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Climate climate change  data industry doesn t meet targets | Upload Man-Made

Climate Change: Data Industry Doesn’t Meet Targets

by: Hans van der Broek
climate change  data industry doesn t meet targets | Upload

According to new research reports, billions of internet-connected devices could produce 3.5% of global emissions within 10 years and 14% by 2040. US researchers expect power consumption to triple in the next five years as one billion more people come online in developing countries. Climate change: data industry doesn’t meet targets is a sad development.

Data Industry: Power Hungry

The communications industry could use 20% of all the world’s electricity by 2025, hampering attempts to meet climate change targets and straining grids as demand by power-hungry server farms storing digital data from billions of smartphones, tablets, and internet-connected devices grow exponentially.

Climate Change: Increase Of Electricity Consumption

The industry has long argued that it can considerably reduce carbon emissions by increasing efficiency and reducing waste, but academics are challenging industry assumptions. A new paper, due to be published by US researchers later this month, will forecast that information and communications technology could create up to 3.5% of global emissions by 2020 – surpassing aviation and shipping – and up to 14% in 2040, around the same proportion as the US today.

"Global computing power demand from internet-connected devices, high-resolution video streaming, emails, surveillance cameras and a new generation of smart TVs is increasing 20% a year, consuming roughly 3-5% of the world’s electricity," says Swedish researcher Anders Andrae.

  • In an update to a peer-reviewed study, Andrae found that without dramatic increases in efficiency, the ICT industry could use 20% of all electricity and emit up to 5.5% of the world’s carbon emissions by 2025. This would be more than any country except the US, China, and India.
  • He expects industry power demand to increase from 200-300 terawatt-hours (TWh) of electricity a year to 1,200 or even 3,000TWh by 2025. Data centers on their own could produce 1.9 gigatonnes (Gt) (or 3.2% of the global total) of carbon emissions, he says.

Data Industry And 'The Perfect Storm'

"The situation is alarming," said Andrae, who works for Huawei's Chinese communications technology firm. "We have a tsunami of data approaching. Everything which can be is being digitalized. It is a perfect storm." 5G [the fifth generation of mobile technology] is coming, IP [internet protocol] traffic is much higher than estimated, and all cars and machines, robots, and artificial intelligence are being digitalized, producing huge amounts of data which is stored in data centers." US researchers expect power consumption to triple in the next five years as one billion more people come online in developing countries, and the “internet of things" (IoT), driverless cars, robots, video surveillance and artificial intelligence grows exponentially in rich countries.

Recommended: 5G: Environmental And Health Risks Globally

"There will be 9.2bn connected things in 2019, setting the stage for 22.4bn internets of things devices to be deployed by 2020," says the leading internet analyst firm Gartner.
The industry has encouraged the idea that the digital transformation of economies and large-scale energy efficiencies will slash global emissions by 20% or more. Still, the scale and speed of the revolution have been a surprise.

Global internet traffic will increase nearly threefold in the next five years, says the latest Cisco Visual Networking Index, a leading industry tracker of internet use.
"More than one billion new internet users are expected, growing from three billion in 2015 to 4.1bn by 2020. Over the next five years, global IP networks will support up to 10bn new devices and connections, increasing from 16.3bn in 2015 to 26bn by 2020," says Cisco.
A Berkeley laboratory report for the US government estimated the country’s data centers could together need over 100TWh of electricity a year by 2020. This is the equivalent of about 10 large nuclear power stations.

The ICT Industry Growth Massively

Datacenter capacity is also rocketing in Europe and Asia. London, Frankfurt, Paris, and Amsterdam expected to add nearly 250MW of consumption in 2019, or the power equivalent of a medium-size power station.
"We see the massive growth of data centers in all regions. Trends that started in the US are now standard in Europe. Asia is taking off massively," says Mutual Patel, head of EMEA data center research at global investment firm CBRE.

"The volume of data being handled by such centers is growing at unprecedented rates. They are seen as a key element in the next stage of growth for the ICT industry", says Peter Corcoran, a researcher at the University of Ireland, Galway.



                                                               Who Really Owns The Internet?


Using renewable energy sounds good, but no one else benefits from what will be generated, and it skews national attempts to reduce emissions. Ireland, which with Denmark is becoming a database for the world’s biggest tech companies, has 350MW connected to data centers, but this is expected to triple to over 1,000MW, or the equivalent of a nuclear power station size plant, in the next five years.
Permission has been given for a further 550MW to be connected, and 750MW more is in the pipeline, says Eirgrid, the country’s main grid operator. "If all inquiries connect, the data center load could account for 20% of Ireland’s peak demand," says Eirgrid in its All-Island Generation Capacity Statement 2017-2026 report.

The data will be stored in vast new one million square feet or larger "hyper-scale" server farms, which companies are now building. The scale of these farms is huge; a single $1bn Apple data center planned for Athenry in Co Galway expects to eventually use 300MW of electricity or over 8% of the national capacity and more than the daily entire usage of Dublin. It will require 144 large diesel generators as a backup for when the wind does not blow.
Data-center-wires-and-slots
Photo by David Levene. Facebook’s Lulea data center in Sweden, located on the edge of the Arctic circle

Pressed by Greenpeace and other environmental groups, large tech companies with a public face, including Google, Facebook, Apple, Intel, and Amazon, have promised to use renewable energy to power data centers. In most cases, they are buying it off the grid, but some plan to build solar and wind farms close to their centers. Greenpeace IT analyst Gary Cook says only about 20% of the electricity used in the world’s data centers is so far renewable, with 80% of the power still coming from fossil fuels.

"The good news is that some companies have certainly embraced their responsibility and are moving quite aggressively to meet their rapid growth with renewable energy. Others are just growing aggressively," he says. Architect David Hughes, who has challenged Apple’s new center in Ireland, says the government should not be taken in by the promises.

"Using renewable energy sounds good, but no one else benefits from what will be generated, and it skews national attempts to reduce emissions. Data centers have eaten into any progress we made to achieving Ireland’s 40% carbon emissions reduction target. They are just adding to demand and reducing our percentage. They are getting a free ride at the Irish citizens’ expense," says Hughes.

Recommended: Fight Climate Change By Using Drones To Cut Carbon Emissions

Eirgrid estimates indicate that by 2025, one in every 3kWh generated in Ireland could be going to a data center, he added. “We have sleepwalked our way into a 10% increase in electricity consumption.”
Fossil fuel plants may have to be kept open longer to power other parts of the country, and the costs will fall on the consumer, he says. "We will have to upgrade our grid and build more power generation, both wind and backup generation, for when the wind isn’t there, and this all goes onto people’s bills."
Under a best-case scenario, says Andrae, there will be massive continuous improvements of power saving, renewable energy will become the norm, and the explosive growth in demand for data will slow.
But equally, he says, demand could continue to rise dramatically if the industry keeps growing at 20% a year, driverless cars each with dozens of embedded sensors, and cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, which need vast amounts of computer power, become mainstream.

"There is a real risk that it all gets out of control. Policymakers need to keep a close eye on this," says Andrae.

Cover Photo by Google/Rex 

Before you go!

Recommended: Climate Change, Water Scarcity, Hunger: Who Cares

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Hans van der Broek, founder

Founder and CEO of WhatsOrb, world traveller, entrepreneur and environmental activist. Hans has countless ideas and has set up several businesses in the Netherlands and abroad. He also has an opinion on everything and unlimited thoughts about how to create a better world. He likes hiking and has climbed numerous five-thousanders (mountain summits of at least 5000m or 16,404 feet in elevation)

 

Hans van der Broek, founder

Founder and CEO of WhatsOrb, world traveller, entrepreneur and environmental activist. Hans has countless ideas and has set up several businesses in the Netherlands and abroad. He also has an opinion on everything and unlimited thoughts about how to create a better world. He likes hiking and has climbed numerous five-thousanders (mountain summits of at least 5000m or 16,404 feet in elevation)

 

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Climate Change: Data Industry Doesn’t Meet Targets

According to new research reports, billions of internet-connected devices could produce 3.5% of global emissions within 10 years and 14% by 2040. US researchers expect power consumption to triple in the next five years as one billion more people come online in developing countries. Climate change: data industry doesn’t meet targets is a sad development. Data Industry: Power Hungry The communications industry could use 20% of all the world’s electricity by 2025, hampering attempts to meet climate change targets and straining grids as demand by power-hungry server farms storing digital data from billions of smartphones, tablets, and internet-connected devices grow exponentially. Climate Change: Increase Of Electricity Consumption The industry has long argued that it can considerably reduce carbon emissions by increasing efficiency and reducing waste, but academics are challenging industry assumptions. A new paper, due to be published by US researchers later this month, will forecast that information and communications technology could create up to 3.5% of global emissions by 2020 – surpassing aviation and shipping – and up to 14% in 2040, around the same proportion as the US today. "Global computing power demand from internet-connected devices, high-resolution video streaming, emails, surveillance cameras and a new generation of smart TVs is increasing 20% a year, consuming roughly 3-5% of the world’s electricity," says Swedish researcher Anders Andrae. In an update to a peer-reviewed study, Andrae found that without dramatic increases in efficiency, the ICT industry could use 20% of all electricity and emit up to 5.5% of the world’s carbon emissions by 2025. This would be more than any country except the US, China, and India. He expects industry power demand to increase from 200-300 terawatt-hours (TWh) of electricity a year to 1,200 or even 3,000TWh by 2025. Data centers on their own could produce 1.9 gigatonnes (Gt) (or 3.2% of the global total) of carbon emissions, he says. Data Industry And 'The Perfect Storm' "The situation is alarming," said Andrae, who works for Huawei's Chinese communications technology firm. "We have a tsunami of data approaching. Everything which can be is being digitalized. It is a perfect storm." 5G [the fifth generation of mobile technology] is coming, IP [internet protocol] traffic is much higher than estimated, and all cars and machines, robots, and artificial intelligence are being digitalized, producing huge amounts of data which is stored in data centers." US researchers expect power consumption to triple in the next five years as one billion more people come online in developing countries, and the “internet of things" (IoT), driverless cars, robots, video surveillance and artificial intelligence grows exponentially in rich countries. Recommended:  5G: Environmental And Health Risks Globally "There will be 9.2bn connected things in 2019, setting the stage for 22.4bn internets of things devices to be deployed by 2020," says the leading internet analyst firm Gartner. The industry has encouraged the idea that the digital transformation of economies and large-scale energy efficiencies will slash global emissions by 20% or more. Still, the scale and speed of the revolution have been a surprise. Global internet traffic will increase nearly threefold in the next five years, says the latest Cisco Visual Networking Index, a leading industry tracker of internet use. "More than one billion new internet users are expected, growing from three billion in 2015 to 4.1bn by 2020. Over the next five years, global IP networks will support up to 10bn new devices and connections, increasing from 16.3bn in 2015 to 26bn by 2020," says Cisco. A Berkeley laboratory report for the US government estimated the country’s data centers could together need over 100TWh of electricity a year by 2020. This is the equivalent of about 10 large nuclear power stations. The ICT Industry Growth Massively Datacenter capacity is also rocketing in Europe and Asia. London, Frankfurt, Paris, and Amsterdam expected to add nearly 250MW of consumption in 2019, or the power equivalent of a medium-size power station. "We see the massive growth of data centers in all regions. Trends that started in the US are now standard in Europe. Asia is taking off massively," says Mutual Patel, head of EMEA data center research at global investment firm CBRE. "The volume of data being handled by such centers is growing at unprecedented rates. They are seen as a key element in the next stage of growth for the ICT industry", says Peter Corcoran, a researcher at the University of Ireland, Galway. {youtube}                                                                Who Really Owns The Internet? Using renewable energy sounds good, but no one else benefits from what will be generated, and it skews national attempts to reduce emissions. Ireland, which with Denmark is becoming a database for the world’s biggest tech companies, has 350MW connected to data centers, but this is expected to triple to over 1,000MW, or the equivalent of a nuclear power station size plant, in the next five years. Permission has been given for a further 550MW to be connected, and 750MW more is in the pipeline, says Eirgrid, the country’s main grid operator. "If all inquiries connect, the data center load could account for 20% of Ireland’s peak demand," says Eirgrid in its All-Island Generation Capacity Statement 2017-2026 report. The data will be stored in vast new one million square feet or larger "hyper-scale" server farms, which companies are now building. The scale of these farms is huge; a single $1bn Apple data center planned for Athenry in Co Galway expects to eventually use 300MW of electricity or over 8% of the national capacity and more than the daily entire usage of Dublin. It will require 144 large diesel generators as a backup for when the wind does not blow. Photo by David Levene. Facebook’s Lulea data center in Sweden, located on the edge of the Arctic circle Pressed by Greenpeace and other environmental groups, large tech companies with a public face, including Google, Facebook, Apple, Intel, and Amazon, have promised to use renewable energy to power data centers. In most cases, they are buying it off the grid, but some plan to build solar and wind farms close to their centers. Greenpeace IT analyst Gary Cook says only about 20% of the electricity used in the world’s data centers is so far renewable, with 80% of the power still coming from fossil fuels. "The good news is that some companies have certainly embraced their responsibility and are moving quite aggressively to meet their rapid growth with renewable energy. Others are just growing aggressively," he says. Architect David Hughes, who has challenged Apple’s new center in Ireland, says the government should not be taken in by the promises. "Using renewable energy sounds good, but no one else benefits from what will be generated, and it skews national attempts to reduce emissions. Data centers have eaten into any progress we made to achieving Ireland’s 40% carbon emissions reduction target. They are just adding to demand and reducing our percentage. They are getting a free ride at the Irish citizens’ expense," says Hughes. Recommended:  Fight Climate Change By Using Drones To Cut Carbon Emissions Eirgrid estimates indicate that by 2025, one in every 3kWh generated in Ireland could be going to a data center, he added. “We have sleepwalked our way into a 10% increase in electricity consumption.” Fossil fuel plants may have to be kept open longer to power other parts of the country, and the costs will fall on the consumer, he says. "We will have to upgrade our grid and build more power generation, both wind and backup generation, for when the wind isn’t there, and this all goes onto people’s bills." Under a best-case scenario, says Andrae, there will be massive continuous improvements of power saving, renewable energy will become the norm, and the explosive growth in demand for data will slow. But equally, he says, demand could continue to rise dramatically if the industry keeps growing at 20% a year, driverless cars each with dozens of embedded sensors, and cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, which need vast amounts of computer power, become mainstream. "There is a real risk that it all gets out of control. Policymakers need to keep a close eye on this," says Andrae. Cover Photo by Google/Rex  Before you go! Recommended:  Climate Change, Water Scarcity, Hunger: Who Cares Did you find this an interesting article, or do you have a question or remark? Leave a comment below. We try to respond the same day. Like to write your article about the world's water supply? Send your writing & scribble with a photo to  [email protected] , and we will write an interesting article based on your input.
Stay Updated on Environmental Improvements And Global Innovations