Will data centres consume more than 10% of global electricity usage for the year 2030?
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From https://metaculus.com//questions/15610/data-centres-10-of-global-electricity/ Based on a recent report by the [IEA](https://www.iea.org/reports/data-centres-and-data-transmission-networks), demand for digital services has experienced rapid growth, with internet users and traffic more than doubling and expanding 20-fold since 2010, respectively. Data centres and data transmission networks account for around 1-1.5% of global electricity use, with energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy adoption mitigating the energy demand. Data centres and transmission networks contributed 0.9% of energy-related GHG emissions in 2020. Although global data centre energy use (excluding crypto) has grown only moderately due to efficiency improvements in some regions, smaller countries have seen rapid growth. Data transmission network energy efficiency has also improved rapidly. See below for the IEA table summarising the change between 2015 and 2021 for relevant metrics, with ‘Data centre energy use (excluding crypto)’ being the main indicator of relevance for this question. | Indicator | 2015 | 2021 | Change | |-----------------------------------------------|-----------|--------------|-----------------| | Internet users | 3 billion | 4.9 billion | +60% | | Internet traffic | 0.6 ZB | 3.4 ZB | +440% | | Data centre workloads | 180 million | 650 million | +260% | | **Data centre energy use (excluding crypto)** | 200 TWh | **220-320 TWh** | +10-60% | | Crypto mining energy use | 4 TWh | 100-140 TWh | +2,300-3,300% | | Data transmission network energy use | 220 TWh | 260-340 TWh | +20-60% | In Ireland, data centres already consumed 14% of the country’s electricity in 2021, according to the [Central Statistics Office](https://www.cso.ie/en/releasesandpublications/ep/p-dcmec/datacentresmeteredelectricityconsumption2021/). A recent [Nature](https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-06610-y) article forecasts strongly increasing usage of TWh for data centres until 2030, at just below 10% of global electricity usage. This makes understanding the total energy usage of data centres over this decade crucial. ***Will data centres consume more than 10% of global electricity usage for the year 2030?*** This data resolves based on the [International Energy Agency’s estimations](https://www.iea.org/reports/data-centres-and-data-transmission-networks). It will use an updated estimate from the source above and use ‘Data centre energy use (excluding crypto)’ to get the relevant value for the year 2030. Then, it will use that number and divide it by the total energy usage for the year 2030, also reported by the [IEA](https://www.iea.org/reports/electricity-information-overview/electricity-consumption). If estimates are given in a range (like 220-320), we will simply average both numbers given to arrive at a single point estimate. This question may resolve as soon as the IEA publishes its estimates, but there is an expected publication lag of at least 1 year. If the IEA has not published its estimates needed to calculate the percent of global electricity usage spent on data centres by July 1, 2032, other sources may be used to make this calculation (but both numbers have to be from the same source). If no such sources are available (or if it is difficult to find estimates for data centre energy usage) this question resolves ambiguously.

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This could happen with data centers rising or energy falling. The latter is happening. Despite the statistics the blackouts show the electricity consumption is less than reported. If you're measuring power with a meter then it will hide intermittent losses.

As we've seen in Europe telecoms and data centers die first when there is power outages so that will push the number down.