What's the difference between an energy reserve and an energy resource?

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Offline Ghee86

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I'm confused about the two terms. I usually see those terms used when talking about oil, i.e., oil reserve and oil resource.

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Offline CliffordK

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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.

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Offline imatfaal

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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.
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