Power-hungry AI boom making power grids dirtier, less reliable

The rapid rise of artificial intelligence is causing a surge in electricity demand that could pose challenges for the grid and the companies behind the technology.

From simple ChatGPT queries – which themselves can consume as much electricity as a 60-watt incandescent bulb in 10 minutes – to more complex image and video creations, including implementation and integration fast-growing hardware companies, the AI ​​boom is increasing energy demand. on an already stretched grid.

As Bloomberg notes, data centers were already consuming more energy than entire countries like Italy and Taiwan in 2023, and their energy demand has increased sevenfold since 2008, even as chips become more energy efficient. energy.

AI’s power needs will only get worse, according to a report from the Boston Consulting Group, which pegs current data center power consumption at 2.5% and projects a three-fold increase to 7.5%. by 2030. This increase in demand may not be met. by existing production capacity, and certainly not by renewable sources.

In Texas, for example, where devastating power outages during a winter storm killed more than 240 people in 2021, a substantial increase in energy demand could mean less reliable energy for everyone.

“Cryptocurrency miners and data centers will be responsible for more than 50% of the additional growth (to fuel demand). We need to take a hard look at both of these sectors,” Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said in a June 12 post on X. “We want data centers, but this can’t be the Wild West of data centers and crypto miners. crash our network and turn off the lights.

And even as big tech companies commit to using green energy, the Washington Post reports that since they operate on the same grid as traditional electricity consumers, these data centers tend to consume a large portion of available renewable energy, leaving electricity suppliers to procure energy. dirty energy to fill the gaps.

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Sara Adm

Aimant les mots, Sara Smith a commencé à écrire dès son plus jeune âge. En tant qu'éditeur en chef de son journal scolaire, il met en valeur ses compétences en racontant des récits impactants. Smith a ensuite étudié le journalisme à l'université Columbia, où il est diplômé en tête de sa classe. Après avoir étudié au New York Times, Sara décroche un poste de journaliste de nouvelles. Depuis dix ans, il a couvert des événements majeurs tels que les élections présidentielles et les catastrophes naturelles. Il a été acclamé pour sa capacité à créer des récits captivants qui capturent l'expérience humaine.
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