Term: Embodied energy

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**History and Methodologies:**
– Origins of energy flow accounting trace back to Physiocrats substance theory of value.
– Sergei Podolinsky and Vladmir Stanchinsky are associated with embodied energy.
– Leontiefs input-output model led to Input-Output Embodied Energy analysis.
– Adaptation of neo-classical theory of general equilibrium for embodied energy analysis.
– Hannon adapted Leontiefs method for ecosystem energy flows.
– Various methodologies calculate energy in products using different data scales.
– Lack of a global dynamic database results in a wide range of embodied energy values.
– Omissions in data can cause significant methodological errors.
– Embodied energy error calibration is essential for sustainability index.

**Standards and Related Methodologies:**
– SBTool and USA LEED rate products based on embodied energy.
– Lack of absolute universal values agreed upon due to many variables.
– Products can be compared based on embodied energy.
– Typical units used are MJ/kg and tCO.
– Conversion between MJ and tCO depends on energy type.
– Drought conditions in Australia led to interest in embodied energy analysis for water.
– Concept of embodied water emerged.

**Data and Common Materials:**
– Various databases exist for quantifying embodied energy of goods and services.
– Environmental Performance in Construction (EPiC) Database includes over 250 construction materials.
– Bottom-up process data is more reliable but excludes much embodied energy.
– Hybrid methods combining process data and EEIO data provide a more comprehensive assessment.
– Selected data from the Inventory of Carbon and Energy (ICE) prepared by the University of Bath for materials like concrete, steel, timber, and insulation.

**Transportation, Automobiles, and Buildings:**
– Embodied energy in transportation includes energy used for material extraction, manufacturing, assembly, transport, maintenance, and recycling.
– Transportation expenditures consume more embodied energy than direct energy.
– Embodied energy in a Volkswagen Golf A3 car is 18,000 kWh.
– Electric vehicles have higher embodied energy due to batteries and electronics.
– Approximately 30% of a building’s lifetime energy consumption is embodied energy.
– Operational emissions have led to an increased focus on embodied energy in buildings.

**Energy Field and Data Processing:**
– EROEI is essential for evaluating embodied energy in the energy field.
– Embodied energy due to power plant construction and maintenance must be considered.
– Embodied energy related to digital services in France was 3.5 TWh/a for networks.
– Data centers accounted for 10.0 TWh/a of embodied energy in 2015.
– The digital energy footprint is growing at 9% annually.

Embodied energy (Wikipedia)

Embodied energy is the sum of all the energy required to produce any goods or services, considered as if that energy were incorporated or 'embodied' in the product itself. The concept can be useful in determining the effectiveness of energy-producing or energy saving devices, or the "real" replacement cost of a building, and, because energy-inputs usually entail greenhouse gas emissions, in deciding whether a product contributes to or mitigates global warming. One fundamental purpose for measuring this quantity is to compare the amount of energy produced or saved by the product in question to the amount of energy consumed in producing it.

Embodied energy is an accounting method which aims to find the sum total of the energy necessary for an entire product lifecycle. Determining what constitutes this lifecycle includes assessing the relevance and extent of energy into raw material extraction, transport, manufacture, assembly, installation, disassembly, deconstruction and/or decomposition as well as human and secondary resources.

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