Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Call made for better metrics for energy savings

22.02.2010
MSU professor says EROI not enough

A Michigan State University professor says if the world is to make better decisions when it comes to developing new energy sources, it needs to have better methods of measuring progress toward its energy goals. Just how well are we doing at developing alternatives to fossil fuels?

Speaking at this year's meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Bruce Dale said that appropriate metrics are needed in order to gauge our progress toward energy security.

"The problem is, how do we develop metrics that are relatively straight forward, relatively easy to calculate?" said Dale, an MSU professor of chemical engineering and materials science. "If we get bogged down in complexity, we'll spend decades arguing about it while we continue to burn oil, coal and natural gas, and build up greenhouse gases."

One important and useful method of measurement is "energy return on energy invested," or EROI. This measures how much energy is used to actually produce a unit of energy.

"The EROI metric has significant value, but it alone is not enough," Dale said. "We also need to consider differences in energy quality, which EROI doesn't always address. Right now, the critical energy quality that we need is liquid fuel, fuels for the tank."

For example, some biofuels – liquid fuels made from plant products – have a good EROI, somewhere in the 15:1 range. That means for every 15 units of biofuel energy that is produced, one unit is used to produce that 15 units.

"However," said Dale, "if we are to enhance national energy security, we need to go beyond this. We should also consider critical materials that are required to pursue different energy alternatives, such as the availability of lithium for electric vehicles."

Dale's presentation, titled "Thinking Clearly About Energy," was part of a symposium titled "Consequences of Changes in Energy Return on Energy Invested."

For additional information on the AAAS meeting and other MSU presentations, go to http://special.news.msu.edu/aaas2010/

Tom Oswald | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.msu.edu

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht Linear potentiometer LRW2/3 - Maximum precision with many measuring points
17.05.2017 | WayCon Positionsmesstechnik GmbH

nachricht First flat lens for immersion microscope provides alternative to centuries-old technique
17.05.2017 | Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

All articles from Power and Electrical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can the immune system be boosted against Staphylococcus aureus by delivery of messenger RNA?

Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

First Juno science results supported by University of Leicester's Jupiter 'forecast'

26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>