The Naked Scientists

The Naked Scientists Forum

Author Topic: What's the difference between an energy reserve and an energy resource?  (Read 4068 times)

Offline Ghee86

  • First timers
  • *
  • Posts: 1
    • View Profile
I'm confused about the two terms. I usually see those terms used when talking about oil, i.e., oil reserve and oil resource.


 

Offline CliffordK

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 6321
  • Thanked: 3 times
  • Site Moderator
    • View Profile
My guess is that the two terms are used somewhat interchangeably. 

A "Resource" is something that can be used to produce energy.  It can be either renewable such as hydroelectric, wind, geothermal, etc.  Or it can be non-renewable such as oil or coal.

A "Reserve" would be some energy that one is not using now...  but has the potential to be used in the future.  For example, one might think of Alaska Oil being a reserve that we might choose to use in the future.  Generally it would not apply to non-renewable energy.  You can't bottle up the wind.  However, one might consider some of the capacity behind a dam as being a reserve.
 

Offline imatfaal

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 2787
  • rouge moderator
    • View Profile
I think of a reserve as something that we have put there (ie the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in USA, the hypothetical gold reserve) and a resource is something as yet unexploited but whihc we know is there.

Semantics though - different people/industries/contexts will vary meaning.
 

The Naked Scientists Forum


 

SMF 2.0.10 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
SMFAds for Free Forums