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EROI: definition, history and future implications

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EROI: definition, history and future implications – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: EROI: definition, history and future implications


1
EROI definition, history and future implications
  • Charles A. S. Hall
  • State University of New York
  • College of Environmental Science and Forestry
  • Syracuse, N.Y.
  • Cutler J. Cleveland
  • Director, Center for Energy and the Environment
  • Boston University
  • Boston, Mass.
  • Presented at ASPO -US conference
  • Denver November 10, 2005

2
I. DEFINITION of EROI (Sometimes EROEI)
  • Energy return on investment for an activity
  • Energy delivered to society
  • EROI __________________________
  • Energy put into that activity
  • Usually consider energy invested from society

3
  • We believe EROI will be one of the most important
    defining issues of the future
  • Its importance has been submerged by the
    (inappropriate in our view) increasing dominance
    of economic cost-benefit analysis

4
II. SOME HISTORY
  • I am an ecologist, fascinated by energy and
    natural selection
  • A predator, such as a trout or cheetah, cannot
    expend more energy in chasing prey than it gets
    from that prey
  • (And it must also pay for its own repair,
    depreciation, replacement and RD)

5
  • To my knowledge EROI idea was first formally put
    forth in my PhD dissertation for fish migration
  • Idea was implicit in writings of Kenneth
    Boulding, H.T. Odum, others

6
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7
We used Yield per Effort concepts from
fisheries..
8
For the past three years the expenditures to look
for oil have been greater than the dollar
returns!
NY Times Oct 10, 04
Hall Cleveland 1981 Science
9
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10
US Oil Field Size
11
  • We and our students/colleagues undertook other
    such EROI analyses

12
THE ECONOMISTS ARGUMENT
  • Technology will overcome depletion

THE GEOLOGISTS ARGUMENT
Depletion is real and will overwhelm
technology Who is right??
13
  • For oil it is clearly depletion
  • In 1930 U.S. got 100 barrels of oil back for
    each barrel invested in seeking it
  • (EROI 1001)
  • In 1970 about 25 for 1
  • In 1990s about 11 to 18 for one
  • Much less for finding new oil (EROI 31??)

14
WHY? Best First Principle
  • Humans use high quality, low cost resources
    before low quality, high cost resources
  • Best-to-worst ordering of resource exploitation

15
  • The energy cost of getting the next barrel is
    going way up

16
III. MEASURING EROI SOME IMPORTANT ISSUES
  • Data quantity and quality
  • (Can you help us?)
  • Energy Quality
  • Boundaries
  • Support

17
  • 1) Data U.S. Bureau of Commerce,
  • Wood Mackenzie, John S. Herold
  • 2) Quality of energy in or out
  • Putting in one unit of electricity
    to
  • generate three units of heat does
  • not make sense 3) Boundaries
    key issue. How far do
  • we extend boundaries of analysis?
  • Are there correct boundaries? (no)

18
??
19
How much of Katrinas cost was due to oil
exploitation in S. Louisiana?
20
Support
  • Here are the greatest names in Energy Research in
    my opinion
  • Cutler Cleveland
  • Robert Kaufmann
  • Robert Herendeen
  • Robert Ayres
  • Colin Campbell
  • Jean Leherrere

21
  • The total they received for undertaking their
    energy cost research from governmental,
    industry or private sources?
  • Until last week 800.00

22
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23
EROI will strongly influence
  • Net economic growth
  • Cost of government i.e. school bus fuel
  • Ability to pay back international debts
  • Ability of conventional economic models to work
  • Value of pensions

24
EROI of US will be affected strongly by
  • Prices of imported fuels vs exported grains,
    Boeing planes, Hollywood stuff
  • Need for liquid fuels
  • Need for backup/storage of e.g. solar
  • Technology role is not clear

25
  • We are setting up new institutes and a consortium
    at ESF and Boston University (etc) to study EROI
    and other aspects of energy futures.

26
THE END
Thanks to the Santa Barbara Family Foundation
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