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Monday, December 14, 2009


Energy Returned on Energy Invested (EROEI) and Energy Return on Invested (EROI) are equivalent terms. I sent the following to one of those virtual discussion forums:

Dear XXXy:

Yes, we do need to consider more than pure EROEI (which is, incidentally, used interchangeably with EROI--go to The Oil Drum), but here is a table which shows that renewable energy is, indeed, greater 1.0 (you need to look far to the left for them):

Note that windpower is slightly better than domestic oil today, on the order of imported oil, and quite a bit above "minimum required for civilization?" But is that 0:1 really 1:1? Plus, if there is no global warming, coal certainly looks attractive. Geothermal energy is about the same as wind energy (scroll down that Oil Drum article).

Here is another one:

The key numbers are on the x-axis. Note where nuclear is located. But all the above is from The Oil Drum. Here is another comparative analysis from the Encyclopedia of Earth:
Figure 3: EROI of various electric power generators.
What happened to coal? Anyway, EROEI numbers vary quite a bit and the field remains in transition. But the bottom line is that wind power and geothermal look okay, solar technologies seem almost marginal and biofuels look terrible, with, maybe, marine algae plus genetic engineering worthy of more research.



The Dow Jones Industrials jumped to a 14 month high today, up 30 to 10,501, while world markets were all positive, except for Japan. Gold increased $11/toz to $1127 as the dollar weakened, and oil remained just below $70/barrel.

Tropical Cyclone Mick struck Fiji over the weekend as a Category 2 storm, has weakened to 65 MPH, and is moving northwest. There are three storms in the Indian Ocean. Tropical Cyclone Laurence at 65 MPH, is skirting the northwest coastline of Australia, closing oil production facilities in the Timor Sea. Tropical Cyclone Ward at 35 MPH is over Sri Lanka (Ceylon, if you missed the change in 1972) and weakening. The third storm is going nowhere.



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