Jonathan G. Koomey, Ph.D.

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For more than 25 years, Jon Koomey has produced interdisciplinary scholarship on energy and environmental issues, combining engineering, economics, public policy, and environmental science in ways that yield policy insight. He’s authored or coauthored 8 books, more than 40 peer-reviewed articles, and more than 100 other articles and reports. His intellectual contributions fall into two main areas: understanding the energy and environmental effects of information technology and analyzing ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. He’s also authored a book teaching craft skills to policy and business analysts (1).

Jon is most well known for his work on information technology (IT) and resource use, where he has produced seminal work on electricity used by IT equipment and debunked some high profile misconceptions. Jon led the team that conducted the first peer-reviewed measurements of electricity used by data centers (2, 3), and has for the past decade been at the forefront of efforts to assess the energy use (4, 5, 6), efficiency (7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12), economics (13), and public policy implications (14) of these high density computing facilities. He also led analyses of the power used by other IT equipment (15, 16) and the economics of turning computers on and off (17). With colleagues at Carnegie Mellon University, he analyzed the environmental implications of downloading music instead of buying it on physical compact disks (18). Most recently, he published analysis showing that the electrical efficiency of computation has doubled every 1.6 years since the mid-1940s, a trend as regular as, but more long-lived, than Moore’s law (19). In the early 2000s, Jon’s work (20, 21, 22, 23) was instrumental in refuting the incorrect but widely circulated belief that IT has been and will continue to be a major contributor to electricity demand growth in the U.S. This misperception was spread by lobbyists for the coal industry, reinforced by uncritical reporting in major U.S. newspapers, and initially embraced by CEOs of some of the largest corporations in the country, by half a dozen major investment banks, and by high-level functionaries of both political parties (1).

Jon has focused on solving the climate problem since the late 1980s, and his contributions in this area are unusual in that they include extensive work on both supply-side and demand-side technologies, as well as on the underlying methodological issues associated with thinking systematically about the future. He was one of three authors of a book containing the first comprehensive analysis of the 2 degrees C warming limit back in 1989, two decades before the G8 and other countries accepted this target as a basis for action (24, 25, 26). His work on climate mitigation spans forecasting methods (27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32), engineering-economic analysis methods (33, 34, 35, 36), policy analysis (37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54), and assessments of resource potentials and costs (55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65).

Supporting references

1. Koomey, Jonathan. 2008. Turning Numbers into Knowledge: Mastering the Art of Problem Solving. 2nd ed. Oakland, CA: Analytics Press. <>
2. Mitchell-Jackson, Jennifer, Jonathan Koomey, Michele Blazek, and Bruce Nordman. 2002. "National and Regional Implications of Internet Data Center Growth." Resources, Conservation, and Recycling (also LBNL-50534). vol. 36, no. 3. October. pp. 175-185.
3. Mitchell-Jackson, Jennifer, Jonathan Koomey, Bruce Nordman, and Michele Blazek. 2003. "Data Center Power Requirements: Measurements From Silicon Valley." Energy–The International Journal (also LBNL-48554). vol. 28, no. 8. June. pp. 837 - 850.
4. Koomey, Jonathan. 2008. "Worldwide electricity used in data centers." Environmental Research Letters. vol. 3, no. 034008. September 23. <>
5. Koomey, Jonathan. 2007. Estimating regional power consumption by servers: A technical note. Oakland, CA: Analytics Press. December 5. <>
6. Koomey, Jonathan. 2007. Estimating total power consumption by servers in the U.S. and the world. Oakland, CA: Analytics Press. February 15. <>
7. Blazek, Michele, Huimin Chong, Woonsien Loh, and Jonathan Koomey. 2004. "A data center revisited: Assessment of the energy impacts of retrofits and technology trends in a high-density computing facility." The ASCE Journal of Infrastructure Systems. vol. 10, no. 3. September. pp. 98-104.
8. Koomey, Jonathan G., Christian Belady, Michael Patterson, Anthony Santos, and Klaus-Dieter Lange. 2009. Assessing trends over time in performance, costs, and energy use for servers. Oakland, CA: Analytics Press. August 17. <>
9. Masanet, Eric R., Richard E. Brown, Arman Shehabi, Jonathan G. Koomey, and Bruce Nordman. 2010. "Deep Savings: The Energy Efficiency Potential of U.S. Data Centers." To be submitted to Environmental Science and Technology.
10. Stanley, John, and Jonathan Koomey. 2009. The Science of Measurement: Improving Data Center Performance with Continuous Monitoring and Measurement of Site Infrastructure. Oakland, CA: Analytics Press. October 23. <>
11. Stanley, John R., Kenneth G. Brill, and Jonathan Koomey. 2007. Four Metrics Define Data Center “Greenness” Enabling Users to Quantify “Energy Efficiency for Profit” Initiatives. Santa Fe, NM: The Uptime Institute. <>
12. Koomey, Jonathan, Christian Belady, Henry Wong, Rob Snevely, Bruce Nordman, Ed Hunter, Klaus-Dieter Lange, Roger Tipley, Greg Darnell, Matthew Accapadi, Peter Rumsey, Brent Kelley, Bill Tschudi, David Moss, Richard Greco, and Kenneth Brill. 2006. Server Energy Measurement Protocol. Oakland, CA: Analytics Press. November 3. <>
13. Koomey, Jonathan, Kenneth G. Brill, W. Pitt Turner, John R. Stanley, and Bruce Taylor. 2007. A simple model for determining true total cost of ownership for data centers. Santa Fe, NM: The Uptime Institute. September. <>
14. US EPA. 2007. Report to Congress on Server and Data Center Energy Efficiency, Public Law 109-431. Prepared for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, ENERGY STAR Program, by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. LBNL-363E. August 2. <>
15. Koomey, Jonathan, Mary Ann Piette, Mike Cramer, and Joe Eto. 1996. "Efficiency Improvements in U.S. Office Equipment: Expected Policy Impacts and Uncertainties." Energy Policy. vol. 24, no. 12. December. pp. 1101-1110.
16. Kawamoto, Kaoru, Jonathan Koomey, Bruce Nordman, Richard E. Brown, Maryann Piette, Michael Ting, and Alan Meier. 2002. "Electricity Used by Office Equipment and Network Equipment in the U.S." Energy–The International Journal (also LBNL-45917). vol. 27, no. 3. March. pp. 255-269.
17. Koomey, Jonathan, Timothy Oey, and Eric Bergman. 1993. "The Economics of Cycling Personal Computers." Energy Policy. vol. 21, no. 9. September. pp. 937-943.
18. Weber, Christopher, Jonathan G. Koomey, and Scott Matthews. 2009. The Energy and Climate Change Impacts of Different Music Delivery Methods. Analytics Press (also in press at the Journal of Industrial Ecology). August 17. <>
19. Koomey, Jonathan G., Stephen Berard, Marla Sanchez, and Henry Wong. 2009. Assessing trends in the electrical efficiency of computation over time. Oakland, CA: Analytics Press, and submitted to the IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, currently being revised to reflect reviewers comments. August 17. <>
20. Koomey, Jonathan, Chris Calwell, Skip Laitner, Jane Thornton, Richard E. Brown, Joe Eto, Carrie Webber, and Cathy Cullicott. 2002. "Sorry, wrong number: The use and misuse of numerical facts in analysis and media reporting of energy issues." In Annual Review of Energy and the Environment 2002. Edited by R. H. Socolow, D. Anderson and J. Harte. Palo Alto, CA: Annual Reviews, Inc. (also LBNL-50499). pp. 119-158.
21. Koomey, Jonathan. 2003. "Sorry, Wrong Number: Separating Fact from Fiction in the Information Age." In IEEE Spectrum. June. pp. 11-12.
22. Koomey, Jonathan, Huimin Chong, Woonsien Loh, Bruce Nordman, and Michele Blazek. 2004. "Network electricity use associated with wireless personal digital assistants." The ASCE Journal of Infrastructure Systems (also LBNL-54105). vol. 10, no. 3. September. pp. 131-137.
23. Koomey, Jonathan G. 2000. Rebuttal to Testimony on ‘Kyoto and the Internet: The Energy Implications of the Digital Economy’. Berkeley, CA: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. LBNL-46509. August. <>
24. Krause, Florentin, Wilfred Bach, and Jon Koomey. 1989. From Warming Fate to Warming Limit: Benchmarks to a Global Climate Convention. El Cerrito, CA: International Project for Sustainable Energy Paths. <>
25. Krause, Florentin, Wilfred Bach, and Jonathan G. Koomey. 1992. Energy Policy in the Greenhouse. NY, NY: John Wiley and Sons.
26. Koomey, Jonathan, and Florentin Krause. 2009. Why 2 degrees really matters. <>
27. Craig, Paul, Ashok Gadgil, and Jonathan Koomey. 2002. "What Can History Teach Us?: A Retrospective Analysis of Long-term Energy Forecasts for the U.S." In Annual Review of Energy and the Environment 2002. Edited by R. H. Socolow, D. Anderson and J. Harte. Palo Alto, CA: Annual Reviews, Inc. (also LBNL-50498). pp. 83-118.
28. Koomey, Jonathan. 2002. "From My Perspective: Avoiding "The Big Mistake" in Forecasting Technology Adoption." Technological Forecasting and Social Change. vol. 69, no. 5. June. pp. 511-518.
29. Davis, W. Bart, Alan H. Sanstad, and Jonathan G. Koomey. 2003. "Contributions of Weather and Fuel Mix to Recent Declines in U.S. Energy and Carbon Intensity." Energy Economics (also LBNL-42054). vol. 25, no. 4. July. pp. 375-396.
30. Koomey, Jonathan G., Paul Craig, Ashok Gadgil, and David Lorenzetti. 2003. "Improving long-range energy modeling: A plea for historical retrospectives." The Energy Journal (also LBNL-52448). vol. 24, no. 4. October. pp. 75-92.
31. Laitner, John A. "Skip", Stephen J. Decanio, Jonathan G. Koomey, and Alan H. Sanstad. 2003. "Room for Improvement: Increasing the Value of Energy Modeling for Policy Analysis." Utilities Policy (also LBNL-50627). vol. 11, no. 2. June. pp. 87-94.
32. Ghanadan, Rebecca, and Jonathan Koomey. 2005. "Using Energy Scenarios to Explore Alternative Energy Pathways in California." Energy Policy. vol. 33, no. 9. June. pp. 1117-1142.
33. Krause, Florentin, and Jonathan G. Koomey. 1989. Unit Costs of Carbon Savings From Urban Trees, Rural Trees, and Electricity Conservation: A Utility Cost Perspective. Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory. LBL-27311. Presented at the Conference on Urban Heat Islands, February 23-24, 1989 Berkeley, California. July.
34. Koomey, Jonathan G., Arthur H. Rosenfeld, and Ashok K. Gadgil. 1990. "Conservation Screening Curves to Compare Efficiency Investments to Power Plants." Energy Policy. vol. 18, no. 8. October. pp. 774-782.
35. Krause, Florentin, Eric Haites, Richard Howarth, and Jonathan G. Koomey. 1993. Cutting Carbon Emissions–Burden or Benefit?: The Economics of Energy-Tax and Non-Price Policies. El Cerrito, CA: International Project for Sustainable Energy Paths.
36. Gumerman, Etan, Jonathan G. Koomey, and Marilyn A. Brown. 2001. "A Sensitivity Analysis of the Clean Energy Future Study's Economic and Carbon Savings Results." Energy Policy (also LBNL-47357). vol. 29, no. 14. November. pp. 1313-1324.
37. Koomey, Jonathan. 1990. Comparative Analysis of Monetary Estimates of External Environmental Costs Associated with Combustion of Fossil Fuels. Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory. LBL-28313. July.
38. Koomey, Jonathan G. 1990. Energy Efficiency Choices in New Office Buildings: An Investigation of Market Failures and Corrective Policies. PhD Thesis, Energy and Resources Group, University of California, Berkeley. <Download from>
39. Krause, Florentin, John F. Busch, and Jonathan G. Koomey. 1993. "Carbon Reduction Costs in New England's Power Sector." Contemporary Policy Issues. vol. XI, no. 2. April. pp. 100-112.
40. Koomey, Jonathan, and Alan H. Sanstad. 1994. "Technical Evidence for Assessing the Performance of Markets Affecting Energy Efficiency." Energy Policy. vol. 22, no. 10. October. pp. 826-832.
41. Koomey, Jonathan G., Camilla Dunham, and James D. Lutz. 1995. "The Effect of Efficiency Standards on Water Use and Water Heating Energy Use in the U.S.: A Detailed End-use Treatment." Energy–The International Journal. vol. 20, no. 7. July. pp. 627-635.
42. Koomey, Jonathan G., Alan H. Sanstad, and Leslie J. Shown. 1996. "Energy-Efficient Lighting: Market Data, Market Imperfections, and Policy Success." Contemporary Economic Policy. vol. XIV, no. 3. July (Also LBL-37702.REV). pp. 98-111. <>
43. Krause, Florentin, and Jonathan Koomey. 1996. "The cost of cutting carbon emissions -- a case study of Western Europe." Energy Conversion and Management. vol. 37, no. 6-8. 8 June 1996. pp. 973-978.
44. Koomey, Jonathan G., Nathan C. Martin, Marilyn Brown, Lynn K. Price, and Mark D. Levine. 1998. "Costs of reducing carbon emissions: U.S. building sector scenarios." Energy Policy. vol. 26, no. 5. April. pp. 433-440 (also LBNL-40829).
45. Koomey, Jonathan G., Susan A. Mahler, Carrie A. Webber, and James E. McMahon. 1999. "Projected Regional Impacts of Appliance Efficiency Standards for the U.S. Residential sector." Energy: the International Journal. vol. 24, no. 1. January. pp. 69-84.
46. Krause, Florentin, Jonathan Koomey, and David Olivier. 1999. Cutting Carbon Emissions While Making Money: Climate Saving Energy Strategies for the European Union (Executive Summary for Volume II, Part 2 of Energy Policy in the Greenhouse). El Cerrito, CA: International Project for Sustainable Energy Paths. October.
47. Webber, Carrie A., Richard E. Brown, and Jonathan G. Koomey. 2000. "Savings Estimates for the ENERGY STAR Voluntary Labeling Program." Energy Policy. vol. 28, no. 15. December. pp. 1137-1150.
48. Brown, Marilyn A., Mark D. Levine, Walter Short, and Jonathan G. Koomey. 2001. "Scenarios for a Clean Energy Future." Energy Policy (Also LBNL-48031). vol. 29, no. 14. November. pp. 1179-1196.
49. Koomey, Jonathan G., Carrie A. Webber, Celina S. Atkinson, and Andrew Nicholls. 2001. "Addressing Energy-Related Challenges for the U.S. Buildings Sector: Results from the Clean Energy Futures Study." Energy Policy (also LBNL-47356). vol. 29, no. 14. November. pp. 1209-1222.
50. Sanstad, Alan H., Stephen DeCanio, Gale Boyd, and Jonathan G. Koomey. 2001. "Estimating bounds on the economy-wide effects of the CEF policy scenarios." Energy Policy (also LBNL-48104). vol. 29, no. 14. November. pp. 1299-1312.
51. Koomey, Jonathan G., and Richard E. Brown. 2002. The role of building technologies in reducing and controlling peak electricity demand. Berkeley, CA: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. LBNL-49947. September.
52. Brown, Richard E., and Jonathan G. Koomey. 2003. "Electricity Use in California: Past Trends and Present Usage Patterns." Energy Policy (also LBNL-47992). vol. 31, no. 9. July. pp. 849-864.
53. Lovins, Amory B., E. Kyle Datta, Odd-Even Bustnes, Jonathan G. Koomey, and Nathan J. Glasgow. 2004. Winning the Oil Endgame: Innovation for Profits, Jobs, and Security. Old Snowmass, Colorado: Rocky Mountain Institute. September. <>
54. 2008. Testimony of Jonathan Koomey, Ph.D. for a hearing on "Efficiency: The Hidden Secret to Solving Our Energy Crisis". Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress. U.S. Congress. Washington, DC: U.S. Congress. July 30.
55. Koomey, Jonathan G., Celina Atkinson, Alan Meier, James E. McMahon, Stan Boghosian, Barbara Atkinson, Isaac Turiel, Mark D. Levine, Bruce Nordman, and Peter Chan. 1991. The Potential for Electricity Efficiency Improvements in the U.S. Residential Sector. Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory. LBL-30477. July. <>
56. Krause, Florentin, John F. Busch, and Jonathan G. Koomey. 1992. Incorporating Global Warming Risks in Power Sector Planning: A Case Study of the New England Region. Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory. LBL-30797 (vols I and II). November.
57. Koomey, Jonathan G., Deborah E. Schechter, and Deborah Gordon. 1993. "Improving Fuel Economy: A Case Study of the 1992 Honda Civic Hatchbacks." Transportation Research Record. vol. 1416, pp. 115-123.
58. Krause, Florentin, Jonathan Koomey, Hans Becht, David Olivier, Giuseppe Onufrio, and Pierre Radanne. 1994. Fossil Generation: The Cost and Potential of Low-Carbon Resource Options in Western Europe. El Cerrito, CA: International Project for Sustainable Energy Paths. <>
59. Krause, Florentin, Jonathan Koomey, David Olivier, Pierre Radanne, and Mycle Schneider. 1994. Nuclear Power: The Cost and Potential of Low-Carbon Resource Options in Western Europe. El Cerrito, CA: International Project for Sustainable Energy Paths.
60. Krause, Florentin, Jonathan G. Koomey, and David Olivier. 1995. Renewable Power: The Cost and Potential of Low-Carbon Resource Options in Western Europe. El Cerrito, CA: International Project for Sustainable Energy Paths. <>
61. Krause, Florentin, David Olivier, and Jonathan Koomey. 1995. Negawatt Power: The Cost and Potential of Low-Carbon Resource Options in Western Europe. El Cerrito, CA: International Project for Sustainable Energy Paths. <>
62. Krause, Florentin, and Jonathan Koomey. 1998. Low Carbon Comfort: The Costs and Potentials of Energy Efficiency in EU Buildings (Final Report). El Cerrito, CA: International Project for Sustainable Energy Paths. January.
63. Hultman, Nathan E., and Jonathan G. Koomey. 2007. "The risk of surprise in energy technology costs." Environmental Research Letters. vol. 2, no. 034002. July. <>
64. Hultman, Nathan E., Jonathan G. Koomey, and Daniel M. Kammen. 2007. "What history can teach us about the future costs of U.S. nuclear power." Environmental Science & Technology. vol. 41, no. 7. April 1. pp. 2088-2093.
65. Koomey, Jonathan G., and Nathan E. Hultman. 2007. "A reactor-level analysis of busbar costs for U.S. nuclear plants, 1970-2005." Energy Policy. vol. 35, no. 11. November. pp. 5630-5642. <>

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