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Posts tagged “energy return”

By Robert Rapier on Feb 23, 2016 with 27 responses

A Critical Review of the 2015 Energy Balance for Corn Ethanol

The USDA recently updated the numbers on the energy balance of corn ethanol in 2015 Energy Balance for the Corn-Ethanol Industry. Today returning guest Todd “Ike” Kiefer scrutinizes the numbers in the report and he raises some critical questions about the data and methodology.

Previously Mr. Kiefer wrote an article critical of the Navy’s efforts to promote biofuels in a periodical that is sent to Congress and top military leaders. The article was entitled Energy Insecurity: The False Promise of Liquid Biofuels (discussed here). He also wrote a guest article here in the past called EPA’s Sleight of Hand on Cellulosic Fuel Rule Change. His biography can be found at the end of the article.

I would remind readers that while I may agree with much, if not most of what Mr. Kiefer writes, these are his opinions. I have not taken a close look at this USDA paper myself, so it is possible that we could have a difference of opinion on some element(s) of the analysis. I don’t know that to be the case, but until I read the paper myself I offer up that caveat. CONTINUE»

By Robert Rapier on Dec 9, 2013 with 19 responses

The Cost of Production and Energy Return of Oil Sands

Introduction

Today’s article continues the series covering my recent trip to the Athabasca oil sands around Fort McMurray, Alberta. This is an annual trip that the Canadian government hosts for energy journalists, and expenses for the trip were paid for by the Canadian government.

Previous articles in this series include:

Today I want to discuss in more detail the two companies that we visited on this trip: Canadian Natural Resources Limited (NYSE: CNQ, TSE: CNQ) and Cenovus Energy (NYSE: CVE, TSE: CVE). I will detail the cost of oil sands production via the different methods these companies utilize, as well as the energy return on energy invested (EROEI) of extracting the bitumen. CONTINUE»

By Robert Rapier on Dec 22, 2011 with 39 responses

R-Squared Energy TV: Episode 6 – EROEI Explained

In this week’s episode of R-Squared Energy TV I present the first of several mini-presentations on energy topics of interest. The presentations will be short, 5 to 8 minute presentations with 3 to 5 slides each. This week’s presentation is on Energy Return on Energy Invested (EROEI). I believe there are a lot of misunderstandings from both proponents and opponents of EROEI methodology, and I attempt to clear up some of the misconceptions. Some of the questions answered are: What exactly is EROEI? Where might it be useful, and where might it possibly provide misleading answers? What are the societal implications of a declining EROEI? When is a lower EROEI process better than a higher EROEI process? What does EROEI… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Jul 7, 2010 with 63 responses

Fun with Numbers: The New USDA Report on Corn Ethanol

The EROEI of Ethanol Over the past decade, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has published several papers in which they investigated the energy return of corn ethanol. The energy return on energy invested (EROEI) is simply the value of the energy outputs for a process divided by the energy inputs into the process. In simple terms, if a process required 1 BTU of energy to produce 2 BTUs of ethanol, the EROEI is 2. However, in reality it is somewhat more complex than that. The way the energy inputs and outputs are allocated can have a very big influence on the answer. Just by changing the nature of the allocation – as I will show below – you… Continue»