We often use network devices to connect multiple electronic devices at a time for different purposes. But lately, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has revealed that the networked devices waste 400 terawatt-hours of energy annually.
The IEA report clarifies just how much power all these networked devices use, and how much they should be using. According to IEA report, in 2013, network-enabled devices in homes and offices around the world consumed 616 terawatt-hours. The IEA says, out of this 616 terawatt-hours of energy, 65 percent of energy (that is 400 terawatt-hours) could have been “saved” simply by “using technology that exists today.” Note that the price of 400 terawatt-hours of energy is $80-billion.
Maria van der Hoeven, executive director of IEA said in a press release, “The proliferation of connected devices brings many benefits to the world, but right now the cost is far higher than it should be. Consumers are losing money in the form of wasted energy, which is leading to more costly power stations and more distribution infrastructure being built than we would otherwise need—not to mention all the extra greenhouse gases that are being emitted.”
Most of the wasted energy is attributed to devices such as game consoles and TVs remaining idle in standby mode. Under that mode, they tend to use energy in order to maintain a network connection instead of actually “sleeping” and consuming just the bare minimum.
Hoevan has said, “If we adopt the best available technologies we can minimise the cost of meeting demand as the use and benefits of connected devices grows. Just by using today’s best available technology, such devices could perform exactly the same tasks in standby while consuming around 65 per cent less power.”
The IEA predicts, if necessary steps are not taken within few years, then by 2020, the problem will considerably worsen, with an estimated USD 120 billion wasted and 50 billion individual devices.