Can the Internet reduce energy demand?

by Simon St. Laurent

You don't have to follow The Oil Drum to know that energy prices just keep climbing. Even if supply holds up, huge demand will make prices a problem for a long time to come. Can the Internet help reduce that demand?


2007-11-10 20:06:15
What makes sense is following the European model of taxing rich people, and building light rail for poor people. Because there are more of them, if the only tech we give poor people pollutes, then they will pollute more. But they can't afford the light rail themselves, because they are... you get the idea.

In other words, to defeat the harmful effects of technology invented 110 years ago, we need to actually start using the technology we invented 100 years ago. Something happened to it - exactly what is a topic for other forums!

Following a Pareto diagram (fixing the problem with the most symptoms first), we can then use our high-tech gizmos more rationally. I drive 50 miles, one way, to Pair Program, and I ain't looking for a closer job.

2007-11-13 11:17:27
Decentralized energy grids, solar, geothermal, and wind power, etc. are all smarter ways to provide energy. The first comment nails the tax structure necessary, right on the head. A third component to the proposal would have to be a drastic reduction in hegemonic military activity, from aggressive wars to regional power projection. How much energy do fleets of ships and war planes use, daily? How much of that carnage is necessary, desirable, etc. for anybody but the top 1%?
2007-12-03 17:07:02
Let's remember that the Internet itself is said to consume about 868 billion kWh (kilowatt hours) of electricity per year to run the Internet, associated PCs, routing infrastructure, and phone networks.” (

But companies are stepping forward with solutions to reduce the energy use of the Internet. Solar Energy Host ( for example, is hosting websites using 100% solar energy.