Smart Grid News, 12 April 2013

A new report coming from Australia warns that industry has vastly underestimated the energy consumption resulting from more and more people accessing cloud services using portable devices. The popularity of these services is "driving a massive surge in energy consumption." Previous research has focused on the data centers that serve up the information. In reality, says the report, more than 90% of the energy consumption will come from the wireless networks that connect to the data centers.

My questions: Is the discrepancy for real? If so, it is enough to distort our forecasts of future load growth?

Melbourne's Centre for Energy Efficient Telecommunications (CEET) has for the first time calculated the energy consumption of the cloud computing "food chain." The report, "The Power of Wireless Cloud," warns that we have grossly underestimated the energy consumption of the cloud ecosystem. The energy use of cloud services is expect to grow as much as 460% between 2012 and 2015. Wireless access networks (WiFi and 4G LTE) will be responsible for 90% of that energy. Data centers will account for only 9%.

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