Over the next few decades, the overall costs of fossil fuel energy production will increase, even while the market value of fossil fuel energy remains low. The total net energy yield available to fuel continued economic growth will inexorably decline. This will, in turn, squeeze the extent to which the economy can afford to buy fossil fuel energy that is increasingly expensive to produce.
- The world’s fossil fuels overall experienced their maximum cumulative EROI of approximately 44:1 in the early 1960s.
- The more EROI declines, a greater proportion of the energy being produced must be used simply to extract more energy. This means that EROI decline leads to less real-world economic growth.
- Complex civilizations tend to accelerate the use of resources, while diminishing the quantity of resources available for the civilization’s continued expansion — because they are continually being invested in solving the new problems generated by increasing complexity.
- The highest level of productivity was reached around the 1930s, and since then with each industrial revolution has declined.
+ Inside the new economic science of capitalism’s slow-burn energy collapse (by @NafeezAhmed)