Skip to content

March 8, 2024 (EIRNS)—Even the “Eco-friendly,” “less is more” Washington Post is now sounding the alarm that America’s power grid is being pushed “to the brink.” In a feature article on March 7 the Post details how the massive growth in data centers, the development of artificial intelligence, and cryptocurrency mining are now straining the power grid and the utility companies can’t keep up with this new demand. In Texas at some points of the day, 25% of all power in the state is consumed in cryptocurrency mining. Northern Virginia needs 2 or 3 large nuclear power plants just to power the data centers that exist and those that are under construction. The U.S. had 2,700 data centers in 2022 and the number is growing quickly. In 2022 these data centers represented 4% of the power consumption of the entire nation and the number is expected to grow to 6% by 2026. Many of these data centers are dedicated only to the development of artificial intelligence.

While residential power use remains flat, due to greater efficiency in heating, air conditioning, household appliances, LED lighting, etc., some warn that it will be these residential customers who will be stuck with the bill for any improvements to the power grid. State and local governments which depend heavily on property taxes are in a “race to the bottom” with each other offering lucrative deals for even more data centers and related businesses. These data centers offer few employment opportunities for the local residents, but they pay a lot of property taxes.

This post is for paying subscribers only


Already have an account? Sign In