Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Yes, but a fuel with EROEI < 1 that is not converting a less portable energy source into a more portable one is not viable.

It's entirely usual for energy vectors to have EROEI < 1 - electricity transmission does, heat transmission does, gas transmission does, and so on. The conversion to ethanol, and transportation to Sweden is just another energy vector with EROEI < 1. It's not great from an exergy perspective; but there may be other benefits, and it can easily be viable short term. (obviously, it can only be viable long-term if there's sustainable exergy going in at the top - but again, that's not an EROEI issue, it's a question of sustainable energy sources).

In this particular case, if ethanol results in lower local pollution, then it's not necessarily a bad deal. I mean, it may be a bad deal , but it may not be: they may just be trading off increases in a global pollutant (CO2) in exchange for decreases in local pollutants (PM10, PM2.5), which may be a sane trade-off for them. Worse than useless for mitigating global warming, but a benefit for local residents who get reduced exposure to particulates.

Again, EROEI is the wrong tool for the job: judging the merits of that trade-off would need an economic assessment of the relative damage costs.

by LondonAnalytics (Andrew Smith) on Sun Apr 1st, 2012 at 08:17:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Others have rated this comment as follows:

JakeS 4


Occasional Series