Talk:Energy returned on energy invested

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I have been working on some additions to this article for a wikipedia college course and was thinking about changing the introduction slightly. I have just done a research project on this topic and I think how it is introduced could be simpler for a person who might not know much about the energy subject area. A lot of the article is very technical and hard to digest for a person who might not have heard of EROEI before. I don't want to step on any toes but am trying to keep the technical integrity while also making the information more accessible. The rank of this article on suggests that it is harder to read than 66% of wikipedia articles. AmsNU2015 (talk) 14:18, 17 November 2015 (UTC)

Be bold! If you know how to make the article essentially better, be convinced that it must be done. However if you are still unsure, just show the improved introduction right here, and we may discuss about it. It is good that at least some editors care about readability of articles. ——Nikolas Ojala (talk) 21:10, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for the encouragement! I added a section (called additional EROEI calculations), added a few sources and tried my best to reconfigure some trickily worded sentences. Through doing this though I saw that the low carbon power section seems like a summary of a scientific article. The information is beyond my comprehension but if anybody knows what that section is talking about it would be fantastic if they could synthisize it to be more like an encyclopedia article and less of a summary of the article's findings. AmsNU2015 (talk) 14:56, 23 November 2015 (UTC)

Topics needing coverage[edit]

  • Methodology
    I think I have seen someone use the term energy accounting to mean measurement and disclosure of information that is useful in making energy resource allocation decisions. EROEI is a term that seem to be analogous to the accounting term ROI (return on investment). It seems to me that a methodology for determining EROEI should be somewhat similar to ROI accounting methods.
  • Another energy accounting issue
    It is also important to know the complete energy usage required to perform a given task in a given way. For instance how much energy does it take to boil a liter of water on an electric stove as compared to a gas stove. That is similar to EROEI for energy delivered to the pan of water.
  • EROEI report
    Using accounting-like methodology, EROEI would not be presented as a bottom-line number but would include some kind of detailed "income statement."
  • References (I added one)

C J Cowie

It is not clear where the figures in the table come from, could someone add a clearer reference/clearer references? While the figures share similarity with those from the Murphy & Hall 2010 graph above, there are obviously some differences. Any clarification appreciated. Sunshinemachines (talk) 23:54, 8 July 2013 (UTC)

Problems with the Charles Hall and Murphy table[edit]

I recently had to delete some vandalism on the page, although it was clearly vandalism, the document the vandal included does bring up some important points about Solar's EROEI. I also find the graph of EROEI misleading in relation to Nuclear fission, as in the US uranium is now primarily enriched via centrifuge enrichment technology and not the older and more energy intensive gaseous diffusion enrichment, which is pretty much being entirely phased out in the US for the less energy intensive enrichment technologies, moreover the rest of the world has been using centrifuge enrichment for decades now.
This was the Solar document the vandal included, which deserves a read -
Here is information on the drasticly different energy requirements and differences in general between the old and modern enrichment technologies, comparing diffusion enrichment and the centrifuge method, taken from a -Federation of American Scientists document. - The throughput per centrifuge unit is very small compared to that of a diffusion unit so small, in fact, that it is not compensated by the higher enrichment per unit. To produce the same amount of reactor-grade fuel requires a considerably larger number (approximately 50,000 to 500,000] of centrifuge units than diffusion units. This disadvantage, however, is outweighed by the considerably lower (by a factor of 20) energy consumption per SWU for the gas centrifuge. SWU stands for Separative work unit, Here's the document
Boundarylayer (talk) 00:19, 10 April 2013 (UTC)

This data from Hall is very much out of date. The last diffusion plant closed in 2013. Today (2014) all capacity is centrifuge which has a life cycle (including energy to make the equipment) energy consumption of about 60 kWh/SWU versus diffusion of >2400 kWh/SWU. 40x lower lifecycle consumption than diffusion... Actual lifecycle analysis from real plants with real data shows EROEI of about 75 (eg Forsmark plant Environmental Product Declaration). Further improvements would be gained with more modern higher burnup plants...

It goes without saying that any EROEI estimate that assumes any amount of diffusion enrichment is out of date. Today is 100% centrifuge... Siphon06 (talk) 09:25, 1 October 2014 (UTC)

A further problem with that table is that two fundamentally different categories of energy carriers, namely (i) actual fuels (e.g. coal, oil, etc.) and (ii) electricity (wind, nuclear, photovoltaic, etc.) are listed together. However, producing electricity out of the listed fuels entails further energy investments (to build and operate the power plant) and losses (thermal-to-electrical energy conversion, governed by the 2nd law of thermodynamics). Therefore, it would be more meaningful to present two separate comparison tables, i.e. (1) for the actual fuels only (coal, oil, gas, etc.), and (2) for the various ways of producing electricity (wind, nuclear, photovoltaics, AND electricity from coal, electricity from oil, electricity from gas, etc.). — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:56, 2 October 2014 (UTC)

Wikitable EROEI - energy sources in 2013[edit]

EROEI energy sources in 2013
3.5 Biomass (corn)
3.9 Solar PV (Germany)
16 Wind (E-66 turbine)
19 Solar thermal CSP (desert)
28 fossil gas in a CCGT
30 Coal
49 Hydro (medium sized dam)
75 Nuclear (in a PWR)

Wikitable EROEI - energy sources in 2013 is not sourced. Does any of the nine citations in section Energy returned on energy invested#Low carbon power contain these figures? For now, a "citation needed"-tag is appropriate. -- Rfassbind (talk) 03:00, 1 November 2014 (UTC)

Table removed 04-Nov-2014. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:56, 4 November 2014 (UTC)
The table was sourced in 1 Nov, with the reference in the article text right beside the table. For you two who are feigning the inability to find the reference supporting it, I put it right bang smack within the table for you PRIOR to its removal by the above IP user on 04-Nov-2014. Remove this again and I'll take or whomever else to the dispute resolution board.
According to a transatlantic collaborative research study by 6 analysts led by D. Weißbach, and peer reviewed in a 2013 issue of the journal Energy, the uncorrected for their intermittency("unbuffered") EROEI for each energy source analyzed is as depicted in the attached table,[2][3] while the buffered(corrected for their intermittency) EROEI stated in the paper for all low carbon power sources, with the exception of nuclear and biomass, were yet lower still. As when corrected for their weather intermittency/"buffered", the EROEI figures for intermittent energy sources as stated in the paper is diminished - with the magnitude of the reduction of EROEI dependent on how reliant they are on back up energy sources.[4][5] -- (talk) 08:10, 9 November 2014 (UTC)
Here's the PDF of the mentioned Weißbach-publication (archived). This publication has been openly criticized for its methodology. The EROEI figures for solar PV can be found on page 13 and 14. It says that the result corresponds to an energy payback time (EPBT) of six years. In addition, the publication by D. Weißbach et al. also claims that the results are "all in good agreement" with other cited studies. However, these studies are 6 to 14 years old and most likely outdated. When reading the PV-section of the study, one clearly gets the impression, the author held strong opinions about photovoltaics even before selecting the data and designing the methodology for his calculation.
Less controversial sources do not agree with an EPBT-figure of six years. Both, a NREL publication from the year 2004 and a recent Fraunhofer ISE Photovoltaics Report (see page 30) show much lower figures.
In response to the above statement by an unregistered user: note, that it is good practice to add a citation to a wikitable, especially when the section contains many citations, and that may eventually get removed when the text is being edited. Finally the (quote) "Remove this again and I'll take or whomever else to the dispute resolution board." sounds very strange to me... -- Rfassbind (talk) 05:33, 13 November 2014 (UTC)
The publications authors, responded to all the nonsense criticism leveled at them in the Journal of Energy* as you well know as I included that claptrap in the article prior to your reverts. Secondly Rfassbind from your talk page and edit history one gets the impression that it is in fact YOU who hold "strong opinions about photovoltaic[s]" and not the trans-Atlantic team of scientists. Therefore I do not consider you to be an unbiased editor on this topic, considering your devotion to your favorite energy source. Thirdly, despite your filibustering, the EROI of ~3 for solar "PV in GERMANY" found in the peer-reviewed D. Weißbach et al paper, is perfectly in line with the most up to date figure expounded by IEEE researchers in 2014, that the EROEI of solar photovoltaic(PV) electricity is likely in the range 2.2 to 8.8.[6]
Here is the "criticism"* you brought up which I will include here for interested readers. I edited the article to include this "criticism" as a courtesy for those of you who believe that solar PV has EROEIs as high as conventional fossil fuels etc, this belief was expertly dispelled by D. Weißbach et al.
Although the methodological integrity of this paper was called into questioned by, Marco Raugei, in late 2013.[7] The authors of the initial paper responded to each of Raugei's concerns in 2014, and after analysis, each of Raugei's concerns were summarized as "not scientifically justified" and based on faulty EROEI understandings due to "politically motivated energy evaluations".[8] In 2012, a non-peer reviewed analysis of solar PV by Vasilis Fthenakis of Brookhaven National Laboratory, states that the EROEI is 60 for thin film solar in the USA Southwest based on First Solar's 11.9% efficient panels in 2009.[9] In 2012, Fthenakis co-authored another paper with the previously mentioned, Marco Raugei, which states that solar photovoltaic EROEI matches that of fossil fuels.[10]
As I conveyed to you all earlier, if this peer-reviewed paper and its table are removed again. I will be forced to bring this to the dispute resolution board. I await their reply. (talk) 00:05, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
For the record, the original paper by Weißbach et. al, as well as their later reply piece [1], have been rebutted again, this time by a transatlantic team of reputable researchers led by Dr. M. Raugei, and peer reviewed in a 2015 issue of the journal Energy [2]. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:41, 20 January 2015 (UTC)

Here is a direct link to the dispute resolution board. This is an interesting discussion and the topic (EROEI) is important. ––Nikolas Ojala (talk) 02:43, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
As I state in my detailed defense of the Weißbach et. al paper at the above linked dispute board, the - IP who in bold acknowledges deleting the Weißbach section, is in all probability Marco Raugei, as their IP when geolocated is from the very same "university" he gets paid by. Raugei would clearly have a high degree of vested interest in keeping out of the popular domain, that is wikipedia, a paper by his opponents and that his "criticism" of the Weißbach et al paper resulted in the Weißbach team expertly responding, and putting his "criticism" to bed over 6 months ago.[3]
Marco Raugei is based in Oxford Brookes University UK (not to be confused with the real Oxford Uni). The above IP user, who you can geolocate as from, you guessed it folks - Oxford Brookes University, first came in and essentially stated in the third person that the Weißbach paper is still "subject to scientific controversy" on 2 Oct 2014(a deceitful but not fatal move, as Raugei himself was responsible for stoking up most of the faux "controversy" about Weißbach et. al in the 1st place) but then for some reason Marco Raugei(our mystery IP user) came back over a month later on Nov 4 2014 and deleted the entire section on Weißbach!
Here's a third party source that corroborates that the team headed by Weißbach, expertly put down Raugei's attempt to criticize their paper So it's not just me who thinks so.

As you can imagine, this is a bit of a revelation, and I think further investigation by a wikipedia administrator is in order, particular to see if Rfassbind knew the IP user was Raugei WP:SOCK /sock puppet-ing. (talk) 13:29, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────The dispute resolution at the WP:DRN has been closed (archive) with the following rationale (quote) "After 16 days no DRN volunteer has accepted the case and not even the filing party has participated in several days." I hope this very disturbing interaction is now over. Please let me know on my talkpage in case the disputed content is reintroduced to the article. Thx & cheers, -- Rfassbind (talk) 01:13, 2 December 2014 (UTC)

The dispute resolution board may have failed in its duties but that does not mean that this clear case of conflict of interest(WP:COI) is by any means over. The recent IP editors* of this article page have again, exclusively promoted Marco Raugei related publications. Having analyzed their editing style, one determines it is still Raugei doing the editing. All he has done, after I outed him here earlier, is switch to using proxy IP's in Japan and the US. So not only is it WP:COI it is WP:SOCK.
An admin seriously needs to get involved in this farce.
Regardless what is the truth about conflict of interest and sockpuppetry, if you bring this case back to the Dispute Resolution Board, I would suggest to concentrate in the essential question. The other questions may be resolved after that. ——Nikolas Ojala (talk) 13:02, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
What a total joke that Raugei's vandalism - censoring his peers and then self-promotional advertisements, have been allowed to stay in the article as long as they have. (talk) 00:39, 4 December 2014 (UTC)


  1. ^ "Energy intensities, EROIs (energy returned on invested), and energy payback times of electricity generating power plants. Energy Volume 52, 1 April 2013, Pages 210–221". 
  2. ^ "Energy intensities, EROIs (energy returned on invested), and energy payback times of electricity generating power plants. Energy Volume 52, 1 April 2013, Pages 210–221". 
  3. ^ Dailykos - GETTING TO ZERO: Is renewable energy economically viable? by Keith Pickering MON JUL 08, 2013 AT 04:30 AM PDT.
  4. ^ "Energy intensities, EROIs (energy returned on invested), and energy payback times of electricity generating power plants. Energy Volume 52, 1 April 2013, Pages 210–221". 
  5. ^ Dailykos - GETTING TO ZERO: Is renewable energy economically viable? by Keith Pickering MON JUL 08, 2013 AT 04:30 AM PDT.
  6. ^ "Energy return on energy invested (eroi): a quintessential but possibly inadequate metric for sustainability in a solar-powered world?. Proceedings of IEEE Volume 102, Issue 8, 18 July 2014, Pages 1118–1122". 
  7. ^ "Comments on "Energy intensities, EROIs (energy returned on invested), and energy payback times of electricity generating power plants"—Making clear of quite some confusion. Energy Volume 59, 15 September 2013, Pages 781–782". 
  8. ^ "Reply on "Comments on 'Energy intensities, EROIs (energy returned on invested), and energy payback times of electricity generating power plants' – Making clear of quite some confusion" DOI: 10.1016/". 
  9. ^ "PV ENERGY ROI Tracks Efficiency Gains, by By Vasilis Fthenakis of Brookhaven National Laboratory, Solar Today 24 June 2012" (PDF). 
  10. ^ "The energy return on energy investment (EROI) of photovoltaics: Methodology and comparisons with fossil fuel life cycles, Marco Raugei, Pere Fullana-i-Palmer, Vasilis Fthenakis, Energy Policy Volume 45, June 2012, Pages 576–582".