Talk:Primary energy

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Link also to energy development?? MGTom 09:18, 2005 Jan 20 (UTC)


Is bboe 'barrel oil equivalent' or 'billion barrel oil equivalent'? The article states the latter, which seems logical, bu telsewhere I found the former, with the Joule value I filled in. So I hope this is not off by a factor of one billion. DirkvdM 17:41, 9 October 2005 (UTC)

Primary energy vs secondary energy sources[edit]

There should be some discussion here about the relative efficiencies of conversion and use of a fuel as a primary energy source compared with its use as a secondary energy source.

For example, the most efficient use of natural gas is as a primary energy source, to deliver heat (cooking, central heating) or in transport (gas vehicles).

To use natural gas as a secondary source - to generate electricity - wastes the energy potential of the gas. The argument for this is that the there are lower emissions from gas power stations than from, say coal.

However, when determining energy policy and comparing electricity generation from gas with other sources, the basic principle that we should make the best of natural resources still needs to be kept in mind.

Very primary energy sources[edit]

All energy available in our Planet comes fundamentally from four different sources: Solar, Nuclear, Geothermic and ocean Tides. Most of the energy we use today is originated from the heat that we receive from the sun. This includes petroleum, coal, natural gas, hydropower, biomass, eolic, etc. Nuclear power comes from the fission of heavy elements occurring in the Earth since its formation, like Uranium and Thorium. It can also be obtained (even we don´t have presently the technology to do it) from the fusion of deuterium nuclei (an isotope of hydrogen that is found as a small fraction in all water we have). The third source is the heat in the core of the Earth. In many places in the world, this source comes available near the surface and is indeed used. The tidal motion of the sea is caused by the mutual gravitational attraction between the ocean water and the Moon. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:30, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

Anthropology and Physics[edit]

Energy as a physics phenomenon intimately related to mass is believed a universal human-independent concept, although the word "energy" (or the greek the Greek ἐνέργεια) and human communications about it is not. Primary energy is either an anthropocentric or a systems centric concept, otherwise the article would be better merged into energy. This article would be improved in my estimation if it somehow captures this by exposition AND by implication - or links to such philosophy. Some related stuff comes to mind: Mind-body dichotomy, Dualism, Monism and Non-dualism, Philosophy of science, Philosophy of mind, Energy and society, Objectivity (science), Science wars.

It can scarcely be denied that the supreme goal of all theory is to make the irreducible basic elements as simple and as few as possible without having to surrender the adequate representation of a single datum of experience. - Albert Einstein. (talk) 03:31, 9 February 2010 (UTC)

This article is about a classification of energy sources, relevant to economic, ecological, or systems analysis. All of that, from "classification" to "analysis" is human activity. I don't see this page as a particularly effective venue for philosophical exposition. __ Just plain Bill (talk) 03:32, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I think you are right. How about this: Primary energy, as an economic, ecological or systems analysis classification, is energy found in nature that has not been subjected to any conversion or transformation process. (talk) 04:40, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
The top section mentions the concept of primary energy being "used especially in energy statistics in the course of compilation of energy balances."
I went ahead and tweaked the lead to give that a bit more emphasis. A section such as ==Applications of the concept== could hold more about it. __ Just plain Bill (talk) 15:04, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
Those changes sound great and avoid the verbose tendencies of my writing. Even change of paragraph can have a profound effect on meaning in my estimation. As in a quality journalistic article, the first paragraph is the place to make the essential description clear. (talk) 23:33, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
Grandiloquent verbosity can be fun. I also happen to enjoy trimming and rearranging other people's text. Have you thought of registering an account here? Free, painless (mostly) and there is always plenty to do... __ Just plain Bill (talk) 23:51, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
I should register sooner rather then later.
Within the article body itself, perhaps there is also some scope for a section such as ==System boundary==. My original desire for tweaking the description has come from the following contemplation:
Energy is found in nature yet current physics understanding of energy is that it can not be created or destroyed. That means all energy has existed through the life of the universe. However the vast majority of elements heavy then oxygen, and perhaps all elements heavier than iron, seems to have formed from Supernova nucleosynthesis processes such as the R-process and S-process. Is nuclear energy from uranium Primary Energy? Is nucleosynthesis not an energy conversion or transformation process? Uranium is usually mined from ores in the form of uranyl hydroxide, uranyl sulfate, sodium para-uranate, uranyl peroxide and uranium dioxide. Where does enrichment, such as with uranium hexafluoride, come into the analysis? Fuel is formed from metallic uranium or even uranium tetrafluoride salt. Is the metallic uranium or uranium tetrafluoride salt still Primary Energy? Fossil fuels are so called because they are derived from ancient fossilised biomass such as plankton (See Petroleum#Formation). Are fossil fuels Primary Energy? Are photosynthesis and catagenesis (geology) not energy conversion or transformation processes? The history and mass/gravity induced spherical nature and orbit of planet Earth causes the equator to heat greater than the poles. As in a Stirling engine, hot equatorial air would be blown towards the cooler poles across a large thermal mass ocean. However, the rotation of the planet causes the Coriolis effect which induces Westerly winds instead. Is wind energy Primary Energy? Are the thermodynamic and thermohaline processes of a solar Heat engine with air or salt water as the working fluid not energy conversion or transformation processes? Primary comes from the latin primarius, an older name for the chief or chancellor of a university, related also to Primate (religion) (archbishop). Has this clouded the role and boundary definition Primary Energy takes in energy analysis? Should a socially/theologically inclusive analysis include Energy (esotericism)? (talk) 01:12, 10 February 2010 (UTC)
You have given this plenty of thought, and defining the boundaries of a system is crucial to its being well understood, as you seem to be suggesting. Our role as encyclopedia editors has more in common with reporters' than philosophers' jobs though. This article, on the face of it, seems to be about a specialized term that relates to certain analyses or statistical compilations.
Term "primary energy" is not clearly defined in economical statistics, there is nothing to report about.Reing (talk) 05:23, 10 April 2010 (UTC)
Here, I believe "primary" means something like "as we (humans) find it in the present era." Reducing uranium ore and enriching the metal can perhaps be compared, as I see it, to preparing coal for convenient handling, or processing and delivering combustible gases, or cracking petroleum and distilling out various fractions for different uses. In macro terms, those processes may be considered part of the extraction of the resource; perhaps some models account for the costs of that packaging and delivery-- I do not know. __ Just plain Bill (talk) 01:48, 10 February 2010 (UTC)
Distilling of petroleum is transformation process from primary to secondary source. But enriching of uranium is not transformation process, because uranium is not primary energy source in economical statistics, see "Natural or statistical" section below.Reing (talk) 05:23, 10 April 2010 (UTC)

Natural or statistical?[edit]

In economical (energy) statistics there are as primary sources calculated only: 1) fuels (fossil or biomass), 2) heat made in nuclear reactors (!), and electricity (!) from hydropower. There is no solar irradiation or wind. On one hand it is too difficult to define a border of system in case of solar and wind energy. All fossil fuels are energy sources (except small part used as input to chemistry). On other hand only a part of biomass is used as energy source. The same is for solar irradiation and wind - only very small part of energy potential is used as energy input.Reing (talk) 05:23, 10 April 2010 (UTC)


the graphic is irritating - it only refers to electricity, which is actually not a primary energy. Later in the article it says "Primary energies are transformed in energy conversion processes to more convenient forms of energy, such as electrical energy, refined fuels, or synthetic fuels such as hydrogen fuel." —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:11, 14 March 2011 (UTC)

Nope, the graphic shows the contribution of various primary energy sources that go into the generation of electricity: mostly fossil fuel, water power, and nuclear energy. Translation to English would be a good thing here, though, along with reliable sourcing. __ Just plain Bill (talk) 21:49, 14 March 2011 (UTC)

Final energy[edit]

Can somebody write something about final energy? I was astonished that there is no such article in the english wikipedia. So until this vacancy isn't filled it would be good if someone could at least add some sentences here. Regards, Andol (talk) 22:48, 4 March 2015 (UTC)

I fully agree. Some material on final or end-use energy is needed. Best wishes. RobbieIanMorrison (talk) 10:45, 16 December 2016 (UTC)

Worldwide energy supply[edit]

Most of Primary energy has been merged in Worldwide energy supply, following a suggestion of Peter James, see WP:Articles_for_deletion/Worldwide_energy_supply. Worldwide energy supply also deals with Final Energy. Rwbest (talk) 09:52, 26 April 2016 (UTC)

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