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For Every Watt We Use On the Internet, We Save 10 Watts!

The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy rocks. They have put numbers to what I have long expected to be true. Folks who complain about how much energy computers waste are crazy. Computers save tons of energy, while, themselves, using less energy than the lightbulb used to light the workstation. And now we know how much.

The study focused on a metric called "energy intensity." Basically, that's the amount of energy necessary to we use it discount drug levitra produce a dollar of economic output. The first major drop in energy intensity occured after the oil crisis in the 1970s. That was a cost-based drop, not generally the ideal.

Then, after OPEC lost its stranglehold, energy intensity stopped dropping because energy was once again cheap. But then, starting in the late 1990s, energy intensity began to drop significantly again. This drop was unrelated to energy costs and was, in fact, a technologically spurred change.

Computers were helping us become more efficient. First, by using their power to design more efficient practices. And second, and much more significantly, by allowing people and things to travel digitally, instead of physically.

Telecommuting a couple days per week, reading news online, emails, document downloads, and instant messages all allow people and things to travel while consuming much smaller amounts of energy. What's more, online shopping has reduced trips to retail stores, resulting in significant energy savings.

Energy intensity has continued to drop more than 2% every year since the Internet first appeared. Without the Internet, the paper's authors suggest that we would need one billion more barrels per oil per year! Indeed, ever kilowatt/hour we spend on enter site viagra 10 mg the Internet looks to brand viagra have saved about 10 kilowatt/hours of energy.

Not that I need another reason to spend time online...

Via CSMonitor

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Comments (9)Add Comment
written by Magnulus, March 01, 2008
Hey, wow! That's awesome! Not all that surprising, considering all the mentioned variables, either. I loooves me some computer time.
written by Anon, March 01, 2008
Does anyone have any solid information on the energy required to order a product online and have it shipped via truck versus the energy required to drive to the store in order to buy it locally? I know it depends on a lot of variables (how far you have to drive to the store, what type of vehicle you drive, etc.), but I had always presumed that purchasing the product locally was more efficient than ordering it online, particularly if you have a reasonably efficient car and can combine trips or live close to look there generic levitra usa the store. But maybe I'm wrong?
written by weee recycling, March 02, 2008
I hope to see more companies introducing Telecommuting a couple days per week - it's one of the simplest ways we can save energy.
As gas prices increase employers will face a simple equation - allow more workers to work from home more or pay them more to come into the office everyday.
Telecommuting Could Half Our Gulf Oil De
written by Kate Lister -, March 03, 2008
Great metric!

Our analysis, shows that the U.S. could reduce crude oil consumption by 388 Million barrels a year if workers who could worked from home, actually did. Collectively they would save almost $25 Billion per year, and reduce foreign oil purchases by $35 Billion a year. That's the equivalent of 48% of our Persian Gulf oil imports. Read more at
Coal usage per megabyte downloaded
written by brian, March 06, 2008
Recently attending the TED conference in Monterey, CA, a speaker showed that currently it takes the equivalent of 1 standard coal briquette to produce energy for every megabyte downloaded in the US. I was wondering what people think about that when the download gigabytes of music & movies per person.
Check out for videos.
written by jc, March 07, 2008
how much is 10kW? Can somebody please put this into perspective for me?
written by Eric Duminil, October 11, 2008
Please don't talk about energy savings if you don't even know what associated units are (i.e. kWh, not kW/h)!

As for the study in itself, I doubt that it is reliable, do you have any source, any life cycle analysis related to it?

@jc : 10kW ~ 10 hovers ~ 1/10 car power
written by Name, November 27, 2008
Interesting article; however, much more can still be done to reduce the energy consumption for our computing needs as well as all of the energy to levitra from canadian pharmacy support said needs. For instance, virtualizing the computing environment that has huge benefits while using devices that take far less input to produce the levitra en gel intended output. Consider the Pano by Pano Logic ( ).

For businesses, this is pretty much a no brainer. The consumer market could benefit from this technology if hosted solutions providers could make available virtual machines to their customers and clients/partners.
written by Dave, January 05, 2009
While certain technologies may be gaining in efficiency in the USA, the energy density of the US is dropping because of manufacturing moving offshore. The energy required to make cars, or computers, or even petroleum inputs to farming, are not included in those calcs. So it's a bogus number.

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