Observing the renewable energy transition from a European perspective

Energy Requirements for the Internet


An Opel Astra consumes 75kW, in contrast an iPad a lame 2.5W.

*** 1 Opel Astra = 30,000 iPads.***

That’s why iPad’s have a future in a resource depleted world and Opel Astra’s have not. The graph above illustrates the enormous growth of the internet, a technology with a relatively small energy footprint. To illustrate this: the largest datapump on the planet, google/youtube, can be powered by merely 52 large windturbines, costing a fraction of google’s current yearly profit.


And the internet is doubling in size every two years. Currently the internet consumes about 2% of all electrical energy used globally. That’s not much for a technology with such a big impact on the daily lives of people at home and in the workplace. Here a few interesting stats concerning the internet:


Interesting fact: about 50% of the energy required goes into powering the devices, the other 50% in cooling, so here is considerable potential for using this excess heat for space heating purposes.

Our prediction: the future of the car is bleak, but the internet is here to stay and will constitute the backbone of the future economy. Or to sum it up:
19th century: coal
20th century: oil
21th century: data

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