As sustainability gains traction around globe, in society at large, well as in the business community, the demand for courses and programs focused on sustainability and social responsibility has increased dramatically; and business schools are stepping up to the plate. The Aspen Institute recently released the 2009-2010 edition of Beyond Grey Pinstripes, a biennial survey and popular alternative ranking of full-time MBA programs that integrate sustainability and social responsibility into the curriculum.This year, 149 business schools from 24 countries participated in the survey, up from 111 schools in 18 countries.
In a presentation before national policymakers and analysts recently, leading clean energy venture capitalists, academics and CEOs unveiled the “Gigaton Throwdown,” an assessment of the nation’s clean energy potential that identifies seven industries capable of creating 5 million clean energy jobs and reducing CO2 emissions by 5-7 gigatons by 2020. The report, a collaborative effort between leading researchers at UC Berkeley, MIT, University of Michigan, Stanford, and Drexel University, and clean tech leaders, challenges Washington policymakers to remove obstacles that keep billions of capital investment dollars sitting on the sidelines.
Energy Returned on Energy Invested (ERoEI) – also sometimes referred to as EROI — is a key energy accounting metric that measures the net usable energy that can be obtained from some potential energy source after all of the various energy costs necessary to produce usable energy from the potential energy source have been subtracted from the estimated life time energy production of the potential source.
It is rapidly becoming a rather widely quoted statistic, but remains poorly understood by many people who are starting to use it or are becoming exposed to it for the first time. ERoEI is deceptively simple and seems very straightforward, but it masks a complex underlying computation that is subject to some important and arbitrary decisions. These underlying assumptions and boundary decisions have profound effects on the resulting ERoEI figure. For this reason, if for no other, it is important that as wide an audience as possible become more educated about what ERoEI means and how the many assumptions that go into a particular ERoEI calculation can lead to significantly different ERoEI figures for the same energy system.