Last year the world spent $80 billion (USD) on electricity to power all the gadgets we can’t seem to do without anymore. This poser demand has increased due to the rise in computers, MP3 players, home video games, wireless routers, portable phones and those hot flat screen, high definition digital televisions. It is so bad that the estimate is that by 2030 the expenditure on electricity will grow to $200 billion (USD).
It is believed that to meet these demands will require the output of 200 new power plants and will double greenhouse emissions to on billion tons of carbon dioxide per year. This has prompted a move by the International Energy Agency (IEA) to start urging governments around the world to create new, lower, energy efficiency standards. The idea being to force manufacturers to include extra-low power modes for when our gadgets aren’t in use as well as improve the overall operating efficiency of those electronic gadgets.
Paul Waide, a senior policy adviser at the agency, says the digital revolution is transforming home electronics into ubiquitous, multi-purpose appliances. Some refrigerators now come with televisions in the door, while TVs are now high-definition computer monitors that can also be used to listen to radio.
He said consumers should shut down their gadgets when not in use and unplug when not in use the growing number of battery chargers needed for cordless phones, cellphones, iPods and laptops.
And they should listen to radio on an actual radio, rather than an energy-hogging television or computer.
At the same time, many jurisdictions are moving to digital-only television, which consumes far more power than the traditional analogue sets.
The IEA estimates the electricity demand for television usage will rise by 5 per cent a year.
Source: The Globe and Mail