Projected Surge in Energy Consumption
IEA’s Electricity 2024 Report
The International Energy Agency’s (IEA) recent report, Electricity 2024, unveils projections of a substantial increase in energy consumption driven by AI and Crypto Mining. The report foresees a more than 30% surge in energy use by 2026.
Power Generation and Carbon Emissions
While power generation, including crypto mining, remains a significant contributor to carbon emissions, the report notes that it plays a pivotal role in the transition to net-zero emissions. Renewables are expected to become the primary power sources by 2025.
Energy Consumption Breakdown
Data Centers, AI and Crypto Mining
The report highlights that energy consumption by data centers, AI and crypto mining facilities could exceed 1,000 TWh, doubling in the specified timeframe. This surge raises concerns about the environmental impact of growing tech sectors.
Crypto Mining and Japan’s Electricity Consumption
Crypto mining, including Bitcoin mining, is anticipated to reach 160 TWh by 2026, equivalent to Japan’s electricity consumption. Despite being a fraction of global energy use, challenges in reducing electricity consumption in crypto mining are acknowledged.
AI and Crypto Mining Role in Energy Surge
Tenfold Increase in AI Power Consumption
The AI sector is poised for a tenfold increase in power consumption between 2023 and 2026. Large language models (LLMs) like ChatGPT are expected to contribute significantly, consuming nearly 10 TWh per year.
Concerns and Bitcoin Mining Stats
While the report acknowledges that crypto mining represents a small portion of global energy consumption, it raises concerns about addressing challenges in reducing electricity consumption. In 2023, Bitcoin mining alone consumed 120 TWh.
Future Sustainability Challenges
IEA’s Predictions for 2026
The IEA predicts a total energy consumption of 160 TWh from crypto mining by 2026. As these sectors continue to grow, the report underscores the importance of adopting sustainable practices to address the associated environmental challenges.