Understanding Energy Costs of Artificial Intelligence

AI's popularity raises energy use concerns. IEA reports it's currently at 2% of global energy, set to double by 2026, rivaling Japan's consumption.

By Sunil Sonkar
2 Min Read
Understanding Energy Costs of Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) is increasingly gaining popularity. Amid such a scenario, concerns over its energy consumption are being more talked about. The International Energy Agency (IEA) lately shed light on the issue and revealed that currently the technology consumes about 2 percent of global energy demand. The figure is expected to double by 2026 and probably may be equal to the electric consumption of small countries like Japan.


AI is now operating behind the scenes. It is orchestrating various aspects of daily life managing infrastructure and curating personalized music playlists. However, these come at a significant cost. It consumes energy.

It is high time to address the issue with respect to mitigating climate change. As global temperatures rise, reducing energy consumption is important to minimize greenhouse gas emissions.

Generative AI is a subtype of AI and it comparatively consumes more energy. It is learned that training models like OpenAI’s GPT-3 consumes electricity equal to 130 average US homes annually. Even like conducting a Google search or interacting with AI assistants contribute to energy usage.

Experts emphasize the importance of adopting transparent and sustainable AI practices. Climate researcher Sasha Luccioni from Hugging Face highlights the significance of understanding environmental impact from AI. She suggested that raising awareness and implementing responsible consumption habits are crucial steps toward mitigating the environmental footprint of AI technologies.

As we witness more of AI integration into various aspects of our daily lives, it is important to address the energy consumption issue. AI stakeholders should prioritize sustainability and adopt eco-friendly AI practices.

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