Summary of our book chapter
Is the Energy Return on Energy Investment (ERoEI) of renewable energy production technologies high enough for the energy transition to succeed?
This is one of the many questions addressed in this chapter that falls within the context of modeling the deployment of renewable energy production capacities in the scope of the energy transition. This problem is addressed from an energy point of view, i.e. the deployment of technologies is seen as an energy investment under the constraint that an initial budget of non-renewable energy is provided.
Using the Energy Return on Energy Investment (ERoEI) characteristics of technologies, we propose MODERN, a discrete-time formalization of the deployment of renewable energy production capacities. Besides showing the influence of the ERoEI parameter, the model also underlines the potential benefits of designing control strategies for optimizing the deployment of production capacities, and the necessity to increase energy efficiency.
Figure: Graph obtained when running MODERN with a “peak at time t=0” scenario. The depletion of fossil fuels may not be compensated by the growth of renewable energy production capacities with a too low ERoEI parameter (here, 9): in such a case, a too high fraction of the total available energy is required to maintain a set renewable energy capacities producing the same level of energy as of time t=0.