Smart phone users that consume a huge amount of data are contributing to climate change says new report
The digital economy uses a tenth of the world’s electricity according to a report by technology and investment advisory firm, Digital Power Group.
The report found a single iPhone can consume more energy than a refrigerator due to the substantial data usage of a typical smartphone owner.
According to the report, the UK has the greatest concentration of data centres, consuming over 6.4GW of power per year, which is equivalent to six million British households.
“The problem essentially boils down to data,” said Peter Hopton, green IT entrepreneur, Iceotope CEO.
“Modern mobile users consume data at an alarming rate. It’s not that particular mobile phone models aren’t energy efficient, it’s that we use these devices to access cloud computing services, and this ‘always-on’ IT culture requires huge data farms to be located around the country.”
“Most people are simply unaware of IT’s environmental impact, and this report just highlights the scale of what’s being missed.”
iPhone manufacturer Apple has invested in renewable energy for some of their centres in the US in a bid to reduce theirs and their users’ carbon emissions.
“There’s nothing wrong with heavy data usage, and I am by no means suggesting we ban mobile data, God forbid,” said Hopton.
“Instead, service providers must recognise the impact that this kind of data usage is having on the environment and make sure that the underlying infrastructure is stored in environmentally friendly facilities – particularly as savvy, modern consumers could potentially boycott those which aren’t.
“The solutions to make these facilities green are available, it just takes a little effort from IT decision makers to implement them and it’s down to the rest of us to make them sit up and take note.”