Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
This confuses me a lot, at least if inter-city truck traffic is a significant part of traffic.

I recently read, that only about 1/6th of prime energy use in Germany is for electricity generation. 2/3rds of all oil use would be traffic. Sure there is some other prime energy use for heating and industry and so on, but oil is still double digit in heating. So overall I would guess that more energy is used for traffic than for all electricity generation together, and in the US even a higher share of energy consumption is traffic. Putting a significant part of traffic on the railway making only 1% more electricity need.
Any big think mistakes? Maybe inter-city traffic is not a significant part of overall traffic? Maybe railway is incredibly more energy efficient for goods than trucks?

Der Amerikaner ist die Orchidee unter den Menschen
Volker Pispers

by Martin (weiser.mensch(at)googlemail.com) on Sun Jul 20th, 2008 at 08:46:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As I noted, the energy ratio is about 10:1 ... rail freight is, of course, far more energy efficient than truck freight, and electric rail more efficient than diesel rail, so you get to multiply two efficiency factors together.

I guess if trucks are taken for granted as the norm, cutting energy consumption per ton mile by in excess of 90% counts as "incredibly efficient". More accurate would be that truck freight is incredibly energy inefficient, and we only rely on it to the extent that we do because of the now fading age of dirt cheap energy.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sun Jul 20th, 2008 at 10:07:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]


Occasional Series