Will ‘Lights-Out’ Robotic Factories Need More or Less Electricity?

Published by , June 12, 2017 12:46 pm

(BusinessInsider)  The power industry is working to determine whether programmable machines might also significantly increase electricity use.
There is current correlation, not evidence, that increasing automation lowers energy use, but there are many other variables in the mix. Where robots require significant electrical load, they create an economic incentive to conserve electricity elsewhere — in lighting and heating, for example, which serve humans more than machines. The potential for near-total automation — and with it the “lights-out factory” devoid of human labour — would greatly reduce or eliminate the systems designed to keep people comfortable. Continue the process of automation, and more energy-consuming systems disappear. No people means no refrigeration, no cooking, no TVs in the break room.

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