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.
Manhattan Institute Reports
SLIDE DECK 2017
The conditions are ripe for a boom in American manufacturing, especially in high-tech, high-value-added sectors, including semiconductors, pharmaceuticals, refined hydrocarbons, chemicals, and cloud infrastructure. Moreover, considering energy costs, property rights, and the quality of its workforce, the U.S. remains one of the world’s most competitive places to do business.
It has become common wisdom that we are in a “new normal” of low growth in an economy destined to deindustrialize and become increasingly dominated by low-paying service-sector jobs. This outlook is mistaken.
Global forces and technology trends are creating opportunities as well as challenges for American workers. There are an estimated one-half million more jobs available than workers with relevant skills in trades from construction and manufacturing to aviation.
Electric grids have always been vulnerable to natural hazards and malicious physical attacks. Now the U.S. faces a new risk—cyberattacks—that could threaten public safety and greatly disrupt daily life.