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The Path to More Sustainable Energy Systems by Daniel M. Martínez, Ben W. Ebenhack

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Chapter 5

Petroleum and Other Energy Resource Limits

This chapter explores the role of resource limits on energy choices that will be made in a sustainable energy future.

5.1 Earth’s Energy Resource “Bank Account”

Let us follow a popular practice of likening our energy use to personal finances. If we are fortunate enough to have some financial savings as well as financial income, then the income would represent a continuing financial flux, while the savings would be comparable to financial reserves. If we live only on our income, our lifestyle is sustainable as long as the income lasts. If, however, we are spending our savings, they will eventually disappear, thus making our lifestyle less and less sustainable. There are times that it makes ...

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