Emerging trends in electricity consumption for consumer ICT
Corcoran, Peter M.
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Andrae, Anders, & Corcoran, Peter M. (2013). Emerging trends in electricity consumption for consumer ICT.
Since 2009, several emerging technologies have initiated broad and disruptive impact across the ICT sector: cloud computing promises efficiency of scale both in terms of capital and operational costs; high-speed wireless networks promise near-ubiquitous network access and thin-client solutions (smart-phones and tablets) provide appropriate, low power user- interfaces to take advantage of this emerging next-generation ICT infrastructure. But despite claims that this new consumer ICT infrastructure can reduce the overall energy costs of society s new digital lifestyle, there are few studies that encompass the total energy costs of consumer ICT devices and the supporting communications networks and associated data centers that have become so essential. This work brings together the work of many prior researchers, while also introducing a number of new methodological approaches to estimate growth in the portion of global electricity consumption that can be ascribed to digital consumer devices. Baseline estimates for the main categories of consumption - direct, manufacturing related, network-related and data-center related - are determined for 2012. A number of methodological approaches are outlined to extrapolate trends over the period 2013-2017 and projections based on best-case, expected and worst-case scenarios are provided.