Renewable and non renewable energy sources explained will help you to understand the differences between the two and determine which is better. For this explanation, we are referring to electrical energy or energy to run our vehicles, boats, and other forms of transportation. The two combined are the driving factors behind both our economy and our society as a whole, for without either we would almost be back in the dark ages so to speak.
That day will come when we will be without coal and oil, however there are alternative sources of energy available to us which we are finally beginning to utilize more of. Fossil fuels are not good for the environment so to help protect our planet, it is wise for us to move forward with alternative energy for our future energy needs.
Renewable and Non Renewable Energy Sources
Nonrenewable Energy Sources
Nonrenewable energy sources are natural energy sources that are finite, or in limited supply. While these sources of energy may at first seem abundant, the supplies will dwindle as we consume them, eventually exhausting them altogether. This is what we call unsustainable, as we cannot sustain our reliance on them indefinitely because sooner or later they will run out. In addition to these resources being finite, not only is the burning harmful to the planet but also the extraction of these sources of energy have dire consequences on the environment.
- Crude Oil
- Crude oil is a naturally occurring highly toxic combustible liquid primarily made up of hydrocarbons. Oil is the result of the partial decaying of living organisms occurring in the rock strata of certain geological formations.
- Coal is a combustible black or brownish-black sedimentary rock formed from fossilized plants. Coal consists of amorphous carbon with various organic and some inorganic compounds and is normally occurring in rock strata in layers or veins called coal beds. Coal is another highly toxic element that is bad for the environment, and currently is the largest source of energy for power plants, referred to as coal fired power plants.
- Natural Gas
- Natural gas is another combustible mixture of hydrocarbon gases that occurs with petroleum deposits consisting primarily of the gas methane. It is found with other fossil fuels and in coal beds. It is created by the decay of methanogenic organisms in marshes, bogs, and landfills. Lower temperatures are likely to produce more petroleum, and higher temperatures are likely to produce more natural gas. Of all the fossil fuels, natural gas is the least harmful, but it is still harmful and is becoming harder and harder to get to as easily obtained sources are being depleted, as with all the other fossil fuels.
- Nuclear Power
- Nuclear power is produced by the controlled splitting of atoms, which is called nuclear fission. In most cases nuclear power plants use nuclear fission chain reactions to heat water, using the resulting steam to produce electricity. Uranium, specifically, uranium -235, is one of the few elements easily fission-ed. Some would think of this as renewable, but it is not, and it is also dangerous, as the radioactive materials used and the resulting radioactive waste are extremely hazardous to both humans and the environment.
Renewable and Non Renewable Energy Sources
Renewable Energy Sources
The name here speaks for itself, as this energy is derived from resources that are not finite, and can either be grown, or replaced easily, or are a naturally occurring phenomenon like the wind and sun. When it comes to renewable and non renewable energy sources, renewable is the best option in our opinion. It is sustainable, and eco-friendly for the most part, and will not pollute our planet. With oil becoming more scarce, it will only lead to rising prices, and demand continues to remain high, and with developing nations booming, is even still growing, which sooner or later will become a major issue. This is why we support the sustainable energy when it comes to renewable and non renewable energy sources.
- Geothermal energy is power extracted from heat stored under the earth’s crust. This power source is generally cost effective, usually reliable, mostly sustainable, and generally environmentally friendly. Historically, geothermal energy extraction has been limited to areas near tectonic plate boundaries. Recent advances in technology have significantly widened the range of viable resources, especially for applications such as home heating.
- Wind power is growing at a rate of 30% a year and is harmless to the environment. There are three minor problems with wind energy however, wind is not available in sufficient quantities in all locations all of the time, the current turbine technology tends to be loud, and birds can sometimes fly into the propellers and get killed. Advancements in technologies are helping to solve or minimize these issues.
- Solar energy has been used by humans since the beginning of mankind I would imagine. There are three types of solar energy: passive solar energy, active solar energy, and solar energy created by converting solar radiation into electricity using photovoltaic cells. Solar energy using photovoltaic or solar cells is currently the fastest growing power generating technology in the world. Technology in this area is also advancing rapidly with exciting changes resulting in much greater efficiency and flexibility.
- Hydroelectric Dams
- Hydroelectric dams use hydro-power to produce electricity. Hydro-power is created from the force of moving water turning large turbines to create electricity. Modern age large scale hydroelectric dams however impact the environment through loss of natural habitat, changes to the downstream riverbed, the disruption of fish spawning, and even the loss of fish and other species, not to mention forcing people to abandon their farms and homes, and even abandoning entire cities and villages in certain instances, such as the Three Gorges Dam in China, which forced the relocation of roughly 1.3 million people.
- Tidal Hydro-power
- This is a form of hydro-power where the rising tide fills a damned reservoir, then as the tide lowers, the water is released through a turbine that produces electricity, similar to that of a hydroelectric dam. There are no known significant environmental threats known at this time with this renewable energy.
- Wave Hydro-power
- Wave power involves extracting energy from the surface motion of waves or from the pressure fluctuations below the surface caused by waves. This technology is promising as well, and is similar to that of wind energy, in that large turbines are used similar to wind turbines, however they must be built stronger to sustain the pressures of being underwater, not to mention shielding the electrical apparatus within them from the water.
- Radiant Energy
- This energy is used for heating. An obvious example is using solar to heat the water for a hot water heater or a swimming pool, or even a solar oven if you are familiar with them. Enertia homes use radiant heat from the earth to heat themselves.
- Biomass is biological material from recently living or currently living organisms such as trees and landfill gasses and alcohol fuels creating from crops such as corn. Burning grease or ethanol derived from corn to run a vehicle are two common examples of biomass energy production. Here are the Biomass advantages and disadvantages to see more on this type of energy.
That about sums up renewable and non renewable energy sources explained, we hope that it helps you to better understand the differences between the two. Peace my friends!