27 Aug '13, 9pm

Emergy as a Metric of Sustainability

At The Oil Drum, many contributions have addressed the ERoEI, energy returned on energy invested, as a measure of energy efficiency. It is evident that a technology that consumes more energy than it produces (ERoEI < 1) is not sustainable in the long run. It is also quite obvious that energy resources with a low ERoEI value must be more expensive to produce than resources with a high ERoEI value. However in the short run, it may sometimes be profitable to even produce energy with an ERoEI < 1, if the production of this resource is being subsidized by a local government using tax revenue. Some readers of The Oil Drum have interpreted the ERoEI as a measure of sustainability . They expect energy resources with an ERoEI of 1.03 to be sustainable, whereas resources with an ERoEI of 0.98 are predicted to be unsustainable. Unfortunately, this interpretation is incorrect. The rea...

Full article: http://www.theoildrum.com/node/10193

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