Category: Samples

LatAm BEN – Ecuador

Continuing my mini-series on Sankey diagrams showing energy balances of Latin American countries. After my recent post on the Balance Energetico Nacional (BEN) of Bolivia the neighbouring Peru would be next. However, I have presented a Sankey diagram on energy flows in Peru on this blog before. So today, here is the BEN for Ecuador. It is published every year by the Ministerio Coordinador de Sectores Estratégicos.

Data is for 2016. The unit of flows is ‘kbep’ (kilo barrels of oil equivalents / miles de barriles equivalentes de petróleo). The appearance is very similar to the BEN Bolivia I showed here.

Again the flows are not to scale, which is a pity. Smaller flow quantities (in the range of 0 to 1000 kbep) are shown as arrows with a minimum width, which is fair, because otherwise we wouldn’t see much more than a hairline for ‘Solar’ or ‘Eólica’. However, if you look at the light grey flow of 17,533 kbep derivates exports branching out after the refineries node, it has the same width as the arrow representing 3,024 kbep of own use (consumo própio) – although it should be 5 times wider. The orange arrow depicting 4,433 kbep of natural gas on the other hand is wider than the one 17,533 kbep derivates exports…

I really like the graphical aspects of the Sankey diagram, and I admire the effort made here to come up with an annual Balance Energetico Nacional. In my opinion, not showing the flows to scale thwarts the whole effort, and makes using this diagram type superfluous. I know that doing such a Sankey diagram to scale is sometimes challenging, in particular when there is a very large dominating flow (like here the 139,046 kbep petroleum exports), but nevertheless, the message you are otherwise conveying with the figure is simply misleading.

Just as for Bolivia I will again have to draw this one myself …

Adyen Income Statement Sankeyfied

Amsterdam-based graphic designer Nadieh Bremer (a winner of a 2017 Information is Beautiful award) has created this Sankey diagram for the H2 2018 shareholder report of Adyen.

Definitely a novelty in a financial report (at least I have never seen a Sankey diagram in a such a publication).

via Twitter @NadieBremer

Apart from the fact that it is beautifully crafted and clean, it is also quite a tweak of the d3.js Sankey library … After all, this is not the typical d3.js Sankey diagram (with left-to-right orientation, only with boring grey bands, or even arrows superimposing each other where they curve). Here we have a top-to bottom flow, with streams branching out to the left and to the right, flows smoothly curving in to join the main streams, saturated color, and an interesting hatching pattern on the nodes.

Nadieh writes on her decision to use a dedicated software: “The main reason was the fact that the final numbers could change (slightly) until just days before the publication, making it quite a chore to have to remake these if they were all crafted in Illustrator.
Furthermore, by programming the logic of these visuals, I could prepare 90% of the required effort a month before the deadline by using the numbers from the previous report. When I finally received the final numbers, it was only a matter of changing the underlying data, and some small tweaks to get these final visuals ready.”

World GHG Emissions 2012

This “dense” or “block-style” Sankey diagram might look familiar to some. Indeed it is based on the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions Sankey diagram for 2000 published by the World Resources Institute WRI (see this post). Consulting firm Ecofys (now Navigant) has updated the data and refined it, but kept the overall appearance of the figure.

via @ChrisChambers64

Total emissions of climate gases were 51,840 Mt Co2-eq. Carbon dioxide and methane contributed more than 90%. The industry sector is the largest emittor, followed by agriculture and land use.

Very clear and compact Sankey diagram, conveying the most important information about GHG emission sources.

European Plastics Packaging Waste Study

Deloitte Sustainability in a 2017 report titled ‘Blueprint for plastics packaging waste: Quality sorting & recycling’ showed the results of “a quantitative and a qualitative analysis of the main packaging resins (PET, HDPE, LDPE, PP) based on the flows in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK, which represent 70% of the plastic waste generated in Europe”.

The plastic waste streams for the year 2014 are shown as a Sankey diagram on page 16.

The collection rate that year on a European average was at 37% and the recycling rate at 13%. Most of the packaging waste goes to incineration and landfill.

The study also looks at improvement potential in plastics waste collection and recycling. The plastic packaging waste streams for a possible 2025 scenario with a collection rate of 74% and a recycling rate of 55% is also shown as Sankey diagram for comparison.

Household Waste Recyling in Spain

An interesting blog post titled ‘Cuando las cuentas no cuentan’ (which I would figuratively translate as ‘When the numbers don’t match’) by Sergio Sastre over at the ‘Residuos Profesional’ blog.

Looking in detail at the official municipal solid waste recycling numbers for all 17 autonomous communities in Spain, published by the Environment Ministry (Ministerio para la Transición Ecológica – MITECO) for 2016, Sergio and his team found that there are discrepancies in the data, and that data quality needs improvement.

The overall recycling rate for municipal solid waste (MSW) in Spain is 33.6% … still far from the 2020 goal to reach a 50% recycling rate.

This Sankey diagram shows the breakdown of waste streams.

Flows are in tonnes per year. Of the overall 21.7 million tonnes of MSW generated in Spain, only some 7.2 million tonnes were recycled in 2016 (pink streams). A large chunk if household waste is mixed (grey stream, residuos mezclados, RM), while only a quarter is collected separately (colored streams in the lower part of the figure, recogida selectiva, RS).

Some material can be recovered from the mixed waste stream at sorting facilities and in composting plants or biogas digestors.

LatAm BEN – Bolivia

In my mini-series on National Energy Balances (Balance Energético Nacional, BEN) of countries in South and Central America, I have reached the Plurinational State of Bolivia.

I couldn’t find any Sankey diagrams on the website of the Ministerio de Hidrocarburos, which apparently is responsible for drawing up the energy balances for Bolivia. However, I was sure they must exist, as a press release for the launch event of the report exists. Finally I found a publication of the ministry for 2000-2009 in the BIVICA library and it has some black/white energy flow diagrams.

There have been newer editions of the report until at least 2015, and here is the BEN Bolivia for 2014 (from the OLADE library), You might remember that OLADE, the inter-governmental Organización Latinoamericana de Energía plays an important role in motivating countries to draw up their BEN and runs a website where BENs are available for many Latin American countries).

The unit of flows is ‘kbep’ (kilo barrels of oil equivalents / miles de barriles equivalentes de petróleo). Now, this Sankey diagram is definitely not to scale: the width of the flow representing 133,902 kbep of gas would have to be almost 6 times wider than the one standing for 23,065 kbep of petroleum. The biomass flow would have to be much thinner in comparison, hence it is over emphasized in the diagram for the reader who is unaware. My feeling is that the person who did this wasn’t acting with bad intentions, but had no technical means or support to do this properly and just glued it together from round rectangles, arrows and other shapes.

Definitely a candidate for a remake, if I find the time… Edit: I found some time to remake this BEN for Bolivia with flows being to scale. Quite a difference to the above! It becomes obvious, that the country is primarily a natural gas exporter. I didn’t notice this dominance of energy export at first. Now with the flows being to scale, the details and differences of the other flows are hard to tell. One would have to remove the natural gas export to show more of the domestic energy flows.

An analysis of the BEN Bolivia and some background on the data is available (in Spanish) in this paper.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions Brazil 2012

SEEG Sistema de Estimativas de Emissões de Gases de Efeito Estufa (Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Removals Estimates System) is an initiative of the Observatório do Clima (Climate Observatory) in Brazil.

This Sankey diagram on the SEEG web page (in Portuguese) shows greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Brazil in 2012.

On the left are the emitters by sector: land transformation, livestock farming, energy generation, industrial processes and waste sector. Emissions are grouped in the middle column by activity: agriculture, industry, transport and other. The third column is a detailed breakdown of the activity sectors.

The agricultural sector contributed 64% of Brazil’s GHG emissions in 2012, with most likely methane (CH4) from livestock breeding and CO2 release from deforestation as the major sources.

Emissions are shown in Mt CO2-e[quivalents], even though the caption says differently. Overall greenhouse gas emissions were 1490 Mt CO2e (or 1.49 bn tonnes CO2e). Detailed data is available on the website, so this can be seen as the consolidated overview of GHG emissions.

More recent GHG data for 2017 from Brazil has been published at an event in November 2018 in São Paulo, but I couldn’t find a Sankey diagram (yet).

European Energy Transport Capacity 2030

This is an interesting kind-of-a-Sankey figure. Back in August I had posted on Nordic Transport Energy in 2050 with two Sankey diagrams from the ‘Nordic Energy Technology Perspectives 2016’ report published by IEA.

The topic of this diagram (taken from the same report) is the energy transmission or transport capacity between different regions in Europe and covering the area of the European Network of Transmission System Operators (ENTSO-E).

© OECD/IEA 2016 Nordic Energy Technology Perspectives 2016, IEA Publishing. Licence:

To visualize transmission capacity, Europe has been cut into energy regions, and a gap has been inserted between them to be able to distinguish them better. The width of the “bridges” represent the available energy transport capacity between these regions in 2030.

Some countries are divided into several energy producing regions. For example, if you look at Sweden, it is divided into SE_N1, SE_N2, SE_M and SE_S.

The bands are non-directional, so we do not know which region delivers to which region. And probably the energy transport will be able to go in both directions.

Check out the full report here.