This Sankey diagram made it on the cover of the report ‘Cost analysis applied to sustainable product design’ published by IHOBE Basque Ecodesign Center.

Not directly related to the content of the report this is a diagram on the energy flows of EU-27 countries in 2007.

Rytec, a Swiss-based consulting firm, is the author of a 2011 report that compares 29 waste incinerators in Switzerland in regard to their energy flows.

The report ‘Einheitliche Heizwert- und Energiekennzahlenberechnung der Schweizer KVA nach europäischem Standardverfahren’ (translation: Uniform heating value and energy indicators calculation for Swiss waste incinerators according to European standard method) was comissioned by Swiss Environment Agency (BFU) and Swiss Energy Agency (BFE).

The annex contains 29 Sankey diagrams like the following:

All waste incinerator Sankey diagrams are structured similarly, allowing direct comparison of efficiency and energy output mix. Data is for 2009.

The first diagram is for KVA Basel (waste incinerator Basel), the second for KVA Oftringen (waste incinerator Oftringen, Aargau). Basel is much larger (incinerated waste with energy content of 710 GWh in 2009) and serves an urban area. Oftringen is smaller and seems to be more of a regional waste incinerator (incinerated waste with energy content of 237 GWh in 2009).

Basel apparently sells off the heat to the district heating system or neighbouring industry (yellow arrow ‘Wäremexport’) and converts only a small fraction to electricity. Oftringen on the other hand sells off electric energy (43 GWh) with apparent losses (grey arrow 122,5 GWh).

A lot more to discover when comparing these two (and the other 27) Sankey diagrams.

U.S. Energy Information Administration has published the Annual Energy Review (AER) with data for 2014 on their website. Other diagrams, e.g. for coal or natural gas are also available.

This is from March 2015, so data is preliminary. Flows are in quadrillion BTU. Older Sankey diagrams are available (like this one for 2008), so everyone can compare and identify changes over the past years.

Material Flow Analysis (MFA) looks at substances or materials, often with a regional or national scope. MFA also has a stronger emphasis on stocks and stock changes. From the MFA blog (see blogroll on the right) comes the below diagram on lead flows.

The grey area delimits a region. Lead flow quantities are in tonnes per year. ‘Imports’ (to be understood as contamination or ingression here) to the region are from the left, ‘exports’ to the right. There is a net increase of lead ‘stocks’ in the region (accumulation in landfill).

Flows are on the same scale only for smaller quantities. The two large flows would have to be drawn much wider if they were on the same scale. Instead they have an upper cut-off indicated by the labels “>240″ and “>330″.

As a toddler my Mom read ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar‘ to me, and I noticed that the book is still around today. So I thought you might like the following mini-Sankey diagram I found on an educational website.

Of all the energy contained in the leaves (or apples, pears, strawberries …) the caterpillar eats, half turns into feces, and some 33% is for cellular respiration. Only approximately 17% is for growth of the caterpillar. It seemed more than that to me at the time…

In most parts of Europe, Russia and Northern a partial solar eclipse is observed today. People can feel how temperatures drop and dusk seems to begin even though the day has just begun… Time to remember that the sun powers our planet.

This Sankey diagam from the GEA 2012 report (Global Energy Assessment – Toward a Sustainable Future, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge UK and New York, NY, USA and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Laxenburg, Austria) page 773 shows that the “amount of solar energy available on Earth (estimated at 3.9 million EJ/yr) is many times the present human energy use (~528 EJ in 2009)”.

Via the EDF blog (no, not Electiricité de France, but Environmental Defence Fund) comes this mixed Sankey diagram for energy and water flows in the U.S. in 2011.

Kate Zerrener explains in the post that energy generation and water consumption are deeply interwoven. The diagram shows which energy production and which consuming sector requires how much water.

“Water is measured in billions of gallons per day (BGD) and energy is measured in quadrillion British Thermal Units (Quads) per year. In the graphic above, water flows are represented in blue, energy in green.”

‘De onde vem a nossa luz?’ Where does our electricity come from? The below infographic by Joaquim Guerreiro with text by Ricardo Gurreiro was published on April 22, 2009 in the Portuguese daily ‘Público’ (PDF).

The composition of energy sources is shown with Sankey-like green bands instead of a pie chart. 24% of the energy is from natural gas, 20% from coal. 18% is imported energy and 12% from hydro power.

The other elements of the infographic and the text describe how the production pattern changes from years rich in precipitation, when hydro can be up to 33%, compared to dry years where it accounts for less than 10% of the electricity production.

Data is for 2008. The overall consumption of electric energy is kind of difficult to detect: 51.125 GWh in 2007.

An online version of this infographic (without the Sankey diagram) is available at the Público website too.