SCI-TECH & AGRI

The wrong sort of radio adds to C0{-2} emissions



DAVID ADAM

DIGITAL BROADCASTING is increasing the threat of global warming by pumping massive amounts of extra carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, official figures suggest. The millions of Britons who listen to the radio through their power-hungry digital televisions and computers together release an extra 190,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year. According to the recently published Stern review of the economics of climate change, that amount of carbon pollution will cause GBP 8.5million damage to the planet. Figures from the radio industry body Rajar show that 22 per cent of people in Britain now listen to the radio through their digital televisions at least once a week. About 12 per cent listen to stations through their computer. Computers and TVs consume significantly more electricity than radios. Assuming a power rating of 200W for a TV and 250W for a computer, if one in five of the population listens to the radio via those devices for two hours a week, they will produce about 210,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year. A 20W radio turned on for two hours a week by the same number of people would produce about 18,000 tonnes a year; digital and traditional radios use roughly the same amount of power. Keith Marsh, of the Energy Saving Trust, said the new LCD and plasma-screen TVs were rated at up to 390W. The extra emissions from digital listening account for almost a fifth of the estimated 1 million tonnes a year that could be saved by replacing every traditional light bulb in Britain with a low-energy version.

Boosting usage

A government study estimates that the rise in gadget ownership and the switch from analogue to digital TV could boost the electricity usage of the consumer electronics sector by 60 per cent by 2010. @ Guardian News Service 2006







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