An Energy Evaluation System

At the heart of any Net Zero program lies the decision as to which alternative energy sources to adopt. We cannot continue to rely on hydrocarbon fuels — coal, natural gas and crude oil — because they generate greenhouse gases, and because they are being irreversibly depleted.

The internet is awash in suggestions as to which alternative fuels we should adopt; some of them are good, others maybe not so much — for a variety of reasons. This post is the first in a series that provides some criteria for evaluating each of these options and of comparing them with one another. The proposed framework consists of the following elements.

  • Properties;

  • HSE (Health, Safety and Environmental);

  • The Energy Grid;

  • Project Phase; and

  • Reality Check.

Subsequent posts will provide more detailed views to do with each of these criteria. Some introductory thoughts to do with each of these categories are provided here.


The first step in an evaluation is to spell out the basic physical and chemical properties for each energy source. A Table such as this one can be used; it shows the baseline properties of the fossil fuels (including firewood).