Cover: Electricity Requirements for a Digital Society

Electricity Requirements for a Digital Society

by Walter S. Baer, Scott Hassell, Ben A. Vollaard

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Abstract

Increasing use of the Internet and other information and communications technologies (ICTs) marks a U.S. transition toward a "digital society" that may profoundly affect electricity supply, demand and delivery. RAND developed four 20-year scenarios of ICT evolution (2001-2021) for the U.S. Department of Energy and assessed their implications for future U.S. electricity requirements. Increased power consumption by ICT equipment is the most direct and visible effect, but not necessarily the most important. Over time, the effects that ICTs have on energy management, e-commerce, telework, and related trends will likely be much more consequential. Even large growth in the deployment and use of digital technologies will only modestly increase U.S. electricity use over the next two decades. The more pressing concern for an emerging digital society will be how to provide the higher-quality and more-reliable power that ICTs demand.

Table of Contents

  • Preface PDF

  • Figures PDF

  • Tables PDF

  • Summary PDF

  • Acknowledgements

    Acknowledgments PDF

  • Acronyms

    Acronyms and Abbreviations PDF

  • Chapter One

    Introduction PDF

  • Chapter Two

    Approach and Methodology PDF

  • Chapter Three

    Information and Communications Technology Scenarios PDF

  • Chapter Four

    Implications of the Scenarios for U.S. Electricity Use PDF

  • Chapter Five

    Implications of the Scenarios for the U.S. Electricity System PDF

  • Chapter Six

    Conclusions and Recommendations PDF

  • Appendix A

    Information and Communications Technology Scenario Matrix PDF

  • Appendix B

    ICT-Related Electricity Use Projections PDF

  • References PDF

The research described in this report was performed under the auspices of RAND Science and Technology.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation monograph report series. The monograph/report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1993 to 2003. RAND monograph/reports presented major research findings that addressed the challenges facing the public and private sectors. They included executive summaries, technical documentation, and synthesis pieces.

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