Web Energy Archive Study : Website's energy consumption from user side

The infrastructure’s energy consumption of the Web (servers, data centers ...) could be in 2030, equivalent to global energy consumption in 2008. A less well known aspect is the energy consumption from users, that is to say consumption through the use of PCs, smartphones and tablets. For a year, the project Web Archive Energy , supported by ADEME, measured energy consumption of 600 websites through their users.
Unexpected figures on energy consumption websites
100 French most visited sites generate a total annual consumption of 8.3 GWh, equivalent to the energy consumption of 3,077 households. The impact of these sites from server-side is 0.58 GWh, more than 10 times less!
Depending on the website’s level of eco-design (weight optimization of the site and its possible images ...), consumption varies from 10 to 300 Wh per 1000 page views.
The WEA study also allows to establish different classifications between browsers and between operating systems. Thus, Android systems consume an average of 9.2 MWh of energy per 1,000 page views, or about 5 times less than the PC platforms.
Side browsers, Chrome is at the top of more energy with 27 Wh per 1,000 page views, before Internet Explorer and Firefox.
Other indicators highlighted: 171 Peta Bytes 5.7 million DVD Blueray are exchanged each year between these sites and their servers, which implies significant storage capacity and accelerates the obsolescence of hardware (servers, hard disks ...).
Finally, it was demonstrated that eco-designed web site can use less for an equivalent level of efficiency.
The implementation of some simple rules of good practice (limiting the use of flash, optimize images ...) would already save between 20% and 25% energy.
A study led to extend
Checking yet mostly French websites, the principle of the study are already interested in several other countries and could quickly cross continents. To meet these goals, the WEA project will not only measure more sites, but also take into account the entire chain by analysing Internet servers and networks.
A draft crowdfunding to finance further work will soon be set up by the Green Lab Code: with a minimum funding of €10, the website can obtain an energy label.
Read more:
The main results (PDF - 415 Ko)
Energy Web Archive
ADEME presse


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