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Emergy-based energy return on investment method for evaluating energy exploitation

Yingchao Chen, Lianyong Feng, Jianliang Wang and Mikael Höök

Energy, 2017, vol. 128, issue C, 540-549

Abstract: To consider the environmental impacts of energy resource exploitation and better estimate the energy return of investment (EROI), this paper establishes a new emergy-based method (EmEROI) that can capture the essence of energy resource exploitation. The EmEROI method treats environmental impacts and labor as particular forms of energy, and all forms of energy can be quantified by solar transformity, which is expressed in emjoules as a common unit. The Daqing oilfield is used as an example, and the corresponding EmEROI value is calculated via the proposed method. The results are then compared with standard EROI estimates. Our EmEROI result is much lower than the standard EROI result and presents a more pronounced declining trend. Our results also indicated that the EmEROI estimates conform well to actual conditions and are not as affected by industrial energy intensity levels as the standard EROI. Thus, EmEROI has the potential for use as an integral aspect of energy resource exploitation project evaluations.

Keywords: EROI; Emergy; Energy resources exploitation; Daqing oilfield (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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Handle: RePEc:eee:energy:v:128:y:2017:i:c:p:540-549