Saturday, May 24, 2008

Measuring sustainability in a Sicilian eco-village

Note: Emergy analysis (spelled with an “m”) is an environmental accounting method.

There is growing interest amongst both local communities and policy makers in improving the sustainability of local communities. However, developing accurate measures of sustainability has been problematic because a wide range of parameters need to be considered, from energy use through to monetary flows. New research shows that 'emergy' analysis can be applied to evaluate the sustainability of a small rural community.
Emergy analysis can be used to measure all inputs of energy and resources used to develop a given product or process. This includes both current and historical inputs as well as direct and indirect inputs into the product or process. To allow comparison between different types of energy inputs, all energy flows are converted into a single form of energy, such as solar energy.

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