Warning of Rising Electricity Consumption by Crypto and AI

Electricity Consumption Set to Surge with Crypto and AI by 2026, Warns IEA

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has delivered a dire warning, revealing that cryptocurrencies and artificial intelligence (AI) currently account for nearly 2% of the world’s total electricity consumption. However, this figure is poised to potentially double within the next couple of years.

It explains that the rapidly expanding crypto industry is responsible for the increase of data centers worldwide, thereby contributing to the surge in energy consumption.

Crypto and AI Expected to Double Electricity Consumption

In a comprehensive 170-page report, the IEA details various factors influencing the potential rise in electricity consumption from crypto and AI in the coming years. The agency expresses confidence that the increase could be at least double:

“Electricity consumption from data centres, artificial intelligence (AI) and the cryptocurrency sector could double by 2026.”

When the numbers are crunched down however, it is alarming. The IEA states that it expects global energy consumption from these three sectors to range between 620 – 1050 TWh in 2026.


Read more: 11 Best Altcoin Exchanges for Crypto Trading in January 2024

Should this forecast materialize, it would mean adding “at least one Sweden or most of Germany.”

“We estimate that data centres, cryptocurrencies, and artificial intelligence (AI) consumed about 460 TWh of electricity worldwide in 2022, almost 2% of total global electricity demand.”

Global Electricity Demand From Data Centres, AI, and cryptocurrencies, 2019-2026. Source: IEA

Recent Controversy Surrounding Crypto Mining

The debate over cryptocurrency mining has been going on for some time now.

Read more: How To Mine Cryptocurrency: A Step-by-Step Guide

In September 2023, BeInCrypto reported that the rising amount of electricity theft in the United Kingdom in 2022. Crypto mining was listed as the three most probable reasons for why this may be happening.

However, in 2021, the West Midlands Police exposed an illicit Bitcoin (BTC) mining operation. This involved over 100 connected devices to circumvent the electricity supply.

Meanwhile, US presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. challenged the idea that Bitcoin mining has significant consequences on energy consumptions. Furthermore, he stated that environment arguments should not be used as a “smokescreen to curtail freedom to transact.”


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