. etJ

Thus far we have addressed energy services. However, future generations may not use energy services to create well-being in the same ways that current generations do.5 For example, suppose that more efficient urban designs are created that allow equal or improved access to opportunities with less mobility. Consumption in the future may well favor less energy-intensive goods and services. Thus, we need one more term, namely the ratio between human well-being and energy services. Let kt be the ratio of human well-being to energy service in time t. The basic equation for energy sustainability then becomes:


[ Q

' 1



[ 00]

' 1


1 et J



1 e0 J


Equation 20.4 states that the current generation must leave to the next a sum of energy services produced from nonrenewable resources, scaled by their size relative to the current generation's relative rate of consumption of nonrenew-able resources, plus energy services from renewable resources that is at least as great as what it had. Further, the sum of the two must be translated into their ability to produce well-being that is at least as good as that of the current generation. This could be accomplished by expanding nonrenewable resources or

I am grateful to Mark Delucchi for suggesting this addition.

by expanding the flow of renewable energy. By this definition it is perfectly acceptable to "use up" nonrenewable resources provided that the potential flow of technically feasible, economically practical and socially acceptable renewable resources is sufficiently increased at the same time. Equation 20.4 can be expanded to recognize different forms of energy, as in Equation 20.5 where i indexes nonrenewable forms and j renewable forms.

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