James Conca at Fortune looks at Energy Returned on Investment or EROI. EROI was an early concept that easily demonstrated the advantages, as well as the investment needed, to exploit these new energy sources (The Encyclopedia of Earth). Also referred to as Energy Returned on Energy Invested (EROEI), EROI is the ratio of energy returned to energy invested in that energy source, along its entire life-cycle.* When the number is large, energy from that source is easy to get and cheap. However, when the number is small, the energy from that source is difficult to get and expensive.
When the number is one, there is no return on the energy invested, and the entire investment has been wasted. The break-even number for fueling our modern society is about 7.
Energy Returned on Investment, or EROI, with and without energy storage (buffering or load following). CCGT is combined-cycle natural gas turbine. Nuclear is conventional Pressurized Water Reactors, fast reactors are several times higher. Solar CSP is concentrated solar (á la Ivanpah), solar PV is photovoltaic solar cells like on rooftop solar. Energy sources must exceed the economic threshold of about 7 (blue line) in order to yield the surplus energy required to support a modern society. EROI is similar to Energy Returned on Energy Invested (EROEI). After Weißbach (2013)
Atomic Insights describes a new reactor design from the University of Berkeley. The Pebble Bed Fluoride Salt Cooled High Temperature Reactor (PB-FHR) is a primary research focus.
Nextbigfuture – Japanese Regulator Approves Takahama Restart, and Russia Inks Egyptian Memorandum of Understanding: The NRA has approved the restart of two units at the Takahama NPP in Japan. Also, Russian concerns have signed an MOU with Egypt to build a nuclear power station at Dabaa.
Nextbigfuture – US DOE to help China, Canada with MSR: Mark Halper reports at Fortune that the US Dep’t. of Energy has plans to sign a ten-year collaborative agreement with China to ensure that at least one molten salt reactor gets built within the next decade. A separate DOE deal focuses on a Canadian private firm.
Nextbigfuture – China leverages reserves to finance infrastructure, including nuclear exports: China is leveraging its enormous $4 trillion of reserves to finance high-speed rail, factories, property development… and the export of its indigenous nuclear energy. China is offering to “fill the world’s infrastructure gap.”
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
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