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Energy Use

Page history last edited by dbraun@... 7 years, 8 months ago

Some Miscellaneous Energy Use Data


Nat’l Research Council Report, “Hidden Costs of Energy: Unpriced Consequences of Energy Production and Use” Oct. 19, 2009,http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=12794


“Hidden Costs” include:

          $120 billion in the U.S. in 2005 – primarily health damages from air pollution associated with electricity generation and motor vehicle transportation

          Non-climate damages 1-3¢/kWhr

          Climate damages 0.1-10¢/kWhr

          20,000 Deaths/year, half due to coal

Does not include damages from climate change, harm to ecosystems, effects of some air pollutants such as mercury, and risks to national security, which the report examines but does not monetize.



Alan H. Lockwood, Kristen Welker-Hood, Molly Rauch, Barbara Gottlieb, Coal’s Assault on Human Health, A Report From
Physicians For Social Responsibility, November, 2009, http://www.psr.org/resources/coals-assault-on-human-health.html http://www.psr.org/coalreport




As far as energy use and computing, here are a couple of data points:


"It takes the energy in one lump of coal to move 1 megabyte of information across the net." So 200 MB is a bag of coal.

according to Jay Walker, "A library of human imagination," TED Talk, (6:18-7:09) February, 2008, Available: http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/jay_walker_s_library_of_human_imagination.html. Accessed: Jan. 25, 2009.




On the other hand, the big picture looks better:

". . . for every kilowatt-hour of electricity used by information and communications technologies, the US saves at least 10 times that amount, the new ACEEE report found."


Mark Clayton, "Internet helps Americans save more energy every year," Christian Science Monitor, February 13, 2008, Available: http://www.csmonitor.com/2008/0213/p04s01-usgn.html. Accessed: Jan. 25, 2009.


Baliga et al. estimate the internet uses 1% of broadband connected countries' electricity with optical networks providing the most energy efficient access.

See, "Energy Consumption in Access Networks," by J. Baliga, R. Ayre, W.V. Sorin, K. Hinton, & R.S. Tucker, ARC Special Res. Centre for Ultra-Broadband Inf. Networks, Melbourne Univ., Melbourne, VIC; Optical Fiber communication/National Fiber Optic Engineers Conference, 2008. OFC/NFOEC 2008. Conference on, San Diego, CA, 24-28 Feb. 2008, p. 1-3     ISBN: 978-1-55752-856-8       INSPEC Accession Number: 10063580   DOI: 10.1109/OFC.2008.4528538 IEEE-Explore Citation


Data centers and cloud computing can consume much energy:

National Geographic has some nice graphics on money-saving ways to reduce carbon:

A Carbon Reduction Plan: The Savings p. 80

and some more costly ways to reduce carbon:

A Carbon Reduction Plan: The Costs p. 81

Peter Miller, "Saving Energy Starts at Home," National Geographic, Vol 215, No. 3, March 2009, p. 60-81


David JC MacKay, Sustainable Energy - without the hot air, 2009 http://www.withouthotair.com/


James Glanz, "Power, Pollution, and the Internet," NY Times, Sept. 22, 2012. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/23/technology/data-centers-waste-vast-amounts-of-energy-belying-industry-image.html


New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), COMPARISON OF REPORTED EFFECTS AND RISKS TO VERTEBRATE WILDLIFE FROM SIX ELECTRICITY GENERATION TYPES IN THE NEW YORK/NEW ENGLAND REGION (2009), http://www.nyserda.ny.gov/~/media/Files/Publications/Research/Environmental/Report-09-02-Wildlife-report-web.pdf, cited 10/20/2013


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