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    Nonrenewable Resources

    Nonrenewable energy resources include coal, natural gas, oil, and nuclear energy. Once these resources are used up, they cannot be replaced, which is a major problem for humanity as we are currently dependent on them to supply most of our energy needs.



    Nonrenewable Resources

    Nonrenewable energy resources include coal, natural gas, oil, and nuclear energy. Once these resources are used up, they cannot be replaced, which is a major problem for humanity as we are currently dependent on them to supply most of our energy needs.


    Chemistry, Conservation, Earth Science


    Coal-fire Plant

    An aerial view of a coal-fired power plant in Mount Storm, West Virginia, taken in June 2012.


    Renewable and nonrenewable resources are energy sources that human society uses to function on a daily basis. The difference between these two types of resources is that renewable resources can naturally replenish themselves while nonrenewable resources cannot. This means that nonrenewable resources are limited in supply and cannot be used sustainably.

    There are four major types of nonrenewable resources: oil, natural gas, coal, and nuclear energy. Oil, natural gas, and coal are collectively called fossil fuels. Fossil fuels were formed within the Earth from dead plants and animals over millions of years—hence the name “fossil” fuels. They are found in underground layers of rock and sediment. Pressure and heat worked together to transform the plant and animal remains into crude oil (also known as petroleum), coal, and natural gas.

    The plants and animals that became fossil fuels lived in a time called Carboniferous Period, around 300 to 360 million years ago. The energy in the plant and animal remains originally came from the sun; through the process of photosynthesis, solar energy is stored in plant tissues, which animals then consume, adding the energy to their own bodies. When fossil fuels are burned, this trapped energy is released.

    Crude oil is a liquid fuel fossil fuel that is used mostly to produce gasoline and diesel fuel for vehicles, and for the manufacturing of plastics. It is found in rocks below Earth’s surface and is pumped out through wells.

    Natural gas is widely used for cooking and for heating homes. It consists mostly of methane and is found near oil deposits below Earth’s surface. Natural gas can be pumped out through the same wells used for extracting crude oil.

    Coal is a solid fossil fuel that is used for heating homes and generating power plants. It is found in fossilized swamps that have been buried beneath layers of sediment. Since coal is solid, it cannot be extracted in the same manner as crude oil or natural gas; it must be dug up from the ground.

    Nuclear energy comes from radioactive elements, mainly uranium, which is extracted from mined ore and then refined into fuel.

    Unfortunately, human society is—for the time being—dependent on nonrenewable resources as its primary source of energy. Approximately 80 percent of the total amount of energy used globally each year comes from fossil fuels. We depend on fossil fuels because they are energy-rich and relatively cheap to process. But a major problem with fossil fuels, aside from their being in limited supply, is that burning them releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Rising levels of heat-trapping carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is the main cause of global warming.

    Alternative energy sources, such as wind and solar energy, are a possible solution to the depletion of nonrenewable sources. Both of these clean energy sources are available in unlimited supply.

    Carboniferous Period


    period of the Paleozoic Era that follows the Devonian Period and comes before the Permian Period.

    climate change Noun

    gradual changes in all the interconnected weather elements on our planet.

    coal Noun

    dark, solid fossil fuel mined from the earth.

    deplete Verb to use up. diesel Noun, Adjective

    liquid fuel (usually a type of petroleum) used to propel diesel engines. Also called diesel oil and diesel fuel.

    fossil fuel Noun

    coal, oil, or natural gas. Fossil fuels formed from the remains of ancient plants and animals.

    fuel Noun

    material that provides power or energy.

    gasoline Noun

    liquid mixture made from oil and used to run many motor vehicles.

    generate Verb to create or begin. methane Noun

    chemical compound that is the basic ingredient of natural gas.

    non-renewable energy


    energy resources that are exhaustible relative to the human life span, such as gas, coal, or petroleum.

    nuclear energy Noun

    energy released by reactions among the nuclei of atoms.

    ore Noun

    deposit in the Earth of minerals containing valuable metal.

    power plant Noun

    industrial facility for the generation of electric energy.

    radioactive Adjective

    having unstable atomic nuclei and emitting subatomic particles and radiation.

    renewable energy Noun

    energy obtained from sources that are virtually inexhaustible and replenish naturally over small time scales relative to the human life span.

    solar energy Noun

    radiation from the sun.

    uranium Noun

    स्रोत : education.nationalgeographic.org

    Differences Between Renewable & Nonrenewable Resources

    How are renewable and nonrenewable energy sources different? What are the similarities and how can we distinguish renewable and nonrenewable energy sources?

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    Difference Between Renewable and Nonrenewable Energy

    Inspire Clean Energy

    0 MIN READ


    Learn the differences between renewable and nonrenewable resources

    Climate change and renewable energy are subjects we hear discussed every day in the news, but the terminology itself is still relatively new to many of us. What constitutes renewable energy? What are the advantages and disadvantages of renewable and nonrenewable energy sources?

    Let's get into the commonly asked questions surrounding climate change and renewable energy so you can make informed choices about how you live your life.

    What are renewable and nonrenewable energy sources?

    A renewable energy source is a resource we can access infinitely; it's one that constantly replenishes itself without human involvement. Renewable energy sources come from natural elements such as wind, water, the sun and even plant matter. There will always be wind blowing, sun shining and water flowing, regardless of how much of each resource we use to produce energy.

    Nonrenewable energy sources, on the other hand, are only available in fixed amounts. In most cases, this refers to fossil fuels such as natural gas, oil, and coal. While these resources did originate from organic matter, they take hundreds of thousands of years to create and require a hyper-pressurized environment to become the oil, coal and gas we can use for fuel. Once burned, they are gone forever.

    What is the difference between renewable and nonrenewable resources?

    Renewable energy harnesses natural energy to produce energy that we can consume. For example, wind's natural kinetic energy is used to turn a generator, which produces electricity. And since the wind will continue to blow, it cannot be "used up." Nonrenewable resources can only be used once, and we can't produce more to replace what we use.

    Aside from the fact that one resource is replenishable and another is not, the main difference between renewable and nonrenewable energy sources is their respective financial costs, exhaustion rate and environmental costs.

    What are some examples of renewable resources?

    Some examples of renewable resources are:

    WindSolarHydropowerTidal powerGeothermalBiomass


    What are some examples of nonrenewable resources?

    Examples of nonrenewable resources are:


    Oil Natural gas

    Nuclear energy

    What are the advantages and disadvantages of renewable resources?

    Now that we have a clear understanding of what each type of resource is, let's take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of renewable resources:


    Renewables are newer, less established, and typically more expensive. While better for our planet, many types of clean energy infrastructure can cost more to install than traditional energy generating systems. While expensive initially, wind turbines will pay for themselves over time while operational, as energy cost savings outweigh the initial cost. As a result, wind turbines are accessible and valuable investments for those who can afford to pay for them upfront, but this may not be possible in lower-income communities.

    Another unfortunate downside to renewable energy ties in with the consequences of our ever-growing world population, and therefore the increased demand for energy. Currently, the electricity demand is so high that it wouldn't be possible to meet global needs with renewable resources alone. That is not to say that it won't be possible one day, but right now, these demands can only be met by a combination of renewable and nonrenewable energy.

    People are creatures of habit and prefer to stick to what they know. The newness and unfamiliarity of clean energy can turn people off to investing in such technologies. A great example of this is the phenomenon of electric cars, which we can charge using renewable electricity. Unfortunately, money ties in with this issue, as running cars on more traditional fuels like diesel and gasoline are significantly cheaper, so people favor these options.


    One of the biggest reasons scientists are promoting renewable energy sources is for environmental reasons. They do not release harmful carbon emissions into the atmosphere and help to offset emissions.

    They can drastically improve our air quality and respiratory health. Using more environmentally friendly energy sources can save the government millions of dollars in healthcare costs each year, with fewer people hospitalized for asthma and emissions-related respiratory illnesses.

    In addition to being better for the environment and our health, using more significant amounts of renewable energy means we can conserve nonrenewable resources. Things like fossil fuels, natural gas, oil, and coal can take millions of years to form, and because they're available in a finite amount, we need to save some for the future.

    स्रोत : www.inspirecleanenergy.com

    Difference between Renewable and Non

    Explore the difference between Renewable and Non-renewable Resources. Discover how they vary from each other and learn if they have any similarities

    BiologyBiology Difference BetweenDifference Between Renewable And Non Renewable Resources

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    Difference between Renewable and Non-renewable Resources

    Table of Contents

    Renewable Resources

    Non-renewable Resources

    Differences between Renewable and Non-renewable Resources

    Most natural resources, such as coal and petroleum, were formed millions of years ago. Other resources, such as sunlight, were present even before the earth was formed. Regardless, we all are dependent on these resources in some way or the other. These resources are termed as natural resources and are very important for life on earth. Natural resources are classified into renewable resources and non-renewable resources.

    Renewable Resources

    The resources which cannot be exhausted even after continuous utilization are termed as renewable resources. Examples of renewable resources are the sun, wind, and tidal energy.

    Non-renewable Resources

    The resources which cannot be immediately replaced once they are depleted are called Non-renewable resources. Examples of Non-renewable resources include fossil fuels, such as coal, petroleum and natural gas and rare minerals typically found in meteorites.

    Now, let us have a look at the major differences between renewable resources and non-renewable resources.

    Differences between Renewable and Non-renewable Resources

    Following are major differences between renewable and non-renewable resources.

    Renewable Resources Non-renewable ResourcesDepletion

    Renewable resources cannot be depleted over time Non-renewable resources deplete over time


    Renewable resources include sunlight, water, wind and also geothermal sources such as hot springs and fumaroles Non-renewable energy includes fossil fuels such as coal and petroleum.

    Environmental Impact

    Most renewable resources have low carbon emissions and low carbon footprint Non-renewable energy has a comparatively higher carbon footprint and carbon emissions.


    The upfront cost of renewable energy is high. – For instance, Generating electricity using technologies running on renewable energy is costlier than generating it with fossil fuels Non-renewable energy has a comparatively lower upfront cost.

    Infrastructure Requirements

    Infrastructure for harvesting renewable energy is prohibitively expensive and not easily accessible in most countries. Cost-effective and accessible infrastructure is available for non-renewable energy across most countries

    Area Requirements

    Requires a large land/ offshore area, especially for wind farms and solar farms Comparatively lower area requirements

    Interestingly, some resources, such as uranium, is touted as a renewable resource. However, it is still a subject of debate as uranium is not exactly a renewable resource, according to many statutory definitions.

    For more details about the different sources of renewable and non-renewable resources, register with BYJU’S.

    Also Read: Resources on Earth

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    स्रोत : byjus.com

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