One type of Sankey diagram layout seems to get popular recently. A representation of national energy flows of a country with the energy carriers on the left side (source), and the consumption sectors on the right side (sink). The Sankey flows in between show how energy from these sources are consumed and in which sector. Wasted energy is shown, and the overall energy (in)efficient use of primary energy is made clear with such a Sankey diagram.

I just discovered the energy flow diagram for Spain for 2006 on Joan Vila’s blog.

Unfortunately I don’t speak Catalán (well, I learned that “blog” is “bloc” in Catalán!), and the image quality isn’t very good. You can see nuclear, natural gas, coal (“carbó”) and crude oil (“petroll”), as well as hydro an wind (the two green lines) on the left side. The top box on the right side that takes the big red Sankey arrow for losses from electricity generation (“pérdues”). The others are the use sectors transport, industry, and domestic / services / agriculture. Vila calculates an efficiency of 38,2% for the electric power generation.

Joan advocates Sankey diagrams for visualizing and being able to better understand the issue. He says, that you won’t understand many things about what’s going on, if you don’t study this [kind of] diagram (“No entendrem moltes coses sobre el que passa si no estudiem aquest diagrama.”).

Check out simiular diagrams for Japan, Scotland, Ireland, Canada, United States.

3 Responses to “Sankey for Energy Flows in Spain”

  1. phineas Says:

    In a thread which discusses this type of diagrams on “The Oil Drum” (http://europe.theoildrum.com/node/4488), a commentor (Realist, on Sep 5, 2008) writes:
    “Deceptive graph! Why show losses for electric power generation and not transportation? The heat losses from the internal combustion engine in most transport is 70-80%.”

  2. Sankey Diagrams » Blog Archive » More National Energy Flow Diagrams Says:

    […] followup to my last post: This thread on ‘The Oil Drum: Europe’ features similar national energy flow diagrams […]

  3. Energy Flows Spain 2009 | Sankey Diagrams Says:

    […] Another example of a national energy flow Sankey diagam, this time from Spain for 2009. To be found on page 40 of the recently published ‘La Energía en España 2009′ (large 10 MB PDF!) downloadable from the Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Commerce (MITYC) website. This is somewhat more advanced than the one from Spain I showed in this post. […]