Patrick Moriarty

Patrick Moriarty
Monash University (Australia) · Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture

BE (Civil), MEngSci, PhD

About

278
Publications
112,728
Reads
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3,068
Citations
Citations since 2016
94 Research Items
1906 Citations
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Introduction
My current research focuses on the energy return on energy invested for renewable energy sources, and their global technical potential. I am also researching the long-term global future for energy production, vehicular transport, and the global economy.
Additional affiliations
January 2015 - present
Monash University (Australia)
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
January 2010 - December 2014
Monash University (Australia)
Position
  • Adjunct Senior Research Fellow
Description
  • Research into renewable energy, transport, world futures.
January 1990 - December 2009
Monash University (Australia)

Publications

Publications (278)
Article
Full-text available
World energy demand is projected to rise to 1000 EJ (EJ=10^18 J) or more by 2050 if economic growth continues its course of recent decades. Both reserve depletion and greenhouse gas emissions will necessitate a major shift from fossil fuels as the dominant energy source. Since nuclear power is now unlikely to increase its present modest share, rene...
Article
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This study explores global energy demand, and hydrogen's role, over the 21st century. It considers four illustrative cases: a high (1000 EJ) and a low (300 EJ) energy future, and for each of these conditions, a high (80%) and low (20%) fossil fuel energy share. We argue that neither high energy future is probable, because of resource limitations, a...
Article
Full-text available
This paper explores the future global potential for bioenergy. We use energy analysis, and more generally climate change effects, as our criteria for evaluation. Since widespread use of new bioenergy is probably decades away, our evaluation attempts to take into account likely future conditions. Previous research displays large variations in estima...
Article
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We may have already surpassed prudent limits for atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations, and have exceeded (or are near) safe limits for a number of other Earth system processes. If fossil fuels maintain their present share, bringing the expected year 2050 world population up to US primary energy levels would involve a 6-fold rise in energy cons...
Article
Full-text available
The arrival of the hydrogen (H2) economy has been the subject of many studies. Earlier articles were over-optimistic about the timing and extent of global H2 uptake, and predicted private vehicles as leading the way to a H2 economy. The recent strong rise in the global electric vehicle fleet has inevitably led to a reassessment of the prospects for...
Article
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This review explores the question: should the world rely wholly or partially on solar ge-oengineering (SG) to mitigate climate change (CC), or on renewable energy, together with deep energy reductions? Recent thinking is for SG to only supplement more conventional climate change mitigation methods. However, we first show that conventional mitigatio...
Article
Full-text available
For all of human history except the past two centuries or so, bioenergy provided nearly all the world’s primary energy. Then, fossil fuels largely replaced bioenergy, but concern about climate change and fossil fuel depletion will force a move back to renewable energy, including bioenergy. The main method used here to study the future of global bio...
Article
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Many cities around the world are aiming to be zero emission or environmentally sustainable, particularly cities in the Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries. This paper contributes to the literature by using a systems approach to argue for a wider view, not only for the full range of deleterious effects of urban transport in a given...
Article
Floyd et al. (2020), ‘Energy descent as a post-carbon transition scenario: How ‘knowledge humility’ reshapes energy futures for post-normal times’, addresses anticipatory challenges associated with the envisaged transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy. We make the case that the epistemic nature of analytical techniques based on quantitativ...
Article
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Many governments have supported the introduction of electric vehicles (EVs) through purchase subsidies or waiving fuel taxes. The key findings of this paper are that the benefits of EVs may have been overstated, at least for some countries, as their energy savings and climate mitigation advantages depend on such factors as annual kilometres travell...
Chapter
Full-text available
The ability of RE to fully supply all global energy needs, both now and in the future, is subject to considerable controversy. This chapter first examines the concept of Energy Return on Investment (EROI) as a crucial test for FF project feasibility, and so the technical potential of RE sources. It is found that inclusion of the full input costs of...
Chapter
Full-text available
In this final chapter we begin with a summary of the key themes of this book: the serious ecological sustainability problems our planet faces; that in the Anthropocene, these problems are increasingly of our own making; that technological solutions are less effective because solutions to one problem can aggravate the other problems; that global ine...
Chapter
Full-text available
There has never been a shortage of experts on the future. In this chapter we first review the various methods in use for forecasting. Modern forecasting methods were not possible until reliable statistical data was available, and the simplest method merely extrapolates from past trends. The most popular approaches for energy forecasting make use of...
Chapter
Full-text available
Intentional energy use by humans is many millennia old, but until about two centuries ago, the energy used was almost entirely bioenergy. Since then we have witnessed a transition to fossil fuels as the dominant energy source. This change has produced many benefits, but also a number of environmental side effects, chiefly climate change from emitte...
Chapter
Full-text available
Technical fixes are highly favoured by most decision-makers because they involve the least disruption to existing social and economic order. However, in today's 'full world' they often meet with unintended consequences. In this chapter we examine a number of these in the context of mitigating climate change: nuclear power; energy efficient improvem...
Chapter
Full-text available
The ability of RE to fully supply all global energy needs, both now and in the future, is subject to considerable controversy. This chapter first examines the concept of Energy Return on Investment (EROI) as a crucial test for FF project feasibility, and so the technical potential of RE sources. It is found that inclusion of the full input costs of...
Article
Limiting the impact of human use of energy on the environment is necessary to maintain the Earth's ecosystems such that they can continue to provide the ecosystem services on which humans and all other living organisms depend. Because the methods available to limit the impact on the environment of energy production and use require energy, energy us...
Chapter
In this chapter, we begin with a summary of the key themes of this book: the serious ecological sustainability problems our planet faces; that in the Anthropocene, these problems are increasingly of our own making; that technological solutions are less effective because solutions to one problem can aggravate the other problems; that global inequali...
Chapter
Full-text available
Technical fixes are highly favoured by most decision-makers because they involve the least disruption to existing social and economic order. However, in today’s ‘full world’ they often meet with unintended consequences. In this chapter, we examine a number of these in the context of mitigating climate change: nuclear power; energy-efficient improve...
Chapter
There has never been a shortage of experts on the future. In this chapter, we first review the various methods in use for forecasting. Modern forecasting methods were not possible until reliable statistical data was available, and the simplest method merely extrapolates from past trends. The most popular approaches for energy forecasting make use o...
Article
Full-text available
A proposal to limit travel in countries with high levels of per capita vehicular travel, by analogy with carbon emission reduction proposals.
Article
Full-text available
[First paragraph] The world needs more renewable energy (RE), if only because, eventually, readily accessible fossil fuels will be depleted. RE sources can also greatly reduce energy-related CO2 emissions, but whether they can be properly called ‘zero carbon’ sources is another matter. At present, fossil fuels (FFs) are still dominate world energy...
Article
Full-text available
Planet Earth is simultaneously approaching a number of ecological and resource limits. The resulting uncertainties will heavily impact future energy choices, both the level of primary energy used globally and the shares of fossil, renewable and nuclear fuels in the energy mix. This paper reviews the possible futures for the various types of renewab...
Article
Increasing discussion is occurring, in both the popular media and scientific research papers, about the risk of catastrophic climate change (CCC). Earth Science researchers have produced evidence that the damage function from ongoing climate change is not linear: damages rise disproportionately with global average temperature increase. This short p...
Article
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Global passenger transport consists of all passenger travel by private and public road vehicles, rail passenger travel, air travel, and non-motorized travel. The vehicular travel component expanded an estimated 14-fold between 1950 and 2018, so that now it is not only a major energy user and CO2 emitter, but also the cause of a variety of other neg...
Article
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Definition Several major problems hinder conventional wind power development. In many regions, average wind speeds are too low to give an adequate energy return on energy invested (EROI) for wind farms erected there. Even if average wind speeds are sufficient to give an adequate EROI, the wind is variable, with periods of low to zero output. Land-b...
Article
Full-text available
Because of the near-term risk of extreme weather events and other adverse consequences from climate change and, at least in the longer term, global fossil fuel depletion, there is worldwide interest in shifting to noncarbon energy sources, especially renewable energy (RE). Because of possible limitations on conventional renewable energy sources, re...
Article
Full-text available
Nuclear energy currently accounts for a declining share of global electricity, but it is possible that rising concerns about global climate change and China's ambitious nuclear program could reverse this trend. This review attempts to assess the global future of nuclear power, showing how the optimistic forecasts in the early days of nuclear power...
Preprint
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Many climate scientists think that the world is now facing a profound climate crisis, so that the time left for effective action has drastically shortened. This paper focuses on the household sector in high-income countries. Most official energy forecasts regard technical energy efficiency improvements as a key means for reducing domestic energy us...
Article
Full-text available
Section: Engineering General engineering Definition Global passenger transport expanded over 14fold between 1950 and 2018, so that now it is not only a major energy user and CO 2 emitter, but also the cause of a variety of other negative effects, especially in urban areas. Global transport is subject to two contradictory forces. On the one hand,...
Article
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Definition Energy Return on Energy Invested (EROEI) (also Energy Return on Investment (EROI)) is a dimensionless ratio that compares the output over the life of an energy generating system-such as a power plant-to the energy inputs to the system. EROEI thus has the potential to filter out unsuitable projects, and to rank surviving projects accordin...
Article
Full-text available
Controversy exists as to whether renewable energy (RE) can provide for all the world's energy needs. The purpose of this paper is to help resolve this vital question. Official forecasts see a resumption of a business-as-usual world after the pandemic-induced recession, with further economic growth out to at least 2050. The novel approach taken in t...
Article
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Two vital challenges facing the world are global inequality and global climate change. Solutions to both these problems are urgently needed, but, given current policies, they can potentially conflict with each other. The United Nations has set 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be met by 2030. Even in 2019, the world was not on track for ma...
Article
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Many studies have concluded that the current global economy can transition from fossil fuels to be powered entirely by renewable energy. While supporting such transition, we critique analysis purporting to conclusively demonstrate feasibility. Deep uncertainties remain about whether renewables can maintain, let alone grow, the range and scale of en...
Article
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This review explains why the 'hydrogen economy' has been so slow in coming, despite the abundance of hydrogen (H2) on Earth. H2 is either bound up with oxygen in water, or with carbon in fossil fuels, which release CO2 on combustion. For several decades, hydrogen-powered vehicles using fuel cells were seen as the major opportunity for H2. But if H2...
Poster
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Special Issue Information Dear Colleagues, For the past century or more, fossil fuels have dominated not only energy use, but also the way we think about energy systems. Given the finite reserves of fossil fuels (FFs) and their uneven global distribution, in the 1960s and 1970s, high hopes were placed on nuclear power as a successor fuel, but it is...
Conference Paper
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Nuclear energy currently accounts for a declining share of global electricity, but it is possible that rising concerns about global climate change and China's ambitious nuclear program could reverse this trend. This paper attempts to assess the global future of nuclear power.
Article
Full-text available
For millennia, humans relied almost entirely on renewable energy (RE), largely biomass, for their energy needs. Over the past century, fossil fuels (FFs) have not only largely replaced RE, but have enabled a many-fold rise in total energy use. This FF dominance changed the way we think about and accounted for energy use. If (as at present) the worl...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Most official energy forecasts regard major energy efficiency improvements as a key means of reducing energy use and associated greenhouse gases. This paper examines past and current energy efficiency improvements in various sectors and concludes that absolute energy reductions are very difficult to achieve in a growth-oriented global economy with...
Article
Full-text available
Given that global energy use today is still dominated by fossil fuels, there is an urgent need to rapidly reduce its use in order to avert serious climate change. However, the alternatives to fossil fuels-renewable and nuclear energy-are more expensive, and have so far done little to displace fossil fuels. Accordingly, reducing energy use must play...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Most official energy forecasts regard major energy efficiency improvements as a key means of reducing energy use and associated greenhouse gases. This paper examines past and current energy efficiency improvements in various sectors and concludes that absolute energy reductions are very difficult to achieve in a growth-oriented global economy with...
Article
Full-text available
Because of the near-term risk of extreme weather events and other adverse consequences from climate change, and, at least in the longer term, global fossil fuel depletion, there is worldwide interest in shifting to noncarbon energy sources, especially renewable energy (RE). Because of possible limitations on conventional renewable energy sources, r...
Article
Full-text available
Keywords: Electric vehicles Freight transport Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles Passenger transport Renewable energy ABSTRACT Early forecasts for hydrogen's role in transport usually proved over-optimistic, with several seeing hydrogen as an important transport fuel by year 2010 or even much earlier. Over the past century, vehicular passenger transport...
Chapter
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Conventional approaches to climate change mitigation do not appear to be working, since the level of greenhouse gases in the global atmosphere continues to rise. The 2015 Paris conference set 2.0 °C temperature rise above pre-industrial values as a safe limit, with an aspirational target of 1.5 °C. The world looks set to pass the 1.5 °C limit as ea...
Article
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A number of official energy forecasts-including those compatible with the aspirational 1.5 °C Paris Accord global temperature rise limit-see both global primary and net energy use continuing to rise, even out to 2100. Various technologies, including greatly increased use of renewable and nuclear energy, negative emission technologies such as direct...
Chapter
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The main forms of renewable energy (RE) used today are biomass energy, hydroelectricity, wind energy, solar energy, and geothermal energy. Although several other RE sources have been extensively discussed, including various forms of ocean energy, these five are likely to still be dominant in 2050. In assessing the probable future of each RE type, i...
Article
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Because of concerns about global climate change, possible global oil depletion, and because of potential benefits for both urban air pollution and rural employment and industry, many countries both in and out of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), are promoting liquid biofuels as a replacement for oil-based transport f...
Article
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The world's cities are responsible for some three-quarters of global energy use and energy-and industry-related greenhouse gas emissions. Global climate change mitigation, and ecological sustainability in general therefore crucially depend on the sustainability practices of urban residents. Present climate change policies are not working, as annual...
Article
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Most anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions are the result of the combustion of fossil fuels. Proposals for mitigating climate change thus include various carbon dioxide removal technologies, replacement of fossil fuels by non-carbon alternatives (renewable and nuclear energy), and reduction in energy use overall by improving energy efficiency. We...
Chapter
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This chapter is a detailed look at urban sustainability from a health and well-being viewpoint, and is thus a complement to Chapter 1, which emphasised the biophysical aspects of urban sustainability. Two globally important health problems are the ageing of the population and the widespread rise in health costs as a share of national income. The he...
Chapter
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This chapter first discusses the smart grid, which will be a necessity if electricity production in the future is to be sustainable. The chapter then looks at energy in an urban context, emphasising domestic energy consumption and the role of big data in its reduction. It is found that experience to date shows that data provision alone, for example...
Book
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This book presents a practical framework for the application of big data, cloud, and pervasive and complex systems to sustainable solutions for urban environmental challenges. It covers the technologies, potential, and possible and impact of big data on energy efficiency and the urban environment. The book first introduces key aspects of big data,...
Chapter
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Global primary energy use is presently dominated by fossil fuels. But given the environmental resource and environmental challenges facing these fuels, alternatives must be sought. This chapter looks at each energy group—fossil fuels, nuclear energy, and renewable energy (RE)—in that order. The authors argue that neither carbon sequestration nor ge...
Article
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Transport energy use and carbon emissions continue to rise, but both need to be drastically reduced. Conventional proposed solutions, all already used to some extent, include a shift to low carbon transport fuels, major improvements in vehicular fuel efficiency, and modal shift. However, their impact has been marginal. This paper instead examines t...
Article
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Under business-as-usual projections, global car ownership and travel will continue to rise. In future, oil might still be available at higher prices than today, but the climate change implications of oil use will remain. As evidenced by the continued rise in global transport GHG emissions, conventional proposed solutions for mitigation are not work...
Chapter
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Global energy use, fossil fuel carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, and atmospheric CO2 levels continue to rise, despite some progress in mitigation efforts. Improving energy efficiency is seen as an important means of reducing emissions, but absolute reductions in global energy use remain elusive because of continued growth in the numbers of important...
Chapter
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In the high-mobility countries of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), many governments are seeking to reduce personal mobility, particularly car travel, for a variety of reasons. Reductions can be justified in general by concerns about global climate change, oil depletion and supply security, and traffic casualties. In...
Chapter
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Domestic energy forms a significant part of total energy use in OECD countries, accounting for 22 % in the USA in 2011. Together with private travel, domestic energy reductions are one of the few ways that households can directly reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. Although domestic energy costs form a minor part of average household expenditure...
Article
Full-text available
Possible futures can, for simplicity, be reduced to three broad options: ‘Business-as-usual economic growth’ (‘Nightmare’), ‘Green economic growth’ (‘Diversion’), and ‘Ecological sustainability’ (‘Vision’). We critically the feasibility and sustainability of each. We find that the Nightmare option will eventually be undermined by ecological deterio...
Article
Full-text available
The energy consumed by households for space heating and cooling, water heating, cooking and running appliances is a major component of national final energy use. Along with private transport, it is the only energy use (and corresponding greenhouse gas emissions) directly under householders’ control. Accordingly, many researchers have examined ways...
Article
Full-text available
Electric vehicles (EVs) are often thought to be an important means for reducing both the greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption of global transport, particularly for road passenger transport. They are potentially more fuel efficient than comparable internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEVs), particularly in urban areas, because of regener...
Article
Full-text available
Electric vehicles (EVs) are often thought to be an important means for reducing both the greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption of global transport, particularly for road passenger transport. They are potentially more fuel efficient than comparable internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEVs), particularly in urban areas, because of regener...
Article
Full-text available
The energy consumed by households for space heating and cooling, water heating, cooking and running appliances is a major component of national final energy use. Along with private transport, it is the only energy use (and corresponding greenhouse gas emissions) directly under householders' control. Accordingly, many researchers have examined ways...
Article
Full-text available
For many millennia, humans have used biomass for three broad purposes: food for humans and fodder for farm animals; energy; and materials. Food has always been exclusively produced from biomass, and in the year 1800, biomass still accounted for about 95% of all energy. Biomass has also been a major source of materials for construction, implements,...