* To establish feasibility, it is necessary to include some items in the energy invested term that are normally not thought of as investments. For example, the cost of sequestering such carbon dioxide as will be produced by the energy technology under investigation should be added to the energy invested term because feasibility requires that our society be sustainable (until astronomical events intervene). In this thought experiment, the support of an alternative energy technology would be the sole concern of every citizen.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Time Dependency in Net Energy Analysis

I need to add a comment here about time dependencies.  Since the prices of energy products and, perforce, the Energy over GDP ratios vary from moment to moment, ERoEI* is time dependent as well.  This is not a defect since what will work at one time may not work at another and any analysis worth doing must reflect this.  One hopes only that things change relatively slowly and that the margin of feasibility (if it is ever achieved) is sufficiently wide to accommodate reasonably slow change.  In most cases, time averages over ordinary fiscal periods are good enough for policy makers.  The most encouraging fact of all is NOT that the economic system cannot be changed – clearly it can as it is mostly incorporeal – but that, by replacing the market with efficient and honest economic planning, two-thirds or more of the energy budget can be eliminated without any diminution whatever in the standard of living per capita, which, of course, ought to be the same for every person who does not violate the fundamental principles of sustainability, e.g., to reproduce himself only or not to reproduce.  On what basis could any other distribution be justified?

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