Because the U.S. has long benefited from a robust, accessible energy delivery system for electricity, transportation fuels and heating sources, we often take for granted the luxuries made possible by abundant energy. Below are a few stats on the energy nexus with sectors we usually don’t associate first with energy.
- We live today in a data driven world, with nearly everyone relying on handheld devices to get through the day. The data storage centers required to support our data based lifestyles need enormous amounts of electricity to operate. In recent years, the U.S. data storage sector has consumed about 70 billion kilowatt hours of electricity annually. Compared to Mississippi’s electricity consumption, this is about 17% more electricity than what is used in the entire state annually.
- Running water and flushing toilets are luxuries billions across the world would love to have, but don’t. In the U.S., drinking water production/delivery and wastewater collection/treatment consume about 4% of the nation’s electricity, which roughly equates to the amount of electricity required to power everything in the states of Mississippi, Tennessee and Montana, combined, or about 4 times the total U.S. solar electricity generation.
- Given these staggering statistics, imagine the energy required for other sanitation conveniences, like household/business garbage collection and disposal.
Energy is truly the foundation for civilization as we know it. With many parts of the world still developing and striving to get the same conveniences we have, like sanitary environments, access to energy will be the driver for those nations and villages to improve their quality of life.