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When is EROI Not EROI?

Michael Carbajales-Dale ()
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Michael Carbajales-Dale: Clemson University

Biophysical Economics and Resource Quality, 2019, vol. 4, issue 4, 1-4

Abstract: Abstract This paper outlines some very real issues with the use of energy return on investment (EROI) for comparing different energy delivery pathways, particularly when directly comparing EROI calculated at the scale of a single energy facility (as a ratio of full lifetime energy transfers) with that calculated at the scale of a geographical region or industry (as a ratio of annual energy flows). While these two ratios may converge, it is only under a very specific set of circumstances. The aim of this paper is to outline this issue in detail and provide some specific examples of the difference between these two ratios for the global wind and photovoltaics industries.

Keywords: Net energy analysis; Energy return on investment (EROI); Renewable energy; Solar energy; Life cycle assessment; Energy systems analysis (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1007/s41247-019-0065-8

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