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The Difference on Renewable and Non-Renewable Energy Resources

Updated on October 7, 2018

Solar Panels


Renewable Energy

To begin with, the world runs on two types of sources of energy and they are renewable energy and non-renewable energy. Both have their advantages and disadvantages.

Renewable energy includes wind energy, biomass energy, solar energy, hydro-energy, geothermal energy and also tidal energy. These types of energy work in different ways and have different effects to the environment. Basically, renewable energy is considered natural energy of the Earth and remarkably known to be the cleanest energy source according to experts in this field of topic. They give out low carbon emissions and thought to be environmentally friendly. It’s produced from the sun, rain and wind and can be generated repeatedly.

Wind turbines


The most efficient and popular source of renewable energy today is the solar energy, basically the Sun’s energy is used to generate electricity. This kind of solar power works by the Sun’s radiation and is used in two different ways to generate power. Its light energy can be converted directly into electrical energy with the assistance of solar cells in the photovoltaic process.

This amazing technology is directed fully towards the production of electricity and no such other works are being implemented with light energy from the Sun. The other method is the solar thermal system, meaning that thermal energy is usable and available through solar collectors. Generally, this principle is used in single buildings for heating water, but it can also be used on a larger scale in the form of solar thermal power plants. In such bigger scales, the Sun’s rays are concentrated onto an absorber, in which temperatures can reach around 1,000 degrees Celsius (1,830F). Therefore and afterwards, this tremendous heat can be used again as heat, or it can be converted through generators into electrical energy. This is a typical example of renewable energy, but in certain countries, they are very expensive to use.

Solar panel on roof


Non-renewable energy

Non-renewable energy are energy sources which come from crude oil, coal, natural gas and nuclear energy, primarily it’s regarded as fossil fuels. They cannot be re-generated once it’s used up. These types of energy
sources are from fossils and some of them are millions of years old (maybe as far back in the age of the dinosaurs).

Compared to renewable energy and its benefits and abundance, non-renewable energy will deplete in the future because it is eventually limiting as the day is going by. Furthermore, fossil fuels are far more expensive than renewable energy in most countries because of its shortage. Non-renewable energy is also harmful to the environment and can have serious effects on people’s health due to poor air quality. It is also believed to cause climate change and having serious effects on plants and animals.

Motor vehicles running on petrol or diesel emit carbon monoxide and release other toxic chemicals in the atmosphere. Even though liquid petrol gas (LPG) may be the best alternative to run motors, they still emit small amounts of harmful gases into the air. This is proved to be the cause of the greenhouse effect and global warming. In general, non-renewable energy will be replaced by renewable energy in the future due to its shortage.


Renewable resources are abundant on Earth and will always be available. Besides, it is more natural and safer and cleaner to the world’s climate.

A further list of renewable resources are:

• Tidal Power
• Wind Power
• Solar Power
• Biomass (plants, wood chips, waste agricultural material etc)
• Rapeseed Oil
• Algae Oil
• Biodiesel
• Ethanol
• Wood Pellets
• Peat (considered to be renewable resource)

Rapeseed growth


Wood Pellets


We know for a fact that non-renewable resources are natural resources which cannot be grown, reproduced or regenerated. And they are used up much faster than nature can create them in thousands of years.

A list of non-renewable resources including the ones already mentioned are:

• Coal
• Natural Gas (butane, helium, nitrogen, methane etc)
• Petroleum
• Diesel
• Kerosene
• Aquifers (saturated rock)
• Metal Ores (Lead, Mercury, Zinc, Copper, Tin & Platinum)
• Uranium Ore
• Timber (rainforest)

Burning coal


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