The Energy Demand of ICT: A Historical Perspective and Current Methodological Challenges —  2015 (Englisch)

In: ICT Innovations for Sustainability   ,  2  ;  71-103  ;  2014

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This chapter provides an overview of energy demand issues in the field of ICT with a focus on the history of measuring, modelling and regulating ICT electricity consumption and the resulting methodological challenges. While the energy efficiency of ICT hardware has been dramatically improving and will continue to improve for some decades, the overall energy used for ICT is still increasing. The growing demand for ICT devices and services outpaces the efficiency gains of individual devices. Worldwide per capita ICT electricity consumption exceeded 100 kWh/year in 2007 (a value which roughly doubles if entertainment equipment is included) and is further increasing. Methodological challenges include issues of data collection and modelling ICT devices and services, assessing the entire life cycle of ICT devices and infrastructures, accounting for embedded ICT, and assessing the effect of software on ICT energy consumption.

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