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A Net Energy-Based Analysis for a Climate-Constrained Sustainable Energy Transition

8 Pages Posted: 24 Mar 2015  

Sgouris Sgouridis

Masdar Institute

Ugo Bardi

University of Florence

Denes Csala

Masdar Institute of Science and Technology (MIST)

Date Written: March 23, 2015

Abstract

The transition from a fossil-based energy economy to one based on renewable energy is driven by the double challenge of climate change and resource depletion. Building a renewable energy infrastructure requires an upfront energy investment that subtracts from the net energy available to society. This investment is determined by the need to transition to renewable energy fast enough to stave off the worst consequences of climate change and, at the same time, maintain a sufficient net energy flow to sustain the world's economy and population. We show that a feasible transition pathway requires that the rate of investment in renewable energy should accelerate approximately by an order of magnitude if we are to stay within the range of IPCC recommendations.

Keywords: energy transition, energy metabolism, energy dynamics

Suggested Citation

Sgouridis, Sgouris and Bardi, Ugo and Csala, Denes, A Net Energy-Based Analysis for a Climate-Constrained Sustainable Energy Transition (March 23, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2583732 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2583732

Sgouris Sgouridis (Contact Author)

Masdar Institute ( email )

MASDAR
PO Box 54115
Abu Dhabi
United Arab Emirates

HOME PAGE: http://Www.ssgouridis.org

Ugo Bardi

University of Florence ( email )

Piazza di San Marco, 4
Florence, 50121
Italy

Denes Csala

Masdar Institute of Science and Technology (MIST) ( email )

MASDAR
PO Box 54115
Abu Dhabi
United Arab Emirates

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