To identify the requirements for sustainable development taking account of uncertainty and irreversibility, expressed in the form a set of indicators which seek to capture the "quality" of the energy employed within the economic system.
The research is twofold:
i) a critical analysis of the economics and the natural sciences associated with the study of sustainability is carried out. The uncertainty and ethical complexities attendant upon the analysis are an important part of the work and are represented through the development of measures such as emergy based option values, which express the irreversible use of the flow over time;
ii) the compilation of case studies which establish emergy models for Italy, Tuscany and the district of Siena and describe the flows within, the imports to and exports from these regions. Energetic analyses of the basic productive activities are performed, underlining the thermodynamic and hence the environmental constraints within which these areas operate.
The emergy based synthesis upon which the project is based can inform the use of the economic evaluative frameworks such as Cost Benefit Analysis and Multi-Criteria Analysis when these are used to appraise policy options with significant sustainability implications.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
NW11 6AU London