gadgets and Gigawatts: Policies for Energy Efficient Electronics.”

The answer?

“Many mobile devices are already far more efficient in their use of power than other devices which run off a main electricity supply,” explained Tanaka. “Because extending the battery life of a mobile device is a selling point, manufacturers place an emphasis on designing products which require very little power. This example shows us what can be achieved. Where no such commercial drivers exist, governments must step in to ensure that we make the most of every energy efficiency opportunity.”

The EIA believes that, although some of these savings can be achieved through better equipment and components, the largest improvement opportunity must come from making hardware and software work together more effectively to ensure that energy “is only used when, and to the extent needed.”

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