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Do the Different Exergy Accounting Methodologies Provide Consistent or Contradictory Results? A Case Study with the Portuguese Agricultural, Forestry and Fisheries Sector

Ricardo Manso (), Tânia Sousa () and Tiago Domingos ()
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Ricardo Manso: Marine, Environment and Technology Centre—MARETEC, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de Lisboa, Avenida Rovisco Pais, 1, 1049-001 Lisbon, Portugal
Tânia Sousa: Marine, Environment and Technology Centre—MARETEC, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de Lisboa, Avenida Rovisco Pais, 1, 1049-001 Lisbon, Portugal
Tiago Domingos: Marine, Environment and Technology Centre—MARETEC, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de Lisboa, Avenida Rovisco Pais, 1, 1049-001 Lisbon, Portugal

Energies, 2017, vol. 10, issue 8, 1-31

Abstract: Three exergy accounting approaches are used to evaluate exergy efficiency: the Energy Resources Exergy Accounting (EREA), the Natural Resources’ Exergy Accounting (NREA) and the Extended Exergy Accounting (EEA). To test the consistency of the results provided by these methodologies, we apply them to evaluate the Portuguese agricultural, forestry and fisheries (AFF) sector, from 2000 to 2012. EREA shows an increase of 30% in the efficiency of the Portuguese AFF sector, while NREA and EEA methodologies increases of 27% and 43%, respectively. Although the results are consistent for the AFF sector, the same does not happen in the fisheries subsector, whose exergetic efficiency increases 14% with the EREA but decreases 42% with the NREA approach. The ratio of output to useful exergy reveals that a better thermodynamic efficiency is not translated into a higher energy service efficiency because fishing vessels have to travel more to get the same fish. Thus, results provided by the EREA and NREA approaches are complementary and both are needed to provide a realistic picture of exergy efficiency. On the other hand, results obtained by the EEA approach are dominated by capital and environmental impacts, revealing the disproportionality between material and immaterial inputs in this methodology.

Keywords: exergy; extended exergy accounting; efficiency; environmental assessment; agriculture (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q4 Q40 Q41 Q42 Q43 Q47 Q48 Q49 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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