LIRNEasia has from the beginning seen the value of looking at all infrastructures, and indeed looking at their inter-relationships. Given their places on the adoption curves, we do not believe that electronics can consume 15% of electricity at the BOP in emerging countries, but given the long gestation times of energy projects and reforms, it appears opportune to start thinking about this issue now, rather than later.
The proliferation of personal computers, iPods, cellphones, game consoles and all the rest amounts to the fastest-growing source of power demand in the world. Americans now have about 25 consumer electronic products in every household, compared with just three in 1980.
Worldwide, consumer electronics now represent 15 percent of household power demand, and that is expected to triple over the next two decades, according to the International Energy Agency, making it more difficult to tackle the greenhouse gas emissions responsible for global warming.
To satisfy the demand from gadgets will require building the equivalent of 560 coal-fired power plants, or 230 nuclear plants, according to the agency.