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Implications of Energy Return on Energy Invested on Future Total Energy Demand

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Author Info

  • Shinuo Deng

    (Center for Energy Research and Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering UCSD, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA)

  • George R. Tynan

    ()
    (Center for Energy Research and Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering UCSD, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA)

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    Abstract

    Human society is now at the beginning of a transition from fossil-fuel based primary energy sources to a mixture of renewable and nuclear based energy sources which have a lower Energy Return On Energy Invested (EROEI) than the older fossil based sources. This paper examines the evolution of total energy demand during this transition for a highly idealized energy economy. A simple model is introduced in which the net useful energy output required to operate an economy is assumed to remain fixed while the lower EROEI source gradually replaces the older higher EROEI primary energy source following a logistics substitution model. The results show that, for fixed net useful energy output, total energy demand increases as the ratio EROEI new /EROEI old decreases; total energy demand diverges as EROEI new approaches unity, indicating that the system must collapse in this limit.

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    File URL: http://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/3/12/2433/pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by MDPI, Open Access Journal in its journal Sustainability.

    Volume (Year): 3 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 12 (December)
    Pages: 2433-2442

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    Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:3:y:2011:i:12:p:2433-2442:d:15199

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    Related research

    Keywords: EROEI; energy demand; total energy demand;

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    1. Grubler, Arnulf & Nakicenovic, Nebojsa & Victor, David G., 1999. "Dynamics of energy technologies and global change," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 247-280, May.
    2. Coppola, L. & Marschoff, C.M., 1993. "Technology substitution in the energy market: A one-to-one competition approach," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 273-280.
    3. Riahi, Keywan & Rubin, Edward S. & Taylor, Margaret R. & Schrattenholzer, Leo & Hounshell, David, 2004. "Technological learning for carbon capture and sequestration technologies," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 539-564, July.
    4. Lund, P.D., 2010. "Exploring past energy changes and their implications for the pace of penetration of new energy technologies," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 647-656.
    5. Kwasnicki, Witold & Kwasnicka, Halina, 1995. "Long-term diffusion factors of technological development - an evolutionary model and case study," MPRA Paper 22262, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Reddy, Amulya K.N. & Reddy, B.Sudhakara, 1994. "Substitution of energy carriers for cooking in Bangalore," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 19(5), pages 561-571.
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