Complex Systems Thinking and Renewable Energy Systems
- Mario GiampietroAffiliated withICREA Research Professor, Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (ICTA) Autonomous University of Barcelona
- , Kozo MayumiAffiliated withFaculty of IAS
This chapter is divided into three parts. Part 1 deals with theoretical issues reflecting systemic problems in energy analysis: (i) when dealing with complex dissipative systems no quantitative assessment of output/input energy ratio can be substantive; (ii) metabolic systems define “on their own”, what should be considered as useful work, converters, energy carriers, and primary energy sources; (iii) the well known trade-off between “power” (the pace of the throughput) and “efficiency” (the value of the output/input ratio). This makes it impossible to use just one number (an output/input ratio) for the analysis of complex metabolic systems. Part 2 introduces basic concepts related to Bioeconomics: (i) the rationale associated with the concept of EROI; (ii) the conceptual definition of a minimum threshold of energy throughput, determined by a combination of biophysical and socio-economic constraints. These two points entail that the energy sector of developed countries must be able to generate a huge net supply of energy carriers per hour of work and per ha of colonized land. Part 3 uses an integrated system of accounting (MuSIASEM approach) to check the viability of agro-biofuels. The “heart transplant” metaphor is proposed to check the feasibility and desirability of alternative energy sources using benchmark values: (i) what is expected according to societal characteristics; and (ii) what is supplied according to the energy system used to supply energy carriers. Finally, a section of conclusions tries to explain the widespread hoax of agro-biofuels in developed countries.
KeywordsBiofuels bioeconomics complex systems alternative energy sources renewable energy systems multi-scale integrated analysis of societal and ecosystem metabolism (MuSIASEM) EROI (Energy Return On Investment).
- Complex Systems Thinking and Renewable Energy Systems
- Book Title
- Biofuels, Solar and Wind as Renewable Energy Systems
- Book Subtitle
- Benefits and Risks
- pp 173-213
- Print ISBN
- Online ISBN
- Springer Netherlands
- Copyright Holder
- Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
- Additional Links
- complex systems
- alternative energy sources
- renewable energy systems
- multi-scale integrated analysis of societal and ecosystem metabolism (MuSIASEM)
- EROI (Energy Return On Investment).
- Industry Sectors
- eBook Packages
- David Pimentel (1)
- Editor Affiliations
- 1. College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell University
- Author Affiliations
- 2. ICREA Research Professor, Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (ICTA) Autonomous University of Barcelona, Building Q – ETSE - (ICTA), Campus of Bellaterra 08193, Cerdanyola del Vallès (Barcelona), Spain
- 3. Faculty of IAS, The University of Tokushima Minami-Josanjima 1–1, Tokushima City 770-8502, Japan
To view the rest of this content please follow the download PDF link above.