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The case to keep using fossil fuels keeps getting weaker

A new study published in Nature Energy finds that fossil fuels aren’t nearly as efficient as people have long believed them to be. Plus, as they get harder to extract, their energy cost is going up and renewables start to make more energy sense.

Researchers from the University of Leeds looked the energy return on investment, the ratio of the amount of energy a fuel will produce compared to how much energy it takes to extract.

For decades, fossil fuels have been considered to be winners over renewables in terms of EROI. Estimates for the EROI for oil, gas, and coal typically come in at over 25:1, the researchers write. Meanwhile, the EROI for renewables is usually calculated to be less than 10:1.