Class Year

2017

Date

11-28-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Distinguished Thesis

Yes

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Department or Program

Economics

Second Department or Program

Environmental Studies

First Advisor

Carolyn Tuttle

Second Advisor

Glenn Adelson

Third Advisor

Jeffrey Sundberg

Fourth Advisor

Christopher Todd Beer

Fifth Advisor

Brian McCammack

Abstract

The purpose of this thesis is to apply an under-utilized methodology from the branch of biophysical economics. Counter to prevailing theory, it is claimed that energy is an innate input to production. By applying energy inputs to new fields, its usefulness is emphasized. One subject in need of assistance is decision-making in the damming of rivers. Unlike any other time, pressure is mounting to decommission an increasing number of hydroelectric dams in America. Traditionally, a cost benefit analysis (CBA) has been used in the decision-making process, but this tool is not enough. Using energy returns on energy invested (EROI) analysis as a supplementary tool to CBA, Glen Canyon Dam in northern Arizona was studied. The EROI of the dam was less than 1:3, a severely low return on energy investment. Consequently, it is demonstrated that better decisions can be made about the status of hydroelectric dams by using EROI analysis.

Language

English


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