Have you ever wondered how much energy is needed to charge all the smartphones in the world ?
Let's do some math and find out.
There are estimated 2,1 billion smartphones in the world in 2016. Wow. 2,100,000,000 smartphones is a lot. And as every smartphone user knows, the device has to be charged daily. If we make assumptions for average battery capacity and average charging efficiency, we can calculate the required energy.
33,2 GWh is the output of one average-size nuclear power plant.
One nuclear power plant, that doesn't sound too bad ? Perhaps not, but in few years there will be over 3 billion smartphones, with more and more new, beautiful features that you just can't live without. Device manufacturers are trying to keep the battery life in check by increasing battery size and implementing fast charging methods rather than trying to decrease the power consumption. Smartphone accessories are getting more power hungry as well. So the energy need is on a steep rise.
In bigger picture, battery operated devices are nowadays everywhere in our lives from IoT to wearables to drones to electric cars. It will be interesting to see, how the ever-growing need for electricity will be addressed.