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Wasted, Wasted Energy

7 April 2008

The New York Times published an interesting article about climate change this weekend which emphasizes the importance of energy efficiency and conservation as a major factor in the fight against global warming. What really caught my eye were their impressive charts on energy waste in the United States. About 56% of all the energy produced in the United States is WASTED, due to a combination of waste that occurs during energy production, but also inefficient technology and design.

Electricity WastedThe statistics are stunning:

  • 66% of the energy produced for electricity is lost, 10% of that in transmission.
  • 71% of the energy produced for transportation is wasted.
  • 20% of the energy produced to run American industry is lost, and
  • 20% of the energy that we use in our commercial and residential buildings is wasted.

The good news?

You can do a tremendous lot with available technology,” said Professor Najam, one of the authors of the intergovernmental panel’s report on policy options. “It is true that this will not be enough to lick the problem, but it will be a very significant and probably necessary difference.”

We’re wasting a lot of energy, but when individuals take action – by making our homes more energy efficient, by investing in technology that doesn’t waste as much energy (like hybrid vehicles or compact fluorescent light bulbs) and making simple, effective changes in our lives, we can make a real difference. Start today with the Minnesota Energy Challenge and see what an impact you can have.

11 Comments leave one →
  1. 4 December 2009 4:19 pm

    Wasted light might be wasted energy but it is killing off Life On Earth.
    The LA Times reported that this started as long ago as 1897.
    That it would extirpate songbirds which are now apparently on the IUCN Red List.
    The “hidden” harm has already been done, just as passive smoking and passive exposure to asbestos eventually kill, so too will the 24 hour day. We will only have a palliative future. We cannot deny the truth and don’t forget that the truth does not have a sell by date. It is 112 years old and we will be just too late.

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