Distributed energy generation

ABC Science Show

"Two facts we need to be perfectly clear about. First, demand for power is based on the grid supplying virtually all electricity. Demand is the upstream figure of how much electricity must be produced. The downstream figure is the amount of electricity it actually takes to run our electrical devices. These two figures are very different, and this leads to the little talked about second fact; the electricity grid is woefully inefficient. Take the typical Australian scenario; for every four tonnes of coal burnt in the power station furnace, only one tonne of that coal's electrical energy producing potential reaches the power point. Losses mainly in the form of heat make the grid 25% efficient at best. Inefficient lighting, motors and appliances reduce the overall efficiency of electricity to about 15%.