First- and Second-Law Efficiencies of the Global and Regional Energy Systems

Gilli PV, Nakicenovic N, & Kurz R (1995). First- and Second-Law Efficiencies of the Global and Regional Energy Systems. IIASA Research Report (Reprint). IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria: RR-96-002. Reprinted from More Efficient Use of Energy, Proceedings of the 16th WEC Congress, Tokyo, 8-13 October 1995, World Energy Council, London, UK [1995].

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Abstract

The paper presents estimates of the global energy efficiency improvement potential by applying first- and second-law, or exergy, analysis to regional and global energy balances. The investigation is based on the uniform analysis of national and regional energy balances and the aggregation of these balances into the main regions and subsequently into world totals. The procedure involves the assessment of exergy efficiencies at each step of energy conversion, from primary to final and useful exergy. Ideally, the analysis should be extended to actual energy services delivered. Unfortunately, data are scarce and only rough estimates can be given for the last stage of the energy chain. The overall result is that current global useful exergy efficiency is about one-tenth of the theoretical maximum and service efficiency is only a few percent. Whereas conventional energy analysis grossly overestimates the prevailing conversion efficiencies, exergy analysis provides a more appropriate yardstick.

Energy efficiency improvements are considered one of the most effective means of decreasing global energy requirements and related adverse environmental impacts without reducing the quality of energy services delivered. Historical analysis for the energy systems shows continuous efficiency improvements of energy chains of about 1% per year, measured by energy intensity, due to technological, structural, and social changes; it also allows some prospectives into the future. Efficiency improvements of energy supply are mostly technology-driven, whereas improvements in energy use depend more on lifestyles.

Item Type: Monograph (IIASA Research Report (Reprint))
Research Programs: Environmentally Compatible Energy Strategies (ECS)
Bibliographic Reference: Reprinted from More Efficient Use of Energy; Proceedings of the 16th WEC Congress, Tokyo, 8-13 October 1995, World Energy Council, London, UK [1995]
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 02:05
Last Modified: 19 Jul 2016 07:13
URI: http://pure.iiasa.ac.at/4463

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