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The past, present, and future energy consumption of ICT from a thermodynamic efficiency perspective

Faculty of Environment

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Dr P Brockway , Dr K Djemame , Prof P Taylor No more applications being accepted Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
Leeds United Kingdom Data Science Electrical Engineering Information Systems

About the Project

An increasing share of electricity is being used for information communication technologies (ICT) devices (e.g. TVs, smartphones, computers, tablets) as computing power continues to expand, and the number and applications of ICT devices increase. In addition, there are considerable energy requirements associated with other ICT aspects, which also continue to grow rapidly, including internet traffic, cloud computing storage systems, and embodied energy to manufacture the ICT devices themselves. At the same time, ICT devices can provide energy savings via e.g. teleworking, and ‘smart’ devices. This project will seek to address three key questions, which together will help us better understand the potential impact of ICT systems on energy and net zero climate targets:

1. What are the historical UK and global electricity demands of these ICT devices and associated upstream (manufacture) and downstream (e.g. cloud storage, internet traffic) systems?

2. What is the energy efficiency of these ICT systems when measured using thermodynamic principles?

3. What share of the UK and global electricity demand might be for ICT systems in 2050?

Funding Notes

EPSRC DTP 2021 3.5 years fully-funded awards for UK nationals who meet the UK residency requirements; settled or pre-settled EU nationals; and those with ILTR in the UK. Up to one fully-funded award can be made to an overseas applicant, however, you are advised to speak with the project supervisor before applying, if you fall into this category for funding.
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