Grid Efficiency: An Opportunity to Reduce Emissions
- Jul 7, 2018 10:19 pm GMT
Current efforts to conserve energy and reduce emissions are significant. Some governments in Europe have set targets of 50% for the energy conservation. But is this the whole story? The overall efficiency from primary energy to delivered work is about 33% for energy in the US. Almost 2/3 of the energy that is consumed as primary energy is released as waste.
There are two key areas where waste occurs. Fossil fuels are delivered to users with a relatively high efficiency, but when it is burned or used to create other forms of useful energy the waste grows rapidly. Electricity, which is a carrier or proxy for energy, is generally used efficiently, but the generation and delivery of electric power consumes almost 2/3 of the primary energy delivered to the grid, leaving les than 40% of the primary energy to be converted to useful work. These areas of loss are opposite for the two types of fuel. Electricity loses a large amount of energy in the production and delivery stages, while fossil fuel losses occur mostly at the end of the line; in user systems.
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