[LINK] Internet and the power grid
Tue, 13 Jun 2000 09:12:09 +1000
Certainly the computer is one of the hungrier devices in my household. There are
two kinds of statistics, those you look up and those you make up, and this is of
the second kind, but I guess the household power bill is about 30 percent
personal computer power supplies.
In my office, of course, the computers would easily outweigh all other
components of the electricity bill.
A couple of points:
1) PCs are criminally wasteful of power.
2) This gets worse with consumer products designed to teach people that the
computer should be left on at all times. Eg: I have a printer that doesn't have
a power switch. Really. Plug it in, it stays on. The only way to turn it off is
to pull the plug. Now, I know it's probably got a shutdown or sleep mode, but
the assumption that an on-off switch is just too much trouble is really
Subject: [LINK] Internet and the power grid
Date: 13/06/00 3:22
I have just come across the following
The U.S. Department of Energy and energy experts in several of the
nation's largest electricity-consuming states say the possibility of
extended blackouts looms large this summer and next, representing the
potential loss of billions of dollars to high-tech firms that rely on
uninterrupted power sources.
"Our aging power grid is not able to meet the needs of the
information age," said Carl Guardino, president of the high-tech
industry organization Silicon Valley Manufacturing Group, which
sponsored yesterday's summit.
Computers and computer peripherals now consume about 13 percent of
the nation's available power, a figure that has soared from less
than 1 percent since 1993 as the Internet becomes a preferred
method of doing business and communicating with each other.
The thing that REALLY fascinates me is the bit about computers and
peripherals consuming 13% of the nations power - up from under 1% in
(Note: I have no idea how accurate this figure is and have a gut feeling
that there has been some exaggeration here - even though the US DoE
seems to be involved).
Up until now, we have all been concentrating on the provision of
bandwidth and connectivity as necessary enablers for the information
age. I (and I suspect most others in the technology industry) have
assumed that the electricity needed to power the net and all its
hydra-like heads will simply be there...
Is Australia aware of this effect of the information age and what (if
anything) is happening in planning terms for the generating capacity to
meet this need (assuming the figures in the US are correct and that
they are transferable to Australia).
Robert Hart firstname.lastname@example.org
Red Hat, Inc
Phone: +1 650 967 0888
Fax: +1 650 965 7307