Data Power Cost

Transmitted data is the most expensive form of energy. The highest cost "bits" are probably those gathered by spysats; the world spends hundreds of billions of dollars to learn what adversaries are doing.

On the retail level, the most widely consumed expensive bits are cell phone data. According to this 2020 graphic, a gigabyte of cell data ranges from $16 in Yemen to $0.09 in India (while loss-leader competition lasts). In the United States, it is $8/gigabyte, or $1 per gigabit.

At a temperature of 300 Kelvins and 100% Shannon energy efficiency, the energy cost of a bit is ln(2) kT, or 18 millielectron volts, or 3e-21 joules. By this (absurdly efficient) measure, a gigabit is 2.9e-12 joules, or 8e-19 kilowatt hours. Hence the energy cost of perfectly delivered data is 8e-19 kilowatts per dollar, or 1.2e18 dollars per kilowatt hour.

DataPowerCost (last edited 2021-12-16 20:55:53 by KeithLofstrom)