The Great Electric Energy Obscenity
Environmentalists are justifiably concerned about the vast amounts of CO2 coming from generating electricity in the United States. Electric power plants, mostly coal-fired ones, produce 40-45% of all U.S. atmospheric CO2 emissions.
The odd looking EIA graph above contains one of the most sobering realizations about U.S. electricity production you could possibly imagine!
In 2011, U.S. electric power plants spent 40.04 QBtu of energy to produce electricity. A QBtu is a ‘Quadrillion British Thermal Units’ of energy. A quadrillion is 1X1015th power. For simplicity’s sake, let’s just say that is one S#*% load of energy!
Here is the sobering part. 25.22 QBtu of all that juice was LOST in conversion!! Only 13.16 QBtu made it out to end users!
For the calculator challenged, that works out to 67% of all the energy used to produce electricity got lost before it ever reached an outlet!
That’s obscene. That’s scandalous.
We get all the costly negatives with only 1/3rd of the benefits!
It begs this question:
“Can the efficiency of electric energy production and delivery be improved?“
Surely it must be.
Most certainly there are theoretical limits of physics that cannot be overcome.
But if we put the best scientific minds up against this engineering problem, it is unimaginable that great strides in efficiency couldn’t be achieved.
It would reduce the price of electricity for all American consumers, cut CO2 emissions and help save the planet from the ravages of global warming, ta boot!
Somebody needs to start thinking outside the box and do something about it.