Utilizad este identificador para citar o enlazar este documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2072/47934

Assessing the quality of alternative energy sources: Energy Return On the Investment (EROI), the metabolic pattern of societies and energy statistics
Giampietro, Mario; Mayumi, Kozo; Sorman Hadiye, Alevgul
Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia Ambientals; Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
This paper presents an initial challenge to tackle the every so "tricky" points encountered when dealing with energy accounting, and thereafter illustrates how such a system of accounting can be used when assessing for the metabolic changes in societies. The paper is divided in four main sections. The first three, present a general discussion on the main issues encountered when conducting energy analyses. The last section, subsequently, combines this heuristic approach to the actual formalization of it, in quantitative terms, for the analysis of possible energy scenarios. Section one covers the broader issue of how to account for the relevant categories used when accounting for Joules of energy; emphasizing on the clear distinction between Primary Energy Sources (PES) (which are the physical exploited entities that are used to derive useable energy forms (energy carriers)) and Energy Carriers (EC) (the actual useful energy that is transmitted for the appropriate end uses within a society). Section two sheds light on the concept of Energy Return on Investment (EROI). Here, it is emphasized that, there must already be a certain amount of energy carriers available to be able to extract/exploit Primary Energy Sources to thereafter generate a net supply of energy carriers. It is pointed out that this current trend of intense energy supply has only been possible to the great use and dependence on fossil energy. Section three follows up on the discussion of EROI, indicating that a single numeric indicator such as an output/input ratio is not sufficient in assessing for the performance of energetic systems. Rather an integrated approach that incorporates (i) how big the net supply of Joules of EC can be, given an amount of extracted PES (the external constraints); (ii) how much EC needs to be invested to extract an amount of PES; and (iii) the power level that it takes for both processes to succeed, is underlined. Section four, ultimately, puts the theoretical concepts at play, assessing for how the metabolic performances of societies can be accounted for within this analytical framework.
504 - Ciències del medi ambient
Energia -- Consum -- Anàlisi
Energia -- Estadístiques
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