What Does the Growth of Smart Devices Mean for Energy Consumption?

Networked devices, including smartphones, tablets, computers, etc., are rapidly growing in popularity. However, the energy demands to sustain this growing popularity is also increasing. According to a report by the International Energy Agency, the energy demands of networked devices in 2008 was approximately equal to the energy usage of France. In 2013, that usage increased to be equal to that of Canada. The report projects that by 2025, networked devices will require more than the total energy used by Russia, accounting for 6 percent of the global electricity demand- of which 80 percent of that usage will be dedicated to maintenance of the connection, rather than actual use of the devices. The report contends,

In their current state, network-enabled devices carry an inherent paradox. They have enormous potential to deliver diverse efficiencies across many sectors and services, yet they fall far short of their own potential to be energy efficient.”

For these reasons, the EIA is working to reduce the power consumption of networked devices in order to improve the sustainability and efficiency. Progress by researchers could potentially reduce the technology’s energy usage by just over 50 percent.

The attempts to improve energy efficiency for networked devices echoes that of attempts to improve the efficiency of home appliances in the last twenty years, suggesting the ever increasing importance and need of these devices to daily life.


Read more here- “Energy Demands of Networked Devices Skyrocket,” (Suzanne Jacobs, MIT Technology Review)

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Olivia is a graduate of Villanova University where she studied Economics and History, minoring in Gender and Women's Studies. She also has experience working with federal legislatures on health care policy, women's issues, and Internet safety.


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