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Streaming causing high power usage

Streaming is a power consumer par excellence. The
EU commissioner Margrethe Vestager has warned that
streaming will be the reason for massive power usage
of the internet. Over 200 billion kWh will be used.

She named YouTube, NetFlix, vimeo as well as video conferencing software like Skype, WhatsApp and others that all take their toll when it comes to power usage. 200 billion kilowatt hours is a hefty number as it’s 200’000 GWh every year. To give you a number to campare to:

The nuclear power plant Isar/Ohu 2 near Landsberg provides about 11’000 GWh per year. So the streaming services alone consume about 20 times the power output of that nuclear power plant or in other words: It uses as much power as all private households of Germany, Italy and Poland together!

That’s a hefty number to look at and the worst part is: that number keeps growing even in times where enegry conservation should be an issue to everybody in order to accelerate the dismantling of nuclear power plants in a fashionable time.

However this only applies to countries like Germany, Norway, Denmark and Sweden, in the EMEA it’s Japan who agreed to no longer put new nuclear power plants into service. Countries like France, Belgium, Great Britain and Northern America don’t give a damn about dismantling nuclear power stations at all. In fact these countries keep on building new ones!

While building new nuclear power plants in general isn’t a bad idea (especially in the aspect of operation security and the reduction of nuclear disasters as they took place in Tshcernobyl and Fukushima) the main problem still exists: What to do with the remaining nuclear waste that even keeps coming from new nuclear power plants?

Of course the main reason for this numbers to have been published and put to the eyes of the public is that the climate goals for 2050 will hardly be achieved if we still demand that much energy (or even more) with the similar dismantling of power plants in general that negatively contribute to the climate change. This includes coal, oil and gas power plants. with the dismantling of these four types of power sources (nuclear being the fourth) it’s doubtful that regenerative energy sources such as solar, wind and water power plants might be able to cope with such a high power demand. And as we know, geothermal power plants still have the bad reputation to cause earthquakes around the area they’re placed in.

Even with giant hydro dams like the Itaipú-Dam in Brazil/Paraguay or the Three-Gorges-Dam in China the power demand could hardly be satisfied. They both almost deliver up to 20’000 MW electrical power which means a total output of 187’000 GWh per year. But besides streaming services, they’ll have to provide power to other structures as well.

December 15, 2019 Netspark - 1594 posts - Member since: May 9th, 2011 No Comments »

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