How can you tell if a gas field contains more reserves than a biofuels plantation?
Comparing renewable energy with fossil fuels may seem perverse to some, but for others it is increasingly important. Whether it is investors choosing which energy companies to invest in, or large firms allocating capital to diverse projects, they all find the same problem that trying to compare fossil and renewable reserves is like comparing apples with pears.
There may be a solution.
A group of organisations facing similar challenges came together for the first time last week, at an event facilitated by E4tech. They discussed how a methodology could be developed to allow reserves from different energy types to be classified and compared. The UN’s Framework Convention reserves methodology covers fossil fuels and minerals, but the attendees found that it should be possible to develop it to include renewable energy. A cross-sector initiative is being formed to take this forward in the hope that one day soon it should be possible to compare fossil apples with renewable apples.