Energy Analysis for Environmental Impact Assessment

by Flora C. Wang, (M.ASCE), Resident Sci.; Center for Wetlands, Univ. of Florida, Gainesville, Fla.,
Patrick C. Kangas, Asst. Prof.; Biology Dept., Eastern Michigan Univ., Ypsilanti, Mich.; formerly, Research Asst. of Environmental Engrg., Univ. of Florida, Gainesville, Fla.,
Howard T. Odum, Grad. Research Prof. of Environmental Engrg.; Dir. of Center for Wetlands, Univ. of Florida, Gainesville, Fla.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Water Resources Planning and Management Division, 1980, Vol. 106, Issue 2, Pg. 451-466

Document Type: Journal Paper


Determining the environmental input to the economy can be viewed as a process of evaluating different kinds of energy inputs, and then converting them into an equivalent amount of the energy of a common type, the solar equivalent. Evaluation of environmental impacts is aided by energy analysis method. This procedure is used to evaluate quantitatively the proposed changes in environmental conditions and distinguish between alternatives. A hypothetical power plant siting problem is chosen to illustrate the evaluation of the environmental impacts on different types of land. Two objectives are used for ranking the various land use alternatives. The energy embodied in environmental flows is used as a measure of potential contribution to the economy; and the energy removed from environmental storages is considered as the energy required for replacement. Results of the quantitative assessment shows that the preferable choice of plant location, based on economic potentials and depletion of natural resources is different.

Subject Headings: Solar power | Power plants | Environmental issues | Energy conversion | Land use | Flow measurement | Energy methods | Potential flow

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