No means of energy production is 100 percent efficient. There is always some amount of wasted energy. When you say efficient, if you mean from a purely mechanical standpoint then you will get a different answer compared to if you measure the amount of pollution and heat emissions as well as the net energy capture of the system. Since this is a green website, I will assume you mean the latter; and so the least efficient ways to generate energy would probably be using Coal and Oil as a primary fuel source. They produce tremendous amounts of energy, but there is a great amount of loss (and, thus, less efficiency) due to wasted outputs in the forms of heat, noise and pollution (and significant friction with moving mechanical parts in combustion engines). When you compare this to a geothermal generator, for example, there is a lot less energy to begin with (no explosions), but a much greater percentage of this initial energy can be captured… so they’re much more efficient!
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