Scientists at a recent conference in the UK have put the amount of energy consumed by all the television, networks, computers, phones and other ICT devices at a whopping 8% of the total power used by developed countries.
While the figure is unverified, it is significantly higher than the 2% estimate by Gartner long cited by the ICT industry.
According to Prof Andrew Ellis at Aston University in Birmingham, and a co-organiser of the Royal Society event, the consumption will only get higher as data speed increases.
“That is quite a huge problem. If we have multiple fibres to keep up, we are going to run out of energy in about 15 years,” he said.