Technology and Consumer Electronics
With the continued development of technological devices comes the demand to provide power. Power for you cell phone, laptop, desktop computer and monitor, I-Pod, game consoles, flatscreen TVs (which can consume more power than refrigerators, the long-time energy hog of households). According to a recent NY Times article, typical U.S. households now have on average 25 consumer electronic products as compared with just three in 1980.
“Worldwide, consumer electronics now represent 15 percent of household power demand, and that is expected to triple over the next two decades, according to the International Energy Agency, making it more difficult to tackle the greenhouse gas emissions responsible for global warming.
To satisfy the demand from gadgets will require building the equivalent of 560 coal-fired power plants, or 230 nuclear plants, according to the agency.”
One solution for this sudden increase in power consumption is to establish energy consumption rules for products; a product would only be allowed to consume a certain amount of energy over a specific amount of time. Manufacturers naturally oppose any such restriction since it would cost a considerable amount of money to redesign products and incorporate parts that regulate energy flow.
Manufacturers will fight regulation tooth and nail, but over time will government regulation help change this energy consuming issue? It would probably help take a step in the right direction, if the U.S. government got serious about power regulation.