Information and Communication Technologies: The Power of Productivity

Research Report E081


John A. "Skip" Laitner and Karen Ehrhardt-Martinez


The effects of innovative information and communications technologies (ICT) have demonstrably contributed to the economy-wide reduction of U.S. energy intensity and the recent stabilization of overall levels of energy consumption. This analysis found that huge cost reductions and important new ICT innovations have worked together to drive the expansion and diffusion of new information and communications technologies without increasing overall energy consumption in the U.S. economy. The study provides assesses the relationship between ICT and energy productivity, as well as working estimates of the net energy impact of ICT technologies.