Aggregate Energy Efficiency

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Chris Dew:

"Aggregate energy efficiency is the “ratio of useful to potential physical work that can be extracted from materials.”

- “During the period from 1900 to 1980 in the United States, aggregate energy efficiency…steadily rose along with the development of the nation’s infrastructure, from 2.48 percent to 12.3 percent…leveling off in the late 1990s at around 13 percent with the completion of the Second Industrial Revolution infrastructure. Despite a significant increase in efficiency, which gave the United States extraordinary productivity and growth, nearly 87 percent of the energy used in the Second Industrial Revolution was wasted during transmission.”

Further efficiency gains under the current fossil fuel-based infrastructure are limited, since the technologies designed for this system, such as the internal-combustion engine and the centralized electricity grid, have few productivity gains left to exploit. However, studies indicate that, through a transition to an IoT infrastructure, “it is conceivable to increase aggregate energy efficiency to 40 percent or more in the next 40 years, amounting to a dramatic increase in productivity beyond what the economy experienced in the twentieth century.” (