Month: April 2019

LatAm BEN – Colombia

Colombia is next in my mini-series on National Energy Balances (Balance Energético Nacional, BEN) of countries in South and Central America.

Searching for an energy flow chart for Colombia brought up a lot of data and publications by UPME (Unidad de Planeación Minero Energético), an agency of the Ministerio de Minas y Energía (MinMinas). However, finding an actual energy flow chart turned out to be more difficult. I finally found one for 2012 in a presentation ‘Potencial energético colombiano para la generación de energía y su óptimo aprovechamiento’ by UPME on a U.S. National Institute of Standards (NIST) website.

With Colombia being an energy exporter, they seem to have been facing the same problems as Bolivia and Ecuador when drawing the Sankey diagram: The comparatively much larger energy export quantity kind of dwarfed the other flows of the Sankey diagram. Hence, in the same presentation, they excluded the export stream and focused on the domestic energy flows.

Flows are in terajoules (TJ) for the year 2012 in both diagrams. The scale of the two diagrams is not the same, so they must not be compared to each other. What has been reduced to tiny streams and hairlines by the massive export flow in the first diagram, received more weight in the domestic energy flow diagram.

A good solution to a general issue when handling flows with huge differences in the same Sankey diagram.

Embodied Emissions of Products in the EU

Embodied emissions (similar to embodied energy) is an interesting perspective on the environmental impact of products we use. It takes into account the full life-cycle of the product and aggregates the emissions produced from raw material extraction, from the actual manufacturing, from the transports along the supply chain, and from the disposal of the product after use.

In many cases ’emissions’ is reduced to greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) and the impact on climate change caused along the product’s life cycle. In this case we could colloquially also call it the ‘carbon rucksack’ of the product.

Kate Scott from the Sustainability Research Institute, School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds (UK) in her article ‘Extending European energy efficiency standards to include material use: an analysis’ suggests the European Union should – in addition to its energy efficiency policies – add consideration of material efficiency of products to their climate change strategy. GHGs are considered a lead indicator for material efficiency, as “material-intensive manufactured products … offer significant scope for emissions reductions along product supply chains.

This Sankey diagram of supply chain emissions associated with global product flows of the EU is presented.

Source: Kate Scott, Katy Roelich, Anne Owen & John Barrett (2018) Extending European energy efficiency standards to include material use: an analysis, Climate Policy, 18:5, 627-641, DOI: 10.1080/14693062.2017.1333949 distributed under Creative Commons Attribution License.

The diagram doesn’t show much detail as to the individual stream and relies heavily on color coding. Only group sums are shown. Data is for the year 2007. Flows are in Mt (megatonnes) CO2-equivalents embodied as emissions in the products.

“Production emissions in the EU in 2007 were 5,213 MtCO2e, with the width of each flow on the left-hand side of Figure 1 representing production emissions by sector, the conventional accounting approach. In the same year, the EU’s consumption-based emissions, the right-hand side of Figure 1, were 39% higher, at 7,256 Mt due to the EU’s trade balance. Emissions embodied in EU imports were 2,847 Mt and emissions embodied in their exports were 804 Mt, meaning that the EU is a net importer of 2,043 MtCO2e (imports–exports).”

The black streams from the top represent embodied GHG emissions from raw materials, finished products or product components imported into the EU.

Read the full article here.