AI Will Suck Up 500% More Power in UK in 10 Years, Grid CEO Says

Electricity demand from UK data centers will jump sixfold over the next 10 years as a boom in AI requires increased computing power, according to the head of National Grid.

That will ramp up pressure on the country’s electricity network, which must move vast quantities of renewable energy from as far away as Scottish wind farms to data centers around London. And it’s a grid already under strain from the accelerating electrification of home heating, transportation and industries.

“Future growth in foundational technologies like artificial intelligence and quantum computing will mean larger-scale, energy-intensive computing infrastructure,” National Grid Chief Executive Officer John Pettigrew said Tuesday at a conference in Oxford. It’s an outlook replicated in many other countries, which are grappling with how to fund the massive spending required to expand capacity. Global electricity demand from data centers, AI and cryptocurrencies may more than double over the next three years, according to International Energy Agency forecasts.

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