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From embodied energy


  • Other terms such as emergy, energy hierarchy, net energy, and maximum power were new terms that Odum, his students, and his colleagues defined.

    Howard T. Odum Glossary

  • 3.4 Emergy evaluation: The emergy is a measure of the total energy used in the past to make a product or service.

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  • Odum believed that emergy was a universal measure of the work of nature and society made on a common basis and therefore a measure of the environmental support to any process in the biosphere.


  • The ratio of the total emergy input to the available energy of the product was named transformity.


  • He introduced the concept of emergy, the amount of solar energy embodied in the products of the biosphere and human society.

    Odum, Howard T.

  • In emergy analysis, unlike input-output analysis, each process in the system is assigned the total value of the total emergy input to the Earth because according to Odum, “each process is considered to be a co-product of the global geological cycle and cannot be produced independently with less than the total emergy.”

    Energy quality

  • Several aspects of the emergy methodology reduce its usefulness as a method for aggregating energy and/or material flows.

    Energy quality

  • Some of these forms are based on concepts developed in the energy analysis literature such as exergy or emergy analysis.

    Energy quality

  • Coals thus have vastly different embodied emergy, but only a single transformity for coal is normally used.

    Energy quality

  • Second, the emergy methodology is inconsistent with its own basic tenant, namely that quality varies with embodied energy or emergy.

    Energy quality


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