Thursday, July 30, 2009


Embodied Energy in High-Tech Electronics

In the post of July 13 I mentioned embodied energy, which refers to the energy needed to make something, as opposed to that needed to use or operate it. For example, the computers we are using embody the energy used to obtain, process, and assemble the materials, as well as some of the energy expended in the technology itself, such as energy to train the designers, engineers, programmers, skilled workers, and the many other people involved in creating and producing the machines. That energy is apart from the energy actually consumed by our computers when using them.

As I pointed out before, embodied energy is much larger than most people imagine, and here is a fine article that goes into more detail on the embodied energy of digital technology, which is surprisingly high.

As you read the article, keep in mind where all that energy comes from.

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