Not Enough Power

Even the Brits, who have been dismantling their reliable electrical grid for some time now, understand that AI is going to require a lot more electricity than is presently available. Now add in the government mandated change over to EVs which will add even more electrical demand...but that assumes that EV mandates won’t be removed once it becomes apparent that no one wants EVs with the exception of the Climate Change Cult faithful.

While the linked article doesn’t focus on just British energy supplies, it does bring up one thing that too many people who think AI will be “The Next Big Thing” ignore: AI requires a lot of power.

It’s not your personal computer that uses all this energy, though. Or your smartphone. The computations we increasingly rely on happen in giant data [centers] that are, for most people, out of sight and out of mind.

“The cloud,” says Dr Luccioni. “You don’t think about these huge boxes of metal that heat up and use so much energy.”

The world’s data [centers] are using ever more electricity. In 2022, they gobbled up 460 terawatt hours of electricity, and the International Energy Agency (IEA) expects this to double in just four years. Data [centers] could be using a total of 1,000 terawatts hours annually by 2026. “This demand is roughly equivalent to the electricity consumption of Japan,” says the IEA. Japan has a population of 125 million people.

The problem is that electrical grids – both generation and distribution systems – are not being upgraded to the level needed to support AI.

The push for ‘green’ energy has had the opposite effect as reliable generating systems – coal, natural gas, hydro, and nuclear – are being replaced with solar and wind, variable and unreliable systems that are too easily affected by weather and are not dispatchable as needed. Another thing no one mentions is that these system do require backup generation systems - fueled by coal or natural gas – when the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing. If demand is going to grow as fast as some have been predicting due to the increasing number of data centers, our electrical grids will not be able to provide the power they need.

Quite a few of the comments on this related post at Instapundit bring up a number of the problems regarding this issue. One comment brings up something no one has thought about:

So we need more electricity for the AI datacenters. But we also need more electricity for EVs.

Hmm. I have to wonder if the AI's will shut off power to the EV chargers in order to make sure that they have enough electricity to continue to operate? Has anyone, including SloJoe, WRBA, the Climate Change Cultists, or the Greens even thought about this?

Oh, silly question. Of course they haven't.

And so it goes.