Decarbonizing the industry will be a big challenge.
TSMC alone uses almost 5% of all Taiwan’s electricity, according to figures from Greenpeace, predicted to rise to 7.2% in 2022, and it used about 63M of water in 2019. The company’s water use became a controversial topic during Taiwan’s drought this year, the country’s worst in a half century, which pitted chipmakers against farmers
In the US, a single fab, Intel’s 700-acre campus in Ocotillo, Arizona, produced
nearly 15,000 tons of waste in the first three months of this year, about 60% of it hazardous. It also consumed 927m gallons of fresh water, enough to fill about 1,400 Olympic swimming pools, and used 561m kilowatt-hours of energy.
Chip manufacturing, rather than energy consumption or hardware use, “accounts for most of the carbon output” from electronics devices,