Data centers may use 9 percent of US electricity by 2030, report finds

By Jack Quinn | 05/31/2024 06:24 AM EDT

An average query on popular AI software requires nearly 10 times more power than a Google search.

U.S. power consumption from data centers could nearly double by decade’s end, as the growth of artificial intelligence puts a major strain on the electrical grid, a new report finds.

The analysis this week from the nonprofit Electric Power Research Institute reported that data center power usage could grow 10 percent to 15 percent annually through 2030, assuming steady rates of AI adoption. By the end of the decade, data centers could account for between 6.8 to 9.1 percent of total U.S. electricity consumption — up from around 4 percent last year, EPRI said.

“The U.S. electricity sector is working hard to meet the growing demands of data centers, transportation electrification, crypto-mining, and industrial onshoring, while balancing decarbonization efforts,” EPRI Vice President of Electrification and Sustainable Energy Strategy David Porter said in a press release.


The data center boom “requires closer collaboration between large data center owners and developers, utilities, government, and other stakeholders to ensure that we can power the needs of AI while maintaining reliable, affordable power to all customers,” Porter added.