Digital Energy is the energy freed up by information and communications technology.
It isn’t just incremental energy efficiency – the kind most environmentalists and businesses think of. It is potentially transformative, as my colleague Tachi Kiuchi and I hint at in our book, What We Learned in the Rainforest — Business Lessons from Nature.
Digital is the cheapest energy of all. Studies suggest that it can replace fossil fuels at a rate of 3 percent a year, possibly more. At that pace, it would drive down carbon intensity 75 percent by 2060. Combine that with a switch from coal to natural gas in electricity, and we could approach the drop in total carbon emissions scientists believe necessary in the U.S. — and we would have the support of the high tech and natural gas communities in doing it.