IEA Report: Are Gadgets the Anti Green?

A report from the International Energy Agency (IEA) released on Wednesday claims that our addiction to electronics is contributing more to the energy crisis than previously understood.

According to the IEA press release, the rising global demand for electronic gadgets has led to a 7% increase in the world's electricity consumption each year from 1990 to 2008. Devices like televisions, personal computers, cell phones, MP3 players and gaming systems account for 15% of household electricity use – and as the popularity of technology increases and the cost of technology diminishes, electricity use will only climb. Emissions from electronic devices currently account for 500 megatons of CO2, and if IEA projections are accurate, CO2 emissions will more than double by 2030 as a result of technology adoption. 

"Despite anticipated improvements in the efficiency of electronic devices, these savings are likely to be overshadowed by the rising demand for technology... and undermine our energy security and climate change mitigation," said IEA Executive Director Nobuo Tanaka. The report goes on to urge governments to intervene with stricter energy policies for electronics manufacturers.

For a more in-depth review of the IEA's report and possible solutions to the tech-energy issue, check out their book Gadgets and Gigawatts.

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