Revised 24 May 2019

In 1973 the OPEC oil embargo resulted in sharp increases in the price of oil throughout the world.  This prompted many Governments to commission research on energy. The New Zealand Energy Research and Development Corporation (NZERDC) was established in 1974 and 309 research publications on issues of energy were published from 1974 to 1988

In August 1974 the International Federation of Institutes for Advanced Study (IFIAS) held the first workshop on Energy Analysis to discuss the need for consensus on conventions and recommendations for further work (IFIAS, 1974). Four main approaches to the research field of Energy Analysis can be categorised as follows (Pearson, 1977): 

a) Input-output Analysis 

b) Process Analysis

c) Second Law Efficiency

d) Energetics 

All approaches are valid, but a major advantage of Energetics is that it uses a general systems approach and circuit language diagrams to describe and analyse energy flows. Use of such diagrams enables easier understanding of the energy flows of systems. A similar general systems and diagramming approach is now used by modern day dynamic simulation modelling software such as AnyLogic, Stella, and Vensim. In this book I use Energetics symbols and diagrams to help explain the role of energy which flows through human settlements.