3 units of energy for 1 unit of electricity

April 25, 2020

Our future depends on a transition away from fossil fuels and increased energy efficiency. To do this, we need to know why the use of fossil fuels has risen to unsustainable levels and how fossil fuels are being used. Most fossil fuels are consumed not by individuals, but by and through large, inefficient technological systems, such as electricity networks and urban transport systems.

These inefficient systems are deeply embedded in day-to-day life. For example, fossil-fuel-driven power stations on average use roughly three units of energy to produce one unit as electricity, while further energy is lost in transmission networks.

This is a huge opportunity for energy conservation which is critical. Evaluating the efficiency and opportunity to improve these large systems requires a shift from focussing on consumption at an individual level (though of course this is still very important as we also are part of the demand equation) to a focus on the big systems and the social and economic factors that make them work the way they do.

We need to look into the countries and companies using fossil fuels and producers of these fuels and sort it out.

Source: The Conversation