“More Data, Less Energy”, the challenge of saving energy on standby

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has published the report “ More Data, Less Energy : Making Network Standby More Efficient in Billions of Connected...

Nilmar Seccomandi

Nilmar Seccomandi

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The International Energy Agency (IEA) has published the report More Data, Less Energy: Making Network Standby More Efficient in Billions of Connected Devices”, revealing for the first time the impact of the standby mode of billions of devices in the world.

According to the report, the energy consumption of billions of connected devices, such as smartphones, tablets and set-top boxes is growing, even at times when the device is not effectively in use, i.e. when it is simply switched on. This is due to the fact that, though only a relatively small portion of the world’s population uses these devices, the number continues to grow and there are now over 14 billion (cited in the 2013 report). That number could shoot up to 500 billion devices by 2050, meaning a spectacular increase in energy demand and thus inefficient energy on standby.

Being connected twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week means that these information and communication technology devices use energy all the time, even when they are in standby mode. In 2013, these devices consumed 616 tetrawatts/hour (TWh) of electricity, exceeding the total electricity consumption of Canada. Studies show that, for some devices, such as video-game consoles, up to 80% of the energy consumption is used simply to maintain an internet connection. The implementation of the best available technologies could reduce the energy demand of network-enabled devices by up to 65%.

The International Energy Agency uses this report to lay the bases and tackle the challenge of standby, exploring political and technical solutions with a clear underlying message: there is a need for international cooperation among all the stakeholders in the ICT sector.

We at Telefónica would like to give you some basic instructions to reduce the energy consumption of your mobile phones, tablets and set-top boxes (peripherals connected to the TV) without reducing their practical performance:

  • Reduce the brightness of the screen
  • Reduce the waiting time for stand by
  • Deactivate the automatic screen rotation option
  • Deactivate the Wifi connection whenever you are not using it (the constant search for a network is critical in energy consumption)
  • Deactivate the Bluetooth option
  • Deactivate the GPS
  • Use the aircraft mode
  • Unplug the charger when you are not using it

If you want more information and figures about the energy consumption of devices during standby, follow us on our Twitter account @TEF_Green


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