MadSci Network: Engineering

Subject: Isn't electricity per se terribly inefficient?

Date: Thu Mar 27 04:18:50 1997
Posted by: Holger Maertens
Grade level: grad
School/Organization: University of Leipzig
City: Leipzig State/Province: Saxony
Country: Germany
Area of science: Engineering
Message ID: 859457930.Eg
Isn't electricity per se terribly inefficient?
If I'm correctly informed, electricity (the way we use it) is very
inefficient in the sense that most of the energy drawn from fossile
or nuclear fuels is lost either in the power plant itself or on long
distance power lines, so that only ca. 30 % actually reach our homes.

I realize it would be rather costly to give each home its own little
(also inefficient) generator or to create fuel-driven computers and
coffee makers, but shouldn't we at least prefer diesel trains and gas
heating to their respective electrical counterparts? And why is so 
much effort put into the construction of electric cars? I'm sure the
waste gas problem can be solved in another way!

Re:Isn't electricity per se terribly inefficient?

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