Oil futures surged on Wednesday after Russia indicated there was a possibility of co-operation with OPEC, fanning hopes for a deal to reduce a global oversupply that sent prices to the lowest levels in over a dozen years last week.
A statement from Russia's energy ministry left the door open to talks with OPEC, moments after the head of Russia's pipeline monopoly said officials have decided they should talk to Saudi Arabia and other OPEC members about output cuts.
The top non-OPEC producer, Russia has in the past been unwilling to cut oil output, as it battles for market share with OPEC output leader Saudi Arabia.
"I remain sceptical, at the end of the day, about that happening as the oil producers are looking at the other guy to cut production while maintaining their own levels," Andrew Lipow of Lipow Oil Associates said.
"I think the geopolitical factors in the Middle East are playing a bigger part in the actual oil production than the statements from energy ministers who'd like to see higher prices."
Hints of a possible deal between OPEC members and rival producers had already helped oil rally 4 percent on Tuesday.
Losses From Generation To Distribution
This is a table of heat rates for electricity generation. To express the efficiency of a generator or power plant as a percentage, we must divide the equivalent Btu content of a kWh of electricity (which is 3,412 Btu) by the heat rate. The average heat rate for all types of turbines, if you average them together, is about 10,134. This is a rough calculation and does not scale as dispersed.
Efficiency = [(3,412)/(10,134)]*100 = 33.7%
This means that 66.3% of the energy in the raw materials themselves are lost due to heat. Think about that! 1,000 kWh worth of fuel dumped into a generator will leave you with 337 kWh of electricity on average!
Transmission and Distribution Losses
Electricity needs to make it from the generator to your home. As an electrical engineer who works for an electrical contractor, I can briefly speak to how it works.
GENERATOR -> HIGH VOLTAGE TRANSMISSION LINES -> SUBSTATION (steps down voltage for distribution -> DISTRIBUTION LINES -> HOME
The EIA estimates that approximately 6% of all electricity is lost - 2% for transmission and 4% for distribution - from the generator to your meter. This is due to the real-world inefficiencies of the infrastructure and can vary wildly from state-to-state. Older infrastructure, of course, will likely perform worse. Please note these are US figures - we have some of the most efficient electricity transmission and distribution infrastructure in the world thanks to our rigorous standards - countries like India are estimated to incur losses of up to 30% in transmission and distribution (significant amounts are from theft), so EV's will perform remarkably worse in poorer countries, further lessening their efficiency.
dding It All Up
If you've made it this far, we need to calculate the real energy cost of an EV like the Tesla Model S 70, factoring in losses in generation, transmission, distribution and charging.
Generation Efficiency: 33.7%
Transmission/Distribution Efficiency: 94%
Charging Efficiency: 90%
[[(70)/(0.337)]/(0.94)]/(0.90) = 245.53 kWh
Because electricity is such an inefficient utility, it actually takes more like245.53 to charge a 70 kWh EV battery. This drops the real efficiency of a Tesla Model S 70 to 0.977 miles/kWh.
According to the EPA, one gallon of gasoline has an energy equivalent of 33.7 kWh. If a Tesla Model S 70 goes 240 miles on 245.53 kWh of electricity, then we can say a Tesla Model S 70 goes 240 miles on 7.29 gallons of gasoline. In other words, the Tesla Model S 70 gets an equivalent of 32.94 mpg. That is only 58.8% as efficient as a 2016 Toyota Prius Eco for nearly three times the price. (fueleconomy.gov estimates a 2016 Toyota Prius ECO gets a combined fuel rating of 56 mpg.) Depending on which state you live in, a Toyota Prius could get even better mileage by comparison if your transmission and distribution networks see above average losses, or if your state gets more energy from coal than natural gas, which is less efficient in the generation.