IEA predicts surge in energy use by electronic 'gadgets'

Measures to reduce the energy consumption of mobile phones, computers, TVs and other electronic devices are failing to keep up with soaring global demand for new appliances, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said in a report yesterday (13 May).

If left unchecked, the IEA predicts energy use by new electronic gadgets will triple by 2030, jeopardising efforts to improve energy security and keep emissions of global warming gases under control.

"Despite anticipated improvements in the efficiency of electronic devices, these savings are likely to be overshadowed by the rising demand for technology," said IEA Executive Director Nobuo Tanaka.

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Electronic devices currently account for 15% of household electricity consumption, but their share is rising rapidly, mainly due to growing demand in Africa and the developing world. There are already nearly two billion television sets in use, the Paris-based agency noted, and over half the world's population already subscribe to a mobile phone service.

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