Analytical frameworks for assessing complex systems can be useful in understanding relationships and issues. DPSIR is a framework that identifies the Drivers, Pressures, States, Impacts, and Responses of a system. Analyzing the global energy system with the focus on employing carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) technologies reveals many unsustainable details of the energy system. Below is a table highlighting how to apply the DPSIR framework to this issue.
Figure 1. DPSIR Framework Analyzing Global Energy Systems
|Nature of the Driving Force||Indicator of the Driving Force|
|Humans require affordable, reliable, and accessible energy to support their needs and behaviors||In 2018, global total electricity consumption reached 22,315 terawatt hours (IEA 2020c)|
|In 2018, global natural gas consumption reached 3,928 billion cubic meters (IEA 2020d)|
|In 2019, global liquid fuels consumption reached 100 million barrels per day (EIA 2021)|
|Nature of the Pressure||Indicators of the Pressure|
|Many sources of energy release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere like coal, natural gas, and petroleum, but also renewable resources like biomass and biogas||In 2018, global coal emissions totaled 14,766 metric tons of CO₂ (IEA 2021b)|
|In 2018, global oil emissions totaled 11,415 metric tons of CO₂ (IEA 2021b)|
|In 2018, global natural gas emissions totaled 7,104 metric tons of CO₂ (IEA 2021b)|
|Nature of the State||Indicators of the State|
|The release of carbon dioxide from fossil fuel resources, and even renewable resources like biomass and biogas, accumulates in the Earth’s atmosphere and hydrosphere||In 2020, average annual concentrations of CO₂ in the atmosphere were 412.5 part per million (IEA 2021a)|
|In 2018, the average pH of the ocean was 8.1 (NOAA 2020)|
|In 2016, there were 1.65 trillion barrels of proven oil reserves in the lithosphere (Worldometer 2021)|
|Nature of the Impacts||Indicators of the Impacts|
|The increased concentrations of carbon dioxide in the ocean and atmospheres creates more heat trapped and more acidic waters which leads to increased mortality rates, drought, famine, disease and pest oubreaks, wildfires, and desertification||In 2020, global surface temperatures were 1.0 degrees Celsius above the long-term average (Lindsey and Dahlman 2021)|
|In 2018, fossil fuel air pollution is estimated to be responsible for more than 8 million humans globally (Burrows 2021)|
|As of 2019, climate change is currently affecting 19% of species listed as “threatened”, increasing likelihood of extinctions (IUCN 2019)|
|Nature of the Responses||Indicators of the Responses|
|Implement regulations that require carbon capture utilization and sequestration (CCUS) for any source releasing carbon through combustion||Measure of how many metric tons of carbon are sequestered annually|
|Implement a global social cost of carbon for any emissions released to disincentivize carbon pollution and incentivize renewable technologies||Measure the amount of carbon tax dollars collected that are applied to carbon reduction efforts|
|CCUS as a bridge for baseload energy solutions as renewable penetration is increased and to enable more time for newer technologies to be developed||Measure of energy resource mix percentage changes as energy sources moves towards 100% renewable|
Author: Logan Callen
Burrows, Leah. 2021. “Deaths from Fossil Fuel Emissions Higher Than Previously Thought.” Harvard. February 9. Accessed July 7, 2021. https://www.seas.harvard.edu/news/2021/02/deaths-fossil-fuel-emissions-higher-previously-thought.
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IUCN. 2019. “Issues Brief: Species and Climate Change.” International Union for Conservation of Nature. December. Accessed July 7, 2021. https://www.iucn.org/resources/issues-briefs/species-and-climate-change.
Lindsey, Rebecca, and LuAnn Dahlman. 2021. “Climate Change: Global Temperature.” Climate.gov. March 15. Accessed July 7, 2021. https://www.climate.gov/news-features/understanding-climate/climate-change-global-temperature.
NOAA. 2020. “Ocean Acidification.” National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Accessed July 7, 2021. https://www.noaa.gov/education/resource-collections/ocean-coasts/ocean-acidification.
Worldometer. 2021. “Oil Left in the World.” Worldometer. July 7. Accessed July 7, 2021. https://www.worldometers.info/oil/.