University of Leeds study shows energy ROI for fossil fuels diminishing quickly : Biofuels Digest

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In the UK, a new study, co-authored by scientists from the Sustainability Research Institute at the University of Leeds, has calculated the EROI for fossil fuels over a 16 year period and found that at the finished fuel stage, the ratios are much closer to those of renewable energy sources – roughly 6:1, and potentially as low as 3:1 in the case of electricity.

The study, undertaken as part of the UK Energy Research Center program and published in Nature Energy, warns that the increasing energy costs of extracting fossil fuels will cause the ratios to continue to decline, pushing energy resources towards a “net energy cliff”. This is when net energy available to society declines rapidly due to the increasing amounts of “parasitical” energy required in the energy production.

The researchers emphasize that these findings make a strong case for rapidly stepping up investment in renewable energy sources and that the renewables transition may actually halt – or reverse – the decline in global EROI at the finished fuel stage.

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