What it takes to power a (light) bulb, and Sankey Diagrams


Kevin Anderson has a chart he uses to argue for demand-side reduction of energy use as a powerful way to achieve emission reductions of greenhouse gases. That chart is:
It is derived from the IPCC AR4 Working Group 3 Report, in Chapter 4, as Figure 4.3, and it cites Professor Don Cleland of Massey University as a reference. A presentation containing the same figure was made at the 2006 IPS Roundable, and is reproduced below:
What it shows is that to produce electricity going into powering a lamp (sometimes called “end-use energy”) a unit of lighting, 98% of the generated energy (sometimes called “net generation”) is lost and over 99% of the energy in the original fuels are lost (sometimes called “primary energy”). The figure also shows that 75% of the generation energy is lost during transmission to the residence housing the light bulb. This is derived from…

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