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Plasma TVs Aren't Energy Efficient

Plasma TVs Aren't Energy Efficient

"If all the [plasma] TVs were on at the same time, you would need something that produces 2.5 gigawatts. That can be done today with around two nuclear power stations."
- Dr. Joseph Reger, chief technology officer at Fujitsu Siemens Computers

October 26, 2007 —

Consumer electronics continue to get cheaper for Americans and Europeans thanks to free trade and technology innovation. You may be able to afford a 60-inch plasma display, but what kind of an energy impact will it have?

Plasma-screens can use up to four times as much electricity as their cathode-ray cousins and continue to suck power even when they're left on standby. Combine that with all the other components of your home entertainment system and the environmental cost of having your house be the best place on the block to watch the big game is rather high.

In 2006, a British scientist warned that if half of the homes in England had plasma-screen TVs in them, two additional nuclear power plants would have to be built to meet the power demands. At the time. Britons were buying a flat-screen TV every 15 seconds in preparation for the World Cup, a nationwide TV-buying fervor reminiscent of what goes on in America every year before the Super Bowl.

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