Joshua Rosenau over at scienceblogs took up on the energy topic in his ‘Thoughts from Kansas‘ and presents a Sankey diagram for the U.S. energy distribution (The Problem of Energy Generation) from an article in Science (Whitesides and Crabtree: Don’t Forget Long-Term Fundamental Research in Energy, Science 9 February 2007:Vol. 315. no. 5813, 796-798). It shows that more than 55% of the energy produced is lost, mainly in transmission and distribution on the grid (approx 25%) and another 30% in transport-related combustion of petrol [Note to self: do a Sankey diagram comparison for 1911 race car and modern light vehicle].

“…over half of the energy produced for our domestic market goes to waste. Fully two thirds of the energy produced by electrical generation and distribution goes to waste.”

This Sankey diagram shows the energy carriers on the left side, the sectors where energy is consumed (noteworthy: traffic has a larger share than industry) as midpoint groups, and a breakdown to useful and lost energy on the right.

8 Responses to “A Sankey for Energy Generation in the U.S.”

  1. Sankey Diagrams » Blog Archive » Engine Efficiency of Cars Says:

    […] being (next to energy generation and transmission) the sector where most energy is being lost (see this post). Tags: car, energy loss engine Posted by phineas June 21st, 2007 Filed in General […]

  2. Sankey Diagrams » Blog Archive » Guilty of Sankey Abuse? Says:

    […] majority of Sankey diagrams I have come across so far show energy flow systems (see this post or this one) and material flow systems (my last post or this one). To a lesser extent the examples […]

  3. Sankey Diagrams » Blog Archive Says:

    […] am reproducing one below, that pretty much has the same purpose as the one I showed in a previous post for the […]

  4. Sankey Diagrams » Blog Archive » Biomass dominates energy flows in Sri Lanka Says:

    […] Lanka thus is quite different to those I have previously presented here on this blog, such as for the U.S. or for Scotland. Tags: biomass, energy Sri Lanka Posted by phineas August 31st, 2007 Filed […]

  5. Sankey Diagrams » Blog Archive » Energy Sankey Diagram for Japan Says:

    […] are at 29% which seems relatively low, if you compare to similar Sankey diagrams from the U.S. But then I am not sure if they accounted for the losses in the same way for this […]

  6. Sankey Diagrams » Blog Archive » Energy Balance for California Says:

    […] representing energy flows for a state or country. Other examples can be seen here: Japan, Scotland, U.S., or […]

  7. Sankey Diagrams » Blog Archive » Confusankey Diagram Says:

    […] in of my next blog posts. Better energy flow Sankey diagrams from other countries can be seen here, here or here. Posted by phineas May 13th, 2009 Filed in Samples Tags: energy Del.icio.us  […]

  8. USA Energy Flows in Swanky Graphical Form « Josh Hurd's Blog Says:

    […] US energy flows, the first of which is from a 2007 Science article* by Whitesides and Crabtree (via Sankey Diagrams blog and Thoughts from Kansas). The second is from Energy Information Administration’s 2008 Annual […]