dang…leave it to home inspectors to give me PATH answers than the answer to the question is electricity trying to get to earth…lol…just teasing ya guys.
Electricity takes all available paths back to the power source which in this case lets say is the transformer but it could also be a SDS as well in the example.
While electricity will flow in the earth, it is a poor conductor really because of our weak ability to connect to it with an effective method to raise its ability to be a better conductor but alas it is indeed conductive and does provide a path back to the source in proportion to the impedance of the return path.
So my next question is ( and I love your answers by the way…) so will the earth provide a GOOD ENOUGH path back to the source to clear a OCPD?
What ya say…
OH…just so we are clear…the earth ONLY provides this path to the source and is not the INTENT of the electricity ( I use that generically ) to go to it .