The Energy Return on Energy Invested (EROI or EROEI) is the amount of energy acquired from a particular energy source divided by the energy expended, or invested, in obtaining that energy. EROI is an essential and seemingly simple measure of the usable energy or “energy profit” from the exploitation of an energy source, but it is not so easy to determine all of the energy expenditures that should be included in the calculation. Because EROI values are generally low for renewable energy sources, differences in these estimates can lead to sharply divergent conclusions about the viability of these energy technologies. This book presents the first complete energy analysis of a large-scale, real-world deployment of photovoltaic (PV) collection systems representing 3.5 GW of installed, grid-connected solar plants in Spain. The analysis includes all of the factors that limit and adjust the real electricity output through one full-year cycle, and all of the fossil fuel inputs required to achieve these results. The authors’ comprehensive analysis of energy inputs, which assigns energy cost estimates to all financial expenditures, yields EROI values that are less than half of those claimed by other investigators and by the solar industry. Sensitivity analysis is used to test various assumptions in deriving these EROI estimates. The results imply that the EROI of current, large-scale PV systems may be too low to seamlessly support an energy and economic transition away from fossil fuels. Given the pervasiveness of fossil fuel subsidies in the modern economy, a key conclusion is that all components of the system that brings solar power to the consumer, from manufacturing to product maintenance and life cycle, must be improved in terms of energy efficiency. The materials science of solar conversion efficiency is only one such component. Sunny Spain represented an ideal case study as the country had the highest penetration of solar PV energy at 2.3 percent of total national demand as well as state-of-the-art expertise in solar power including grid management of intermittent, modern renewable systems. This book, written by a uniquely qualified author team consisting of the chief engineer for several major photovoltaic projects in Spain and the world’s leading expert on the concept and application of EROI, provides a comprehensive understanding of the net energy available to society from energy sources in general and from functioning PV installations under real-world conditions in particular. The authors provide critical insight into the capacity of renewable energy sources to fill the foreseeable gap between world energy demand and depletion rates for fossil fuels. · Presents the first comprehensive study of the EROI of large-scale solar PV systems in a developed country · Uses real-world operational data rather than laboratory approximations and extrapolations · Describes the dependence of one alternative energy source on the goods and services of a fossil-fueled economy · Has global implications for the potential of renewable energy sources to replace dwindling reserves of fossil fuels · Written with the first-hand knowledge of the chief, on-site engineer for many solar installations in Spain together with the leader in the development and application of the concept of EROI
This authoritative but highly accessible book presents the reader with a powerful framework for understanding the critical role of the energy return on investment (EROI) in the survival and well-being of individuals, ecosystems, businesses, economies and nations. Growth and development are fundamental and ubiquitous processes at all scales, from individuals to food crops to national economies. While we are all familiar with the concepts of economic growth and living standards as measured by gross domestic product (GDP), we often take for granted the energy use that underpins GDP and our expectations for year-on-year growth. In this book, you will learn how these measures of “progress” are completely dependent on the balance that can be achieved between energy costs (inputs) and gains. Nothing is made or moved without an energy surplus, and it is the EROI of available energy sources more than any other single factor that determines the shape of civilization. Nearly all politics and economics assume that policy and market forces are the levers upon which future outcomes will hinge. However, this book presents many examples of historical and current events that can be explained much more clearly from an energetic perspective. In addition, a future scenario is developed that gives a central place to EROI in assessing the potential of governmental and private initiatives to substitute so-called renewable energy sources for diminishing stocks of fossil fuels. When cheap fossil fuels are no longer available in the abundance needed to mask economic problems and power business as usual, it will be EROI more than the plethora of “green” technologies that creates the boundary conditions for a sustainable future.
Energy Return On Investment with the concept of EROI Applications criticism and implications
Seminar paper from the year 2016 in the subject Engineering - Power Engineering, grade: 1,0, Technical University of Munich (Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering), course: Advanced Seminar on Renewable and Sustainable Energy Systems, language: English, abstract: This paper is about the energy return of investment. Energy has a significant impact on economic growth and is a key driver for the wellbeing of a society. The less a society has to spend on energy, the more remains for consumption and discretionary spending that is directly translated into economic growth. This impact can be assessed with the help of the net energy analysis that makes use of the concept of EROI. The Energy Return On Investment is the ratio of the quantity of energy delivered to the quantity of energy consumed in a given process. Thus, this metric serves to measure the accessibility of a resource, meaning that the higher the EROI, the greater the amount of net energy delivered to society in order to support economic growth. This goes hand in hand with the finding that there is a minimum level of EROI that has to be reached, otherwise economic growth cannot be possible. Given that net energy analysis is going to be one of the most fundamental concepts in academic and policy discussion in view of the future of the energy mix there is still a clear need for a standardized and independent framework to calculate EROI.
This book describes the essential concepts and tools needed to analyze the quantity and quality of energy resources available to both developed and developing nations. Although economists regard energy as just another marketable commodity, the energy return on investment (EROI) underpins all societal functions, and is a major determinant of economic status and the potential of any development scenario. In addition to a summary of the various approaches that have been used to derive EROI, this book will review existing studies as applied to various energy sources, including, where possible, time series analysis. Particularly new is an assessment of some 76 countries with respect to the relation of various energy indices to a number of well-accepted indices of social well-being. The book concludes with policy recommendations as governments and development agencies attempt to wrestle with changing quantity and quality of energy available globally and the resulting economic impacts. Energy Return on Investment is required reading for: Energy analysts and technologists Economists and others who want a better understanding of the ubiquitous role of energy in society National and regional level decision-makers who are concerned with how to generate effective development in a changing world National and International companies working in developing countries Urban and Regional Planners. The report contained herein was commissioned by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) and developed by the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF).
This report provides a methodology and requisite data to assess the potential Energy Return On Investment (EROI) for nuclear fuel cycle alternatives, and applies that methodology to a limited set of used fuel recycle scenarios. This paper is based on a study by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and a parallel evaluation by AREVA Federal Services LLC, both of which were sponsored by the DOE Fuel Cycle Technologies (FCT) Program. The focus of the LLNL effort was to develop a methodology that can be used by the FCT program for such analysis that is consistent with the broader energy modeling community, and the focus of the AREVA effort was to bring industrial experience and operational data into the analysis. This cooperative effort successfully combined expertise from the energy modeling community with expertise from the nuclear industry. Energy Return on Investment is one of many figures of merit on which investment in a new energy facility or process may be judged. EROI is the ratio of the energy delivered by a facility divided by the energy used to construct, operate and decommission that facility. While EROI is not the only criterion used to make an investment decision, it has been shown that, in technologically advanced societies, energy supplies must exceed a minimum EROI. Furthermore, technological history shows a trend towards higher EROI energy supplies. EROI calculations have been performed for many components of energy technology: oil wells, wind turbines, photovoltaic modules, biofuels, and nuclear reactors. This report represents the first standalone EROI analysis of nuclear fuel reprocessing (or recycling) facilities.
Comparison of Return on Investment ROI and Energy Return on Investment EROI for Optimization of Electricity Generation in Alberta
This research examines the importance of energy return on investment (EROI) as a useful metric for assessing long-term viability of energy-dependent systems. Here, focuses on the methods, applications, and analyses for determining EROI for solar power and solar energy technologies.
The project provides an updated Energy Return on Investment (EROI) for Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS). Results incorporate Argonne National Laboratory's Life Cycle Assessment and base case assumptions consistent with other projects in the Analysis subprogram. EROI is a ratio of the energy delivered to the consumer to the energy consumed to build, operate, and decommission the facility. EROI is important in assessing the viability of energy alternatives. Currently EROI analyses of geothermal energy are either out-of-date, of uncertain methodology, or presented online with little supporting documentation. This data set is a collection of files documenting data used to calculate the Energy Return On Investment (EROI) of Engineered Geothermal Systems (EGS) and erratum to publications prior to the final report. Final report is available from the OSTI web site (http://www.osti.gov/geothermal/). Data in this collections includes the well designs used, input parameters for GETEM, a discussion of the energy needed to haul materials to the drill site, the baseline mud program, and a summary of the energy needed to drill each of the well designs. EROI is the ratio of the energy delivered to the customer to the energy consumed to construct, operate, and decommission the facility. Whereas efficiency is the ratio of the energy delivered to the customer to the energy extracted from the reservoir.
Energy Return on Investment EROI of Different Wood Products
Energy cannot be produced without consumption of some part of the energy, and the proportions in which this occurs are a key indicator of the efficiency of the production process. Energy return on investment (EROI) of energy production shows the relationship between obtained and invested energy in the production process. This relationship is a key factor in sustainable global energy supply. Wood chips and one-metre firewood are used to produce thermal energy. Amount of energy obtained by burning depends on the moisture content and the features of the energy plant. This chapter deals with the issue of the amount of energy required to produce in the process of wood chips and one-metre firewood production and its transport to the heating plant. When calculating the energy balance, it is important to include as many input parameters as possible (parameters of energy consumption), which represents an almost impossible task because one parameter directly binds several others. According to several authors, the relationship between obtained and invested energy or EROI for energy wood is 30:1 which is a better ratio than the production of oil, for which relationship between obtained and invested energy is about 20:1. The results of study show that most of the energy during the production and supply of energy wood products from final felling of oak stands is used for fuel for machinery and vehicles in the production process. Ultimately, the relationship between obtained and invested energy is approximately 25:1 in the case of moisture content in the wood chips in the limit (market) value of 35% and the mean distance truck transportation of wood chips of 50 km. The relationship of obtained and invested energy used for one-metre firewood is bigger than 25:1 because of less invested energy which does not include machines like wood chipper. This is a satisfactory relationship, but it decreases with a greater transport distance. Such is the case when chips manufactured in Croatia, due to the lack of heat plants, are transported over long distances to neighbouring countries.