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.
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.
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 Resources|
|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.|
|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 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|
|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