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There actually is a term in thermodynamics for energy systems efficiency, exergy, which is a measurement of the ability to do useful work.*  Exergy is not often mentioned just as "full cost accounting," which would include all externalities within an economic measurement of a product or service, is not often mentioned in traditional economics.

As I learned from spending time with big-name journalists in small, informal groups, sometimes not only can't we see the forest for the trees, often we don't see the trees for the leaves.  Concentrating on maximizing the power output from a single wind turbine in a wind farm can be detrimental to the overall energy efficiency of the wind farm, as MIT has shown.  That is not seeing the tree for the leaves.

* The annual energy production of USAmerica is about 100 quadrillion btu's and about 2/3rds of that is "rejected energy," does no useful work, is lost to friction, in distribution and transmission, dissipated as waste heat.  There are ways to capture at least some of that rejected energy but we don't usually link up a waste heat source with a method to use it productively.  The EU, especially Denmark, seems to be much better at that particular aspect of energy planning with all their district heating systems.

Solar IS Civil Defense

by gmoke on Mon Sep 5th, 2022 at 05:36:19 PM EST
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