Data centers could use 9% of US electricity by 2030, research institute says

  • Data centers could use up to 9% of total electricity generated in the United States by the end of the decade, more than doubling their current consumption, as technology companies pour funds into expanding their computing hubs.
  • Depending on the adoption pace of technology such as generative artificial intelligence (AI), and the energy efficiency of new centers, the estimated annual growth rate of electricity used by the industry ranges from 3.7% to 15% through 2030, the institute’s analysis said.
  • Electrification of transportation is lifting the U.S. electricity industry out of two decades of flat growth.

By the end of the decade, data centers could consume up to 9% of total U.S. electricity, more than doubling their current usage, according to the Electric Power Research Institute. The institute’s analysis, funded by energy and government organisations, indicates that the annual growth rate of electricity use by data centers could range from 3.7% to 15% through 2030. This growth is driven by the expansion of computing hubs and the adoption of technologies like generative artificial intelligence (AI).

Also read: Why you need to understand the seriousness of data leaks

Why it’s important

Data centers, along with increased domestic manufacturing and the electrification of transportation, are revitalising the U.S. electricity industry after two decades of stagnation. These centers demand substantial power for high-intensity computing and cooling, with a single large data center consuming as much electricity as 750,000 homes, according to recent energy company earnings calls.

A doubling in data centers’ power use could strain the country’s electric grid and lead to rising power bills and outages.

Also read: Understanding the impact of data leakage


Since OpenAI launched ChatGPT in 2022, the data center industry has surged, becoming one of the fastest-growing sectors globally. Initially, ChatGPT searches consumed roughly ten times the electricity of a typical Google search. As generative AI expands into areas like movie and music production, power demands could skyrocket, according to the institute. “With 5.3 billion internet users worldwide, widespread adoption of these tools could significantly increase power requirements,” the institute noted, advocating for improved data center energy efficiency and increased grid investment.


Aria Jiang

Aria Jiang, an intern reporter at BTW media dedicated in IT infrastructure. She graduated from Ningbo Tech University. Send tips to

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