Emergy Analysis Overview of Korea

한국의 자연환경과 경제에 대한 EMERGY분석

  • ;
  • Howard T. Odum
  • 이석모 (부산수산대학교 환경공학과) ;
  • Published : 1994.06.01


An emergy analysis of the main energy flows driving the economy of humans and life support systems was made including environmental energies, fuels, and imports, all expressed as solar emjoules. The total emergy use (4, 373 E20 sej/yr) is 90 per cent from imported sources, fuels and goods and services. The emergy flows from the environment are modest, because the share of global inputs such as ruin and geological uplift flux is modest. Consequently, the ratio of outside investment to attracting natural resources is already large, like other industrialized countries. The population level is already in excess of carrying capacity. The emergy use per person in Korea indicates a moderate emergy standard of living, even though the indigenous resource is very poor. If the present economy were running entirely on stored reserves of fuels, soils, woods, etc., it would last about 2 years. Its carrying capacity for steady state on its renewable sources is only 3.3 million people, compared to 43.3 million in 1991. Continued availability of foreign oil at a favorable balance of emergy trade, currently about 7 to 1 net emergy, is the basis for present economic activity and must decrease as the net emergy of foreign oil purchased goes down. Close economic integration with Middle East may determine how long this is possible in the future.


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