CUED Publications database

The Need for Robust, Consistent Methods in Societal Exergy Accounting

Sousa, T and Brockway, PE and Cullen, JM and Henriques, ST and Miller, J and Serrenho, AC and Domingos, T (2017) The Need for Robust, Consistent Methods in Societal Exergy Accounting. Ecological Economics, 141. pp. 11-21.

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© 2017 The AuthorsStudies of societal exergy use have the common aim of tracing the flow of exergy along society, and are used to gain insights into the efficiency of energy use and linkages to economic growth. However, their methodological approaches vary greatly, with significant impacts on results. Therefore, we make a review of past studies to identify, synthesize and discuss methodological differences, to contribute to a more consistent and robust approach to societal exergy accounting. Issues that should be taken into account when making methodological options are discussed and key insights are presented: (1) For mapping of primary inputs and useful exergy categories, the inclusion of all natural resources is more consistent but it has the cost of not being able to distinguish the various energy end-uses in the production of materials. (2) To estimate primary electricity, none of the methods currently used is able to capture simultaneously the efficiency of the renewable energy sector, the environmental impact and the efficiency of energy use in society. (3) To estimate final-to-useful exergy conversion efficiencies, standard thermodynamic definitions should be used because the use of proxies fails to distinguish between increases in exergy efficiency and increases in the efficiency of providing energy services.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Div E > Sustainable Manufacturing
Div A > Energy
Div D > Structures
Depositing User: Cron Job
Date Deposited: 17 Jul 2017 19:08
Last Modified: 08 Apr 2021 05:57
DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2017.05.020