Coal Plants Staying Online Because AI Needs So Much Power

Old King Coal The booming AI industry is putting a massive strain on the US’s aging electricity grid as energy companies struggle to power the massive data centers that the technology requires, Bloomberg reports. In fact, the situation is already dire enough that coal plants once set for retirement are being kept online as a stopgap measure with more set to follow, highlighting AI’s worrying environmental footprint that can sometimes go overlooked. “We do need way more energy in the world than we thought we needed before,” Sam Altman, CEO of ChatGPT-creator OpenAI, said at the World Economic Forum last week, as quoted by Bloomberg. “We still don’t appreciate the energy needs of this technology.” Centers Cannot Hold AI data centers are different from traditional ones, which are already formidable energy hogs, because they’re stacked with specialized graphics processing units that perform more demanding tasks than typical computer chips. Meta, formerly Facebook, itself heavily invested in AI, is building one such data center in Kansas City. Perhaps not coincidentally, the energy company that services the area, Evergy, announced in June that it was delaying the retirement of a coal plant by five years to 2028, according to Bloomberg. Elsewhere, in an area of Northern Virginia aptly known as “data center alley,” local provider Dominion Energy was forced to temporarily pause new data center connections in 2022. It reportedly warned the data center company Digital Realty of a possible “pinch point” that could prevent new projects until 2026. A Dominion representative,…Coal Plants Staying Online Because AI Needs So Much Power

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *