Most of the energy sources that are used across the world are non-renewable. Non-renewable energy sources have been a boon both for global development as well as for humanity. However, much like any other resource, non-renewable energy also comes with its share of advantages and disadvantages.
Non-renewable energy source –What is it?
The non-renewable energy source cannot be replenished. The sources have grown over a million years and will take the same amount of time to grow back when it is all used up. Non-renewable energy powers most of the world’s industries and is the source that runs almost every automobile across the globe.
The major non-renewable energy sources are natural gas, petroleum, nuclear energy, and coal. Biomass extracted from burnt plants and created electricity is also considered a non-renewable energy source.
Non-renewable sources of energy, however, are running out. This has created the need to look for renewable energy sources.
It is vital to burn these non-renewable sources to produce energy. This causes a lot of toxic gases to get released into the environment. It is also important to understand that using non-renewable resources haphazardly ends up polluting the environment.
Non-renewable energy sources
Non-renewable energy is limited in nature. Here are some of the common non-renewable energy sources.
Coal is the plant and animal remains buried millions of years ago under the earth’s surface and went through high heat and pressure. Coal is a fossil fuel that is used to heat and power appliances.
Petroleum is oil or crude oil and is a fossil fuel too. It is also produced when animals and plants go through high heat and pressure. Oil is found trapped beneath the rock under the earth. It may also be found in the pools. Petroleum is used to run machinery, engine, and vehicles.
Natural gas is a fossil fuel formed because of animals and sea plants that sink under the bottom of the ocean and get buried under the rocks. These go through high pressure and heat, causing the rock to thicken and produce potent gas that produces energy. Natural gas is used in farming machines and for heating systems.
Nuclear energy is neither a fossil fuel nor is it a non-renewable energy source. However, you need uranium to extract it, which again is a non-renewable source of energy. Nuclear energy is still not used a lot. Some countries use it to produce electricity. However, you need uranium to extract it, which again is a non-renewable source of energy.
Let us now discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using non-renewable energy sources in detail.
Advantages of the Non-Renewable Energy
Here we list down some of the non-renewable energy advantages.
- These are available in a large quantity.
The energy sources were discovered a long time back and are now in a form that makes them ready to use. These are thus available in large quantities and have been helping to make our lives easy through these years.
They are affordable
Since non-renewable energy sources are readily available, this makes them less expensive. The sources are available almost everywhere and thus reduce the need for a huge amount of money to be invested.
Since non-renewable energy sources are easily available, it makes it easy to produce power from them. If the place has sufficient fuel to generate power, then you can build a fuel plant there. The non-renewable energy sources are thus not difficult to extract and use.
They are efficient
One major reason humans depend so much on non-renewable sources of energy is that these are effective, powerful, and efficient sources of energy. These can provide more power in a very short time, unlike the other energy sources.
Disadvantages of the Non-Renewable Energy sources
Here are a few disadvantages of using non-renewable energy sources.
- They cannot be replaced
One of the major drawbacks of the non-renewable energy source is that it cannot be replenished. This means that one needs to bear caution when using them and not use them aggressively. We are highly dependent on these sources, and it is important to use them diligently because it is not easy to replenish them.
- They cause damage to the environment.
The non-renewable energy sources have to be burnt in order to produce energy from them. These thus emit smoke into the environment. The smoke that the sources emit is not healthy for the environment. The fumes are toxic to the natural habitats. Extracting this energy also causes a loss in the fertile soil and the forests, which cause degradation of the environment.
- Adjusting to life without non-renewable energy is difficult
Humans are today highly dependent on non-renewable energy sources. It is impossible to imagine life without it. Non-renewable energy sources give convenience by producing more energy. These are not expensive, and you do not require an entire house system to run them. To live without non-renewable energy sources could thus be challenging.
Causes Global Warming
Global warming is the major reason for the environmental crisis that we are experiencing today. Fossil fuels burn, and these contribute to an unhealthy environment. Fossil fuels emit carbon dioxide and cause the ozone layer to deplete. Non-renewable energy sources are thus toxic for the planet.
Low supply is increasing cost
The non-renewable energy sources are running out. The supply is low, and the demand is high. Following basic economics, today, most of these sources are seeing a rise in cost. The non-renewable energy sources are thus getting expensive with the time.
There is a health risk for the workers.
Mining non-renewable energy sources can be dangerous. The process of extracting nuclear energy, oil, natural gas, and coal can even be fatal to humans. There are toxic fuels released in the environment that cause severe health issues once it enters the human system.
The non-renewable sources are efficient and highly convenient. These do not need any investment and are readily available. However, there are an equal number of disadvantages to using them. These are toxic to the environment and cannot be replenished. All these are reasons why there is a lot of investment today in finding alternative sources of energy.