The Cloud Begins With Coal: The Report

The information economy is a blue-whale economy with its energy uses mostly out of sight. Based on a mid-range estimate, the world’s Information-Communications-Technologies (ICT) ecosystem uses about 1,500 TWh of electricity annually, equal to all the electric generation of Japan and Germany combined — as much electricity as was used for global illumination in 1985.  The ICT ecosystem now approaches 10% of world electricity generation.  Or in other energy terms – the zettabyte era already uses about 50% more energy than global aviation.