Increasing resource and energy consumption of ICT infrastructures must not slip out of the focus

A new TAB report analyses energy consumption scenarios of ICT infrastructures and identifies realistic savings potentials. The corresponding Policy Brief is now available in English.
Cover: TAB-Fokus no. 35: Energy consumption of ICT infrastructures
TAB-Fokus no. 35: Energy consumption of ICT infrastructure

So far, the digital transformation and the resulting enormous opportunities and risks have been addressed in science and the general public primarily in economic and societal terms. However, digitisation is also accompanied by considerable ecological effects, which are to be condidered to be ambivalent: On the one hand, digitisation offers the opportunity to reorganise economic and social processes and, in particular, to make them more efficient with regard to energy and resources. On the other hand, the establishment and operation of digital infrastructures (digital end devices, data centres and telecommunications networks) consume large amounts of energy and ressources. 
A critical examination of the continuously increasing energy consumption of ICT infrastructures is of considerable relevance because, in view of the enormous potential benefits associated with digitisation, there is a certain danger that the negative environmental impacts involved might increasingly slip out of the focus of users, researchers and, last but not least, political decision makers.
Against this backdrop and taking into account the digitisation push triggered by the COVID 19 pandemic, the present TAB report analyses the state of knowledge on the current and forecast energy consumption of ICT infrastructures, identifies potential savings and points out ways in which these could be realised. 

Key results are clearly summarized on the project page and in the four-page TAB-Fokus Issue no. 35.


Downloads and further information