Every percentage counts. Improving energy use even 1% is valuable. It is easy to imagine leaks in pipelines. It is harder to imagine leaks in electrical cables. Yet, inefficient electricity distribution requires the US to produce 6% more electricity than is used. In much of the country that means higher fossil fuel usage. In countries with poorer infrastructure, the losses can exceed 50%. This is a good news, bad news story. The bad news is the size and extent of the losses. The good news is fixing the problem can be relatively simple, not necessarily easy, but simple. Like wasting food and water, improving efficiencies in distribution can be much more economical than producing more energy or food or water. It isn’t a panacea, but improving the existing infrastructure can reduce some problems without requiring new technologies or industries.
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