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Advantages and Disadvantages of Renewable and Non-renewable Energy Sources

Renewable and non-renewable energy sources are the most important and vital sources of energy on this planet. In this article, you will read about their advantages and disadvantages and also the characteristics of renewable and non-renewable energy sources.

What is Renewable Energy?

Renewable energy is derived from sources that are continuously refilled. Solar energy, geothermal energy, wind energy, and hydroelectric power are some of the renewable energy sources.

Renewable sources are generally allied with clean energy and green energy, but there are some subtle differences between these three types of energy. Where clean energy is a type of energy that does not release pollutants like carbon dioxide, the sources that are recyclable are renewable sources, and the energy that comes from natural sources is green energy. There is often a dispute between these types of energy because not all types of renewable energy are truly green or clean. For instance, natural habitats can be damaged by some hydroelectric sources, which eventually causes deforestation.

Characteristics of Renewable Energy Sources

  1. Renewable resources have the capacity to restore themselves easily.
  2. Ecological developments for a definite time period are required by renewable resources to regenerate themselves.
  3. Renewable energy can become non-renewable energy if it is utilised in an extreme amount, that is, higher than the environment’s ability to restore it.

Advantages of Renewable Sources of Energy

1. Renewable energy sources can never run out because these sources are continuously filled by nature. For instance: solar energy can never run out until the Sun exists in the solar system.

2. As compared to non-renewable sources like fossil fuels, renewable energy sources are easily available to humans and are reliable because these energy sources are distributed equally on the planet.

3. Renewable energy sources are environment friendly because they are produced naturally, and they do not emit any harmful gases or pollutants that can cause damage to the ozone layer or to the environment.

4. Renewable sources require less maintenance as compared to non-renewable energy sources. For instance, if you can see turbines in hydropower stations or in wind farms, you will observe that these power generating systems do not require any external system for rotating parts. Although their initial cost is high, once they are installed, you can benefit from them for a lifetime.

Disadvantages of Renewable Sources of Energy

1. Renewable energy sources are not available round the clock because these sources are natural forces that depend strongly on the weather condition. Therefore, when you have bad weather conditions, renewable energy such as solar cells can’t be used.

2. The efficiency of renewable energy is low because every type of energy requires a particular kind of technology to convert it into electricity. Unfortunately, as compared with traditional energy conversion devices, the efficiency of renewable sources and technology is not that high.

3. The storage cost of renewable energy is very high, and also it requires a lot of space for its installation.

What is Non-Renewable Energy?

The source of energy which will eventually run out with time is known as a non-renewable energy source. Fossil fuels, such as gas, coal, and oil, are some examples of non-renewable energy sources.

For a large number of industries, these natural resources are a major source of power; however, there are several disadvantages to non-renewable energy, counting their negative environmental influence and the fact they are in limited supply.

So, basically, a non-renewable resource is a finite natural resource because it cannot be refilled at the speed at which it is consumed.

Characteristics of Non-Renewable Energy Sources

  1. Non-renewable energy sources are also known as stock resources because they are not obtainable in high quantities.
  2. Non-renewable energy generally exists in the form of minerals which are present in various forms in the lithosphere of the earth.
  3. Non-renewable resources can be obtained in solids, liquids or gases, that is, all the three states of matter, for instance, coal, petroleum and natural gas.

Advantages of Non-Renewable Sources of Energy

1. Resources such as oil and coal tend to provide us with more energy as compared to renewable

energy like wind or solar energy, and the reason behind it is that non-renewable resources are high in energy.

2. In the construction of natural gas pipelines, mining of coal and selling of oil and petroleum, huge profits can be generated.

3. Non-renewable resources are easy to use and quite easy to store. Also, non-renewable resources can be conveniently moved across the world.

4. Most significantly, non-renewable resources are helpful in generating employment. Extracting, refining and transporting are the portions of non-renewable sources that provide employment for the people in gulf countries.

Disadvantages of Non-Renewable Source of Energy

1. One of the main drawbacks of non-renewable energy is that it consumes a lot of time and it

takes a lot of effort. For instance, the process involved in the mining of coal is searching for the coal mines, installation of complex machines, drilling, extracting, refining and transporting. All these processes are very time-consuming processes.

2. Non-renewable energy sources are slowly vanishing from the earth because they are formed over billions of years.

3. Since some non-renewable sources emit carbon monoxide, like fossil fuels, it means that non-renewable energy causes pollution and also, they can cause respiratory problems in humans. Sources like coal, oil and natural gas are responsible for rapidly destroying the ozone layer because these sources release a large amount of carbon dioxide when burnt.

4. Transportation of non-renewable sources is a very risky process because when huge oil tanks and cargo ships crash and spill the contents in the sea or somewhere else, then it can be deadly for human beings, sea animals and the vegetation in that area.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is renewable energy?

Renewable energy is energy that is derived from sources that are continuously refilled. Solar energy, geothermal energy, wind energy, and hydroelectric power are some of the renewable energy sources.

What is non-renewable energy?

The source of energy which will eventually run out with time is known as a non-renewable energy source. Fossil fuels, such as gas, coal, and oil, are some examples of non-renewable energy sources.

How many sources of energy are there?

Basically, there are two sources of energy:

  • Renewable Energy
  • Non-renewable Energy

Give some examples of non-renewable energy sources.

Coal, uranium, wood, and petroleum products.

GIve some examples of renewable energy sources.

Sun, wind, water.

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