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Energy Resources

  • By: Barry D. Solomon
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

A distinction is made in the energy field between energy resources and energy reserves. Resources refer to the proportion of the total resource base that has been identified with at least a small degree of certainty and that might be recovered in the future. Energy reserves, in contrast, indicate the proportion of the total resource base that has been identified with certainty and that can be economically recovered and used with current technology. Both quantities are spatially specific and not fixed. However, estimated quantities of renewable sources of energy are highly variable and uncertain, given the highly uneven geographic distribution of resources and technology to capture sources such as solar, wind, and biomass energies.

It is useful to know the geographic distribution of energy reserves as ...

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