Should tech giants be restricted from using electricity?

Should tech giants be restricted from using electricity?

Recently, the “Power Restriction Order” has swept across many provinces across the country.

In the post-00s world, electricity and air, like water, should be inexhaustible and inexhaustible.

There is a lot of “don’t know” behind the “ununderstanding”.

In people’s eyes, electricity consumption seems to mainly come from traditional secondary industries such as domestic electricity and steel, but what they don’t know is that the technology field representing “lighter, faster and greener” is becoming the protagonist of electricity consumption.

Taking the chip manufacturing company TSMC as an example, it consumes a total of 14.33 billion kWh of electricity a year, which is equivalent to the annual electricity consumption of 13.44 million permanent residents in Shenzhen.

At the same time, there is a shocking figure that the annual power consumption of bitcoin mining in the world is about 134.89 billion kWh, which is more than the total electricity consumption of Sweden.

In addition, the data centers of major Internet giants are also veritable “electric tigers”.

Although technology has brought efficiency and convenience to society, there is a huge waste of electricity in many unseen places.

(1) “Eat” the data centers of the Three Gorges Dam and Gezhouba

In recent years, with the in-depth development of cloud computing, artificial intelligence, big data, Internet of Things and mobile Internet, data centers have entered a stage of rapid development on the one hand.

However, on the other hand, the data center faces the problem of excessive energy consumption.

Anders Andre, who researches sustainable information and communications technology at Huawei, has said that data centers currently consume about 2 percent of the world’s electricity, which could rise to 8 percent by 2030.

From a domestic perspective, the power consumption of data centers across the country has grown at a rate of more than 12% for eight consecutive years. In 2017, the total power consumption of domestic data centers reached 120-130 billion kWh, which is more than the combined power generation of the Three Gorges Dam and Gezhouba Power Plants (about 100 billion kWh). It is expected to reach as high as 384.22 billion kWh in 2025.

Behind the huge power consumption, there is an incredible waste.

According to McKinsey & Company, only 6% to 12% of the power consumption of the data center is used for website computing, and the rest is uselessly consumed when maintaining the working state of the server. With the rapid development of the Internet, this power consumption has continued to rise in recent years.

At the same time, “excessive heat dissipation” is also an important reason for the huge power consumption of data centers. A study of 19 data centers in the U.S. by the Uptime Institute, a research organization, found that data centers were overcooled by almost twice what was actually needed.

In addition, due to the low utilization rate of renewable energy, the operation of the data center can only continue to increase the use of the original driving force – electricity, and the power consumption will naturally only increase.

High power consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, massive water consumption and environmental pollution after equipment is scrapped… The rapid growth in the number and scale of data centers has brought huge challenges to re