Overview and Empiric Results for Gotland
At the very beginning of the project, a primary goal of the Gotland study was to piece together in a quantifiable way the intricate flows of energy associated with both human and natural systems. This emphasis was, perhaps, made more immediate in the middle of the 1970s following the 1973 oil embargo and the turbulence of the world energy picture in terms of oil disruptions, shortages, and price increases. However, this is not to say that the Gotland project was limited to an “energy” study; rather, the roots of our approach were derived from systems ecology, which is a framework that led naturally to an integrated representation of the region in terms of resource (with the emphasis on energy), economic, environmental, historic and cultural considerations. The unique approach of the study was its emphasis on the interaction of various aspects of the region and, in particular, the coupling that existed between human activity and the natural environment. Empiric testing of energy theories of development and organization of systems, such as those proposed by H.T. Odum, was also an important goal. Research focused on the island of Gotland in the Baltic Sea for several reasons. As mentioned in Chapter 1, island systems are of interest because of their special characteristics. Gotland was heavily dependent on external sources of energy and, therefore, could serve as a representative study site for other regions in similar situations. Being an island, it also had well defined boundaries, which facilitated the collection of inflow and outflow data.
KeywordsEnergy Cost Total Energy Consumption Direct Energy Renewable Energy Technology Gross Regional Product
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