Tag: energy

Global Energy Flows 2018/2050, DNVGL

Fresh off the press last week is DNVGL’s Energy Transition Outlook 2020. This report is a “forecast of the world’s most likely energy future through to 2050” and in my opinion this is really good information. The new edition already factors in the effects of the pandemic.

The spread on pages 122/123 has the following Sankey diagrams, a comparison of the global energy landscape in 2018 and the forecast for 2050:


The individual flows are not labeled with quantities, but we get an idea from the blue stream, that represents 27 PWh/yr electricity in 2018 and 60 PWh/yr in 2050. “One striking change on the supply side of the picture is the emergence of solar PV and wind at the expense of coal and oil. Electrification more than doubles through to 2050, which leads to an increase in the overall system efficiency.”

Make sure to download your copy of the DNVGL Energy Transition Outlook 2020, to study the global energy flow Sankey diagram in more detail.

France’s Grand Est Region Energy Flows

Le Grand Est is a French administrative region in the north-east of the Hexagone, comprising Alsace, Champagne-Ardenne, and Lorraine. ATMO Grand Est is a not-for-profit, government-backed association that is monitoring air quality in the region and looking at ways to improve it.

As part of their work they have prepared energy flow diagrams, not only for the whole region, but also on the communal level. More than 100 Sankey diagrams, depicting the energy flows and the use of energy are available on the ATMO website. Visit the resources section and check “Diagrammes de Sankey” in the filter list at the right.

Here is the figure for the overall region with energy consumption and use in Grand Est in 2017. Flows are in GWh.


On the left we see primary resources, with the largest source being nuclear fuel. With an efficiency of only 33% this still delivers most of the secondary energy consumed in the Grand Est region. The grey stream from the top are “imports” to the region, most likely from other parts of France (or from neighboring Germany). The energy consuming sectors are shown on the right. A table next to them points out the GHG emissions linked to the energy.

Each of the individual Sankey diagrams for the CCs (communauté de communes, rural communities) and some CAs (communauté d’agglomération, semi-urban communities) available have exactly the same structure, but they can look strikingly different.

Here is one example from CC Portes de Meuse, a community with just over 17,000 inhabitants


CC Portes de Meuse can apparently cover three-quarters of their energy demand from wind and wood, with only 25% being imported. (Not sure though how they can have 260 GWh energy use in road transport, unless most vehicles are already electric).

Note that although both Sankey diagrams have a similar structure and flows are both in GWh in 2017, this diagram mustn’t be compared directly to the one above in regard to the width of the arrows, since they are on a different scale.

Great work by ATMO Grand Est, and I am sure these visualizations are useful when discussing energy consumption, GHG and air pollution among stakeholders in the communities or the region. They have already announced the Invent’AIR v2020 version to be published in the near future.

Energy Flows in US Manufacturing Sector

From the report “Advancing the Landscape of Clean Energy Innovation” published February 2019 by Breakthrough Energy, IHS Markit, and Energy Futures Initiative comes the below Sankey diagram showing energy flows in the United States manufacturing sector.


Figure based on data from U.S. Department of Energy, 2010 Manufacturing Energy and Carbon Footprint. Flows are in Trillion BTUs (TBtu, Trillion British thermal units). Energy used in manufacturing is steam (heat), electricity and fuels. Energy use is broken down into 5 types of processes in the manufacturing sector. “Applied Energy” is shown in green (58%), and use losses in light grey (42%).

Energy Use per Industrial Sector, Indonesia

The article ‘Tracing the energy footprints of Indonesian manufacturing industry’ by Yales Vivadinar, Widodo W. Purwanto & Asep H. Saputra from Department of Chemical Engineering, Universitas Indonesia, Depok, Indonesia (published as Open Access in: Energy Science and Engineering 2016; 4(6): 394–405) looks at typical energy usage in different industrial manufacturing sectors in Indonesia.

There are Sankey diagrams representing “energy maps” for basic chemicals, cement, pulp, paper, spinning, weaving and textile finishing. I am showing two of them below. The first one is for the basic chemical industry.

Flows are in kboe (thousand barrels oil equivalent) for the year 2013. Losses are shown as grey arrows. The second one is for textile finishing:


For those of you interested, please read the full paper here.

Energy Transition in Germany, Study

A great number of Sankey diagrams are coming out of Germany, don’t know why that is…

This one is from a study on the (stalling) progress of the ‘energy transition’ (some prefer to call it ‘energy turnaround’, ‘Energiewende’ in German). German Energy Agency (dena) and University of Cologne (EWI institute) have published an intermediate progress report. On climate change, Angel Merkel’s coalition has set the ambitious goal of reducing Germany’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to 55% of the 1990 emission levels by 2030. One pillar of the energy turnaround is the increased use of renewable energy sources.

The study (PDF here, in German) contains a number of Sankey diagrams like this one:


The overall energy consumption of 605 TWh/year in 2015 hasn’t been reduced until 2018, but there is already a noticeable shift away from coal (black streams) and an increase in renewables. On the path to 2030 nuclear energy is to phased out completely and coal an gas are to be reduced significantly in favor of renewables with the overall consumption down to 590 TWh/year, mainly by means of energy efficiency measures.