A better currency for investing in a sustainable future

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Net energy analysis should be a critical energy policy tool. We identify five critical themes for realizing a low-carbon, sustainable energy future and highlight the key perspective that net energy analysis provides.

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Figure 1: Net energy analysis (NEA) studies the net output of energy-producing technologies, accounting for the energy consumed, directly and indirectly, by the energy sectors, in contrast to the gross energy production measured by the International Energy Agency and US Energy Information Administration in their analyses.

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Acknowledgements

This work was made possible through funding from the Global Climate and Energy Project (GCEP), Stanford University (http://gcep.stanford.edu), and the Institute for Integrated Economic Research (http://www.iier.ch). Thanks also to M. Shwartz at GCEP for helpful editorial comments.

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Correspondence to Michael Carbajales-Dale.

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Carbajales-Dale, M., Barnhart, C., Brandt, A. et al. A better currency for investing in a sustainable future. Nature Clim Change 4, 524–527 (2014) doi:10.1038/nclimate2285

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