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How much energy does the Internet use?

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Author's Note

I pitched the idea for this article in a brainstorming session because the question was bugging me. How much energy does the Internet use? I rely so heavily upon the Internet for everything from restaurant suggestions and entertainment options to banking and healthcare that I wondered how much energy I was consuming. I suspected the answer would be difficult or even impossible to track down. Fortunately, Raghavan and Ma did a great job estimating energy consumption.

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Sources

  • Giles, Jim. "Internet responsible for 2 per cent of global energy usage." New Scientist. October 2011. (Nov. 20, 2012) http://www.newscientist.com/blogs/onepercent/2011/10/307-gw-the-maximum-energy-the.html
  • Glanz, James. "Power, Pollution and the Internet." The New York Times. Sept. 22, 2012. (Nov. 20, 2012) http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/23/technology/data-centers-waste-vast-amounts-of-energy-belying-industry-image.html
  • Hargreaves, Steve. "The Internet: One big power suck." CNN. May 9, 2011. (Nov. 20, 2012) http://money.cnn.com/2011/05/03/technology/internet_electricity/
  • IDC. "U.S. Datacenters Growing in Size But Declining in Numbers, According to IDC." Oct. 9, 2012. (Nov. 20, 2012) http://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS23724512
  • Johnson, Bobbie. "How much energy does the internet really use?" The Guardian. May 13, 2009. (Nov. 20, 2012) http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2009/may/14/internet-energy-savings
  • Raghavan, Barath and Ma, Justin. "The Energy and Emergy of the Internet." Hotnets '11. Nov. 14-15 2011. (Dec. 5, 2012) http://www.cs.berkeley.edu/~jtma/papers/emergy-hotnets2011.pdf

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