Monday, April 07, 2008

Energy lost

Treehugger picked up on the great New York Times graphs of energy lost in different sectors of the US. And they also remembered the great DOE flowchart of energy through from production to use. That flowchart is fantastic, showing the which sectors are efficient with their use of energy (like the industrial sector), to those that are prolific wasters (transportation is the worst, with electrical generation not far behind). So whenever someone claims you'd solve the U.S.'s problem with importing oil by banning plastic bags, this chart can show that plastics aren't anything but a blip. Can we get some more efficient cars already? Why do we use 5mpg trucks to ship products across the country instead of using the 10x more efficient rail system? Instead of shipping Hoover Dam's power all the way to Los Angeles, can we power Las Vegas instead of moving dirty coal power from hundreds of miles to the east. Can we invest a little in efficiency, instead of building coal plants hundreds of miles north of Las Vegas? Can we start using waste heat at all power plants for other industrial uses (aka co-generation)?


Jennifer said...

Those are all very good questions. Is anyone in charge asking them, though?

Dean W. Armstrong said...

I think we are, the public, the informed, the concerned. If there are enough of us, national priorities (or affinities for companies interested in our purchasing dollar) can be changed appropriately.