Direct-energy energy return on investment and carbon cost shares for selected countries and the world 1960-2010
Donovan, Alyssa Kathleen
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In this thesis I focus on EROI[subscript direct] and carbon cost shares supplemented to global energy cost shares. This thesis builds off the work done by Maxwell (2013) and King (2015-submitted) in analyzing the potential for contemporary energy sources and carbon expenditures to reach some threshold value that acts as a constraint towards continued global economic growth. I calculate two metrics EROI[subscript direct] and the carbon cost share from data for 44 countries and an associated 44-country 'global' aggregate for 1960-2010. I additionally calculate projected estimates for carbon cost shares for 2015-2050. I compare our results to historical EROI[subscript direct+indirect] values for global energy sources, historical values for global energy cost shares, and estimations for expenditures for risk-aversion climate payments and abatement policies. I argue (1) that recent history suggests an increasing importance of indirect inputs re: efficiency of energy and (2) that carbon costs are relevant to the discussion of economic growth thresholds and hold the potential for a significant fraction (~1-4%) of global GDP until 2050.