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How Electric Utilities Will Handle Booming AI Datacenter Demand

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For years and years, utilities in the US haven't seen much growth in electricity demand. The economy is generally mature and has been able to grow even without needing much more electrical power. But all that's changing now and a big contributing factor is the boom in datacenter demand. It's particularly acute for AI datacenters, which need more power than traditional datacenters, and are growing like crazy ever since ChatGPT brought generative AI to everyone's collective consciousness. So how will utilities handle the sudden surge in load growth? On this episode, we speak with Brian Janous, co-founder and chief strategy officer at Cloverleaf Infrastructure. Brian spent 12 years at Microsoft, where he was the company's first ever energy-focused hire, so he has seen the rise of datacenter electricity consumption first hand, and how AI is kicking it up even further. He now works alongside utilities to figure out how they'll meet this growing demand. We talk about how there's likely to be more gas plants being built, how datacenters and utilities can get more energy out of existing infrastructure, the politics of AI datacenters, and what this all means for the net-zero commitments of major tech companies.

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