Silicon Valley is largely driving energy demand in US

Mark P. Mills:
Virtually every class of product or machine in widespread use today was invented before World War II. The lone exception? Look no further than your pocket or purse. Just as Detroit democratized transportation a century ago, Silicon Valley has democratized information with a transformation that only began in earnest a decade ago. Both classes of technologies require vast infrastructures creating new energy demands. The Cloud—the sprawling constellation of massive datacenters and communications networks—is genuinely new and revolutionary.

And in energy terms, operating today’s global digital infrastructure surpasses the fuel demand of global aviation.1

It has taken the Cloud just two decades to reach a level of demand that it took aviation 70 years to reach. Only the dawn of the automobile age drove as fast a rise in energy demand as has the Cloud. Now THAT’s a demand revolution.
Almost daily we see media stories about digital era products creating new services and upending old businesses. All these new companies and products—from Amazon and Uber, to artificial intelligence-assisted diagnostics—are built on the vast, new digital infrastructure. The more exciting or novel the services, the faster the growth in demand becomes for a bigger, faster infrastructure.

It may seem incredible to think that infinitesimally small transistors and ethereal bytes in wireless flight to smartphones could require more power than hauling humans at the speed of sound in leviathan aircraft. But that’s where the law of large numbers comes in. As every student of zoology learns, bacteria collectively weigh thousands of times more than all the whales on earth.

The world today fabricates more transistors each year than the number of grains—not bushels, but grains—of wheat grown globally. And those silicon devices, along with a myriad other complex components from lasers to optical systems manifest not only in billions of consumer devices, but in megatons and trillions of dollars of hardware in the ‘hidden’ infrastructure of communications networks and warehouse-scale datacenters. The data coursing through the world’s wired and wireless networks is now countable north of two zettabytes, an incomprehensible number.
There is much more.

He includes the Tesla in this new energy demand.  It appears to be so high that despite Silicon's Valley's embrace of alternative energy, that is not enough to meet the demand created by the creation and use of their products.  Ironically, this tech revolution is now being used to help fossil fuel producers meet the rising demands.


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