In 2007, the U.S. Department of Environmental Protection released a report that estimated that national energy consumption by servers and data centers would rise from 7 gigawatts (GW) to 12 GW by this year, which would have required an additional 10 power plants. Power consumption had previously doubled from 2000.
The EPA has not updated its 2007 estimate, but it's believed that the recession and improvements in energy efficiency have reduced the original forecast for 2011.
However, nationally, the U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates that demand for new generating power, for all needs by business and homes, will rise by 223 GW for all electrical energy uses through 2035. That estimate includes retirement of about 39 GW of existing capacity.
Patrick Thibodeau covers SaaS and enterprise applications, outsourcing, government IT policies, data centers and IT workforce issues for Computerworld. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @DCgov or subscribe to Patrick's RSS feed . His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read more about Data Center in Computerworld's Data Center Topic Center.