An analysis by the Electric Power Research Institute found that by 2030, data centers will consume 4.6% to 9.1% of U.S. electricity.

美國電力研究所的分析發(fā)現,到2030年,數據中心將消耗美國4.6%到9.1%的電力。

Last week, Bill Gates broke ground on a nuclear power plant in Wyoming, the U.S., with a $1 billion investment. On the 16th local time, he said he would make additional investments: "I have invested more than a billion, and I will invest billions more."

上周,比爾·蓋茨投資10億美元興建的核電站在美國懷俄明州破土動(dòng)工。當地時(shí)間16日,他稱(chēng)自己還會(huì )追加投資:“我投資了十多億,我還會(huì )再投資數十億?!?/b>

The reason why Bill Gates continues to invest in this nuclear power plant is largely because the development of artificial intelligence (AI) will bring huge pressure on electricity consumption. "The data centers we are going to build will increase the electricity load by up to 10%." He said that the rise of various household heating devices such as electric vehicles and electric heat pumps has pushed up the demand for electricity in the United States, and "the emergence of data centers is even worse. Therefore, large technology companies are studying how to provide more electricity so that these data centers can meet the explosive growth of AI needs."

而比爾·蓋茨之所以要持續投資這座核電站,很大程度上是因為人工智能(AI)的發(fā)展將帶來(lái)巨大的用電壓力?!拔覀儗⒁鼋ǖ臄祿行膶?huì )增加多達10%的用電負荷?!彼硎?,電動(dòng)汽車(chē)和電熱泵等各種家用取暖設備的興起推高了美國的用電需求,“數據中心的出現更是‘雪上加霜’。因此,大型科技公司都在研究如何為提供更多的電力添磚加瓦,使這些數據中心能夠滿(mǎn)足爆炸式增長(cháng)的AI需求?!?/b>

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), a query using OpenAI's chatbot ChatGPT consumes 2.9 watt-hours of electricity, while a Google search only requires 0.3 watt-hours, which is only about 1/10 of the former. By 2026, electricity consumption related to data centers, cryptocurrencies, and AI may increase to 620 to 1,050 terawatt-hours. In 2023, Germany's total electricity consumption will be 465 terawatt-hours, and Japan's total electricity demand will be 870 terawatt-hours.

根據國際能源署(IEA)的數據,使用OpenAI旗下的聊天機器人ChatGPT進(jìn)行一次查詢(xún),耗費的電量為2.9瓦時(shí),而谷歌搜索只需0.3瓦時(shí),只有前者的約1/10。到2026年,與數據中心、加密貨幣和AI相關(guān)的電力消耗可能會(huì )增加至620到1050太瓦時(shí)。而2023年,德國的用電總量為465太瓦時(shí),日本的總電力需求為870太瓦時(shí)。

In an interview with the Financial reporter, Mr xiao, partner of EY's strategy and transaction advisory services, said that the large amount of electricity required for the expansion of AI computing power has become a major problem that cannot be avoided at present, but it is not unsolvable. In the future, we can start from technological breakthroughs, resource sharing and the use of new energy.

安永戰略與交易咨詢(xún)服務(wù)合伙人蕭先生接受金融記者采訪(fǎng)時(shí)表示,AI算力擴容所需的大量電力已是當前不可規避的一個(gè)主要問(wèn)題,但并非無(wú)法解決,未來(lái)可以從技術(shù)突破、資源共享和新能源利用等方面入手。

European and American governments feel the pressure of AI power demand

歐美政府感受到AI電力需求壓力

As AI infrastructure such as data centers proliferate, AI-related electricity demand will grow rapidly. According to research by investment bank Goldman Sachs, currently, global data centers account for 1% to 2% of total electricity consumption, but by 2030, this proportion may rise to 3% to 4%, which is doubled.

而隨著(zhù)數據中心等AI基礎設施的遍地開(kāi)花,AI相關(guān)的電力需求將迅速增長(cháng)。根據投資銀行高盛的研究,目前,全球數據中心的耗電量占總耗電量的1%~2%,但到2030年前,這一比例可能會(huì )上升到3%~4%,也就是翻了一番。

In Europe, the Goldman Sachs report said that by 2030, the region's data center electricity demand will be equal to the current consumption of Portugal, Greece and the Netherlands combined. An analysis by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) found that by 2030, data centers will consume between 4.6% and 9.1% of the United States' electricity.

高盛的報告稱(chēng),在歐洲,到2030年,該地區數據中心的電力需求將相當于目前葡萄牙、希臘和荷蘭的總消耗量。美國電力研究所(EPRI)的分析發(fā)現,到2030年,數據中心將消耗美國4.6%到9.1%的電力。

Earlier this month, the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy, Climate, and Grid Security held a hearing on the theme of "Powering AI." The minutes of the meeting show that the committee believes that it is necessary to treat related issues as national security issues. The current U.S. power grid faces huge challenges in meeting growing demand, and its reliability and stability are worrying. The United States urgently needs strategic energy planning. Intermittent renewable energy alone is not enough to meet the high reliability requirements of data centers and AI technology, so it is necessary to focus on a diversified power generation portfolio including energy storage and stable dispatchable power generation resources. In addition, the United States needs to invest heavily in the construction and upgrading of energy infrastructure to support the growing demand for AI and data centers.

本月初,美國眾議院能源和商業(yè)小組委員會(huì )能源、氣候和電網(wǎng)安全小組委員會(huì )舉行了一場(chǎng)主題為“為AI提供動(dòng)力”的聽(tīng)證會(huì )。會(huì )議紀要顯示,該委員會(huì )認為,有必要將相關(guān)問(wèn)題作為國家安全問(wèn)題來(lái)對待。當前美國電網(wǎng)在滿(mǎn)足日益增長(cháng)的需求方面面臨巨大挑戰,其可靠性和穩定性令人擔憂(yōu),美國亟需進(jìn)行戰略性能源規劃。僅靠間歇性可再生能源不足以滿(mǎn)足數據中心和AI技術(shù)對可靠性的高要求,因此有必要關(guān)注包括儲能和穩定可調度發(fā)電資源在內的多樣化發(fā)電組合。此外,美國需要對能源基礎設施的建設和升級進(jìn)行大量投資,對于支持AI和數據中心不斷增長(cháng)的需求。

In Europe, some countries have begun to impose more requirements on the construction of local data centers due to concerns that the huge energy usage of data centers will put too much pressure on national climate goals and power grids.

在歐洲,由于擔心數據中心巨大的能源使用量會(huì )對國家氣候目標和電網(wǎng)造成過(guò)大壓力,一些國家開(kāi)始對本地數據中心的建設提出更多要求。

Germany passed a new Energy Efficiency Act in October last year, which specifically stipulates the efficiency of power use, renewable energy supply, and waste heat use in data centers. For example, from 2024, 50% of electricity consumption must be supplied by renewable energy, and from 2027, this proportion will be increased to 100%.

其中,德國于去年10月通過(guò)了新的《能源效率法》,專(zhuān)門(mén)針對數據中心在電力使用效率、可再生能源供電以及使用廢熱等方面作出規定。例如,從2024年起,50%的用電量必須由可再生能源供應,從2027年起,這一比例提高至100%。

Last year, Equinix, one of the world's largest digital infrastructure companies, Vantage Data Centers, and EdgeConneX, a data center operator, were rejected by Ireland for planning permission to build new data centers in Dublin. In fact, since 2022, the Irish Electricity Supply Commission (EirGrid) has stated that due to the sharp increase in electricity demand, they will restrict the construction of new data centers, implement stricter approval procedures for new projects, and give priority to projects with less impact on the power grid.

去年,全球最大的數字基礎設施公司之一易昆尼克斯(Equinix)、數據中心運營(yíng)公司萬(wàn)特奇數據中心(Vantage Data Centers)和“邊緣連接”(EdgeConneX)申請在都柏林新建數據中心的規劃許可均被愛(ài)爾蘭拒絕。事實(shí)上,自2022年起,愛(ài)爾蘭電力供應委員會(huì )(EirGrid)就表示,由于電力需求的急劇增加,他們將限制新的數據中心建設,對新項目實(shí)施更嚴格的審批程序,并優(yōu)先考慮對電網(wǎng)影響較小的項目。
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Local governments in and around the Dutch capital Amsterdam have also suspended the issuance of construction permits for new data centers to ease grid load and manage energy demand.

荷蘭首都阿姆斯特丹及其周邊地區的地方政府也已暫停發(fā)放新數據中心的建設許可,以緩解電網(wǎng)負荷和管理能源需求。
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Technology giants: do it yourself and live a comfortable life

科技巨頭:自己動(dòng)手、豐衣足食
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Technology giants such as Microsoft, Google and Amazon are at the forefront of AI development, and their cloud computing business units are supported by clusters of data centers around the world, which also means a lot of energy consumption.

微軟、谷歌和亞馬遜等科技巨頭是發(fā)展AI的排頭兵,而它們旗下的云計算業(yè)務(wù)部門(mén)由遍布全球的數據中心群支撐,這同時(shí)也意味著(zhù)大量的能源消耗。

Recently, U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm revealed that the Biden administration is in talks with major technology companies, asking them to invest in climate-friendly electricity production to meet their own growing needs.

近日,美國能源部長(cháng)格蘭霍姆(Jennifer Granholm)透露,拜登政府正在與主要科技公司洽談,要求后者投資于氣候友好型電力生產(chǎn),以滿(mǎn)足自身不斷增長(cháng)的需求。

"If tech companies want clean electricity from the grid, they should generate their own electricity," Granholm told the media. "We have been discussing this with data companies. Large data companies have committed to achieving net zero emissions and want a stable supply of electricity generated by clean energy."

“如果科技公司要從電網(wǎng)中獲取清潔電力,他們應該自己生產(chǎn)電力?!备裉m霍姆對媒體表示,“我們一直在與數據公司討論。大型數據公司已承諾實(shí)現凈零排放,并希望獲得由清潔能源產(chǎn)生的穩定電力供應?!?/b>

xiao said that in order to meet the electricity demand and energy-saving pressure brought by AI, in terms of the use of new energy, clean energy such as solar energy and wind energy can be used to power data centers, reduce dependence on fossil fuels, and reduce carbon emissions.

蕭稱(chēng),為滿(mǎn)足AI帶來(lái)的電力需求與節能壓力,在新能源利用方面,可以采用太陽(yáng)能、風(fēng)能等清潔能源為數據中心供電,減少對化石燃料的依賴(lài),降低碳排放。

Tech giants have also already begun to lay out their plans. According to Amazon's official website, the company has more than 500 solar and wind projects around the world, and invested in more than 100 last year alone, becoming the world's largest corporate buyer of renewable energy for the fourth consecutive year. Its investment portfolio is now enough to power 7.2 million American households each year. The company said that by 2025, all of its global electricity will be powered by renewable energy, including Amazon Web Services' data centers.

科技巨頭也早已開(kāi)始布局。根據亞馬遜官網(wǎng)介紹,該公司在全球擁有500多個(gè)太陽(yáng)能和風(fēng)能項目,僅去年就投資了100多個(gè),連續第四年成為全球最大的可再生能源企業(yè)買(mǎi)家,其投資組合現在足以每年為720萬(wàn)戶(hù)美國家庭供電。該公司稱(chēng),到2025年,該公司全球用電將全部使用可再生能源,包括亞馬遜網(wǎng)絡(luò )服務(wù)公司的數據中心。

Microsoft is betting on nuclear energy. In May last year, the company signed a power purchase agreement with Helion, a private American company specializing in the development of nuclear fusion technology. In January this year, Microsoft also hired a director of nuclear technology to develop atomic reactors to power its data centers. Microsoft's goal is that by 2025, all data centers and facilities will be 100% powered by new renewable energy that matches annual power consumption.

微軟則在押注核能。去年5月,該公司與美國專(zhuān)注開(kāi)發(fā)核聚變技術(shù)的私營(yíng)公司Helion簽訂了購電協(xié)議。今年1月,微軟還聘請了一位核技術(shù)總監,負責開(kāi)發(fā)原子反應堆,為其數據中心供電。微軟的目標是,到2025年,所有數據中心和設施都能100%地使用與年耗電量相匹配的新增可再生能源發(fā)電。

Google's parent company Alphabet announced its 24/7 Carbon Free Energy (CFE) goal in 2020, which is to use carbon-free energy for all business operations by 2030. Last year, Google opened its first data center in Jinsai City, Chiba Prefecture, Japan. In May this year, the company announced the signing of two new solar power purchase agreements (PPA) in Japan to support the construction of new solar projects and add 60 megawatts of clean energy capacity to the Japanese power grid.

谷歌母公司Alphabet于2020年宣布了全天候無(wú)碳能源(CFE)的目標,即到2030年實(shí)現全部業(yè)務(wù)運營(yíng)使用無(wú)碳能源。去年,谷歌在日本千葉縣仁齋市開(kāi)設首個(gè)數據中心,今年5月,該公司宣布在日本簽署兩份新的太陽(yáng)能購電協(xié)議(PPA),支持建設新的太陽(yáng)能項目,為日本電網(wǎng)增加60兆瓦的清潔能源容量。

In addition to starting with power generation, xiao Fusheng told the Financial reporter that technology companies can also try to share the resources needed for AI development. For example, through the leasing model, the existing graphics processing unit (GPU) resources can be maximized to alleviate the problem of computing power shortage and reduce the initial investment cost. If feasible, cloud computing platforms can also be used to provide AI computing power, reducing the need for enterprises and research institutions to deploy local infrastructure and achieving resource sharing.

除從發(fā)電源頭下手外,蕭對金融記者表示,科技公司還可以嘗試共享AI發(fā)展所需的資源。例如,通過(guò)租賃模式最大化利用現有圖形處理器(GPU)資源,緩解算力短缺問(wèn)題,同時(shí)降低初期投資成本。如可行,也可以利用云計算平臺提供AI算力,減少企業(yè)和研究機構部署本地基礎設施的需求,實(shí)現資源共享。

In this regard, AI chip developer Nvidia has stated that the latest Blackwell GPU has four times the training performance of the previous generation product Hopper and 25 times the energy efficiency.

在這方面,AI芯片開(kāi)發(fā)商英偉達已經(jīng)表示,最新的Blackwell GPU的訓練性能是上一代產(chǎn)品Hopper的4倍,能效是25倍。
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However, xiao Fusheng said that these solutions are not easy to achieve. "Technological breakthroughs require a lot of human, material and capital support, and the commercialization and continuous performance improvement of new chips need to be solved. Resource sharing requires ensuring the reliability and cost-effectiveness of computing power leasing services, and at the same time, it is necessary to establish an effective resource sharing mechanism. The use of new energy requires overcoming the intermittent and unstable nature of renewable energy, and achieving intelligent and efficient energy management, while also considering compatibility and transition issues with existing energy infrastructure." But he believes that "the development of new technologies always requires a process."

不過(guò),蕭表示,這些方案都并不容易實(shí)現?!凹夹g(shù)的突破需要大量的人力、物力和資本的支持,需要解決新型芯片的商業(yè)化落地和持續性能提升問(wèn)題,資源共享要求確保算力租賃服務(wù)的可靠性和成本效益,同時(shí)需要建立有效的資源共享機制,而新能源利用則需要克服可再生能源的間歇性和不穩定性,并在能源管理上實(shí)現智能化和高效化,同時(shí)還需考慮與現有能源基礎設施的兼容性和過(guò)渡問(wèn)題?!钡J為,“新技術(shù)的發(fā)展總是需要一個(gè)過(guò)程”。