Advantages and disadvantages of non-renewable energy

In this article, we discuss the pros and cons of utilising non-renewable sources of energy. 

Advantages and disadvantages of non renewable energy

Advantages of non-renewable energy are:

  • The major benefits of nonrenewable energy are their abundance and low cost. Oil and diesel, for example, are still viable options for vehicle propulsion.
  • Nonrenewable energy is less expensive to produce and consume than renewable energy.
  • Nonrenewable materials have a high energy content. When compared to alternative energies such as solar or wind energy, fossil fuels such as coal and oil tend to give us more energy.
  • Coal extraction, oil sales, and natural gas pipeline construction all provide large earnings.
  • These tools are simple to use, whether at home or elsewhere.
  • Nonrenewable resources are available at a low cost to consumers.
  • New technologies and other sources of energy are unable to replace conventional minerals such as coal and oil for certain individuals. As a result, it’s also known as conventional energy.
  • Nonrenewable energy may be found almost anywhere. This means they can be easily moved around the world. Nonrenewable energy can be used by those who live in remote places.
  • Jobs are created by nonrenewable resources. The parts of nonrenewable sources that provide work include extraction, transportation, and refining.
  • The majority of nonrenewable resources are also fairly simple to store.

Disadvantages of non-renewable energy are:

  • It’s time-consuming in nature
  • Fossil fuels formed in the earth’s crust over millions of years and cannot be replenished once utilised.
  • When coal and gas are burnt, sulphur dioxide is released. Sulphur dioxide is a component of acid rain and can cause breathing issues in living beings.
  • When coal, oil, and natural gas are burnt, they produce a substantial amount of carbon dioxide. The ozone layer is swiftly depleted by these substances.
  • When fossil fuels are burned, carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere. They turn rain into acid rain, which is damaging to wildlife as well as humans.
  • Smog is produced by a variety of non-renewable sources, which envelops buildings and other critical goods. The majority of the time, individuals in modern cities lament it. Your building and other items may appear dark and unclean due to black fog.
  • Huge cargo ships and oil tankers may occasionally collide while transporting oil, spilling their cargo into the sea or elsewhere. It is potentially lethal to marine creatures and humans that come into touch with it.
  • We need to maintain a huge supply of fuel on hand at all times to keep the power plant functioning. This can be expensive and take up a lot of space.

What is non renewable energy?

Nonrenewable energy sources cannot be replenished. After a few million years, the sources may begin to regenerate. They run practically all of the world’s cars and power the majority of the world’s industries.

Non-renewable energy sources include petroleum, natural gas, coal, and nuclear power. Because biomass is collected from burned plants to generate power, some people consider it a nonrenewable energy source.

Even while we still have some of these non-renewable resources, they are beginning to run out. For example, oil will only be available to us for the next 42 years. Natural gas, on the other hand, is predicted to last just 62 years.

We may be able to conserve these resources for a bit longer if we start reducing our usage of them right immediately and discover other alternatives.

Nonrenewable resources are being exploited haphazardly, which not only depletes them but also pollutes our environment. To generate energy from nonrenewable sources, it is typically necessary to burn them. 

Many hazardous gases are discharged into the environment as a result of this process, damaging it. As a result, it is critical that we begin taking actions to protect these valuable non-renewable resources.

Types of Non-Renewable Energy

Nonrenewable energy is divided into two categories based on how it is produced naturally. The following sections go through each of these two categories in detail:

  • Fossil fuels
    • Coal
    • Petroleum
    • Natural gas
  • Nuclear energy

We shall discuss these in more detail.

Fossil fuels

Fossil fuel is an energy source that has been buried deep beneath the Earth’s surface for millions of years, undergoing extreme heat and pressure.

The fossil fuels we have today are entirely the consequence of plant and animal remnants that were buried 300-360 million years ago. The Carboniferous Period is the name given to this time period.

All of the principal energy sources we utilise today are fossil fuels, such as coal, petroleum, and natural gas. They are valuable energy sources that are quite simple to obtain. Compared to other options, they are also less expensive.

Burning fossil fuels, on the other hand, pollutes the air, water, and land. Not only that, but the process of obtaining fossil fuels may be hazardous to the environment. 

They also emit a lot of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, which causes the ozone layer to deplete and, as a result, Global Warming.

Fossil fuels are divided into various categories, which are

Coal

Coal is made up of the remnants of plants and animals that were buried under the Earth’s surface millions of years ago and subjected to extreme pressure and heat. 

It is a fossil fuel that is extensively used for both heating and powering equipment. In reality, coal generates half of the power in the United States.

Petroleum


Petroleum is a fossil fuel that is often known as crude oil or just oil. It, too, is made from the remnants of plants and animals that have been subjected to extreme pressure and heat.

Oil is generally found trapped beneath subsurface rocks or a few feet beneath the Earth’s surface. It’s also been discovered as pools in a variety of places. 

Petroleum is the most widely utilised fuel in the world to power engines, machines, and automobiles.

Natural gas

Natural gas is another fossil fuel that is generated when microscopic marine plants and animals drop to the ocean’s bottom and are buried by rocks. 

As the thickness of the rocks increases, the buried plants and animals are subjected to increased pressure and heat, resulting in the production of a powerful gas capable of producing energy.

Natural gas is widely utilised to power enterprises, operate farm machines, and even power hot air balloons. Natural gas is also utilised in houses for heating systems, barbecues, machines, and appliances.

Nuclear energy

While nuclear energy is a sustainable energy source, the process of extracting it uses a lot of non-renewable resources. It is created by splitting the nucleus, the atom’s core, in a process known as nuclear fission. 

The process generates a large amount of energy, which is then transformed to electric energy and used in everyday life.

Nuclear power plants govern the nuclear fission process. The most frequent element used in power plants is uranium, which is found in rocks all around the world. 

They do, however, employ U-235, a rare and specialised form of uranium. Across 30 nations around the world use this energy source to generate electricity. 

They don’t contaminate the environment or generate any poisonous odours. Power plants, on the other hand, are difficult to maintain. 

Furthermore, nuclear energy creates radioactive elements, which, when subjected to radiation, can cause deadly illnesses such as cancer.

Advantages of non-renewable energy

Non-renewable energy bears several advantages such as:

  • The major benefits of nonrenewable energy are their abundance and low cost. Oil and diesel, for example, are still viable options for vehicle propulsion.
  • Nonrenewable energy is less expensive to produce and consume than renewable energy.
  • Nonrenewable materials have a high energy content. When compared to alternative energies such as solar or wind energy, fossil fuels such as coal and oil tend to give us more energy.
  • Coal extraction, oil sales, and natural gas pipeline construction all provide large earnings.
  • These tools are simple to use, whether at home or elsewhere.
  • Nonrenewable resources are available at a low cost to consumers.
  • New technologies and other sources of energy are unable to replace conventional minerals such as coal and oil for certain individuals. As a result, it’s also known as conventional energy.
  • Nonrenewable energy may be found almost anywhere. This means they can be easily moved around the world. Nonrenewable energy can be used by those who live in remote places.
  • Jobs are created by nonrenewable resources. The parts of nonrenewable sources that provide work include extraction, transportation, and refining.
  • The majority of nonrenewable resources are also fairly simple to store.

Disadvantages of non-renewable energy

So far, we’ve discussed how non-renewable energy is advantageous, as it creates jobs, is cheaper to produce, can be stored, and so on.

However, there are disadvantages of using non-renewable energy, with some being more serious in nature. These are:

  • Non-renewable energy has a number of drawbacks, one of which is its time-consuming nature. Coal mining, oil exploration, oil drilling, oil rig construction, extraction pipe installation, and natural gas transportation are all time-consuming activities. They also need a significant amount of work.
  • Fossil fuels formed in the earth’s crust over millions of years and cannot be replenished once utilised.
  • When coal and gas are burnt, sulphur dioxide is released. Sulphur dioxide is a component of acid rain and can cause breathing issues in living beings.
  • When coal, oil, and natural gas are burnt, they produce a substantial amount of carbon dioxide. The ozone layer is swiftly depleted by these substances.
  • When fossil fuels are burned, carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere. They turn rain into acid rain, which is damaging to wildlife as well as humans.
  • Smog is produced by a variety of non-renewable sources, which envelops buildings and other critical goods. The majority of the time, individuals in modern cities lament it. Your building and other items may appear dark and unclean due to black fog.
  • Huge cargo ships and oil tankers may occasionally collide while transporting oil, spilling their cargo into the sea or elsewhere. It is potentially lethal to marine creatures and humans that come into touch with it.
  • We need to maintain a huge supply of fuel on hand at all times to keep the power plant functioning. This can be expensive and take up a lot of space.

Conclusion

Nonrenewable energy sources are both practical and effective. They don’t cost a lot of money and are widely available.

Despite this, their drawbacks outnumber their benefits. They may be harmful to the ecosystem and the creatures that live there. Furthermore, they are non-renewable.

As a result, we should begin taking efforts to become completely environmentally friendly. Before the non-renewables run out, we can start using alternate energy sources and adjusting to them.

Choosing alternative energy sources can help us become less reliant on nonrenewable energy sources while also helping to conserve the environment.

FAQs

What are the criteria for reviewing an energy source?

Rider University has devised a set of five criteria for assessing any energy source, including nonrenewable sources:

  • Is the energy source available, and if so, for how long? A period of fifteen years is regarded as short, a period of fifteen to fifty years is considered intermediate, and a period of fifty years or more is considered lengthy.
  • How much extra energy is required to create the energy yield? Rider University employs a net energy ratio, which is defined as “energy generated minus energy consumed during production.” The better the energy yield, the higher the ratio.
  • How much does it cost to create and manufacture energy? Nuclear energy, for example, may be hindered by the high-technology required to manufacture it.
  • What is the impact of energy on the environment? Does the environmental impact of extracting, transporting, and using the source exceed the environmental impact? In these criteria, the use of coal as an energy source is relevant.
  • Is the energy source a viable choice for renewable energy? Is it long-term viable? “Why build it if you’re just going to run out of it?” said Rider University academics. Oil, for example, meets these requirements.

Can non-renewable sources of energy contribute to global warming?

Yes, the ever-growing dependency of human civilization on non-renewable energy sources contributes heavily to not just global warming, but to climate change altogether.

This is because the gases released by burning fossil fuels, particularly carbon dioxide, act as greenhouse gases i.e., they trap the excess heat leaving from the Earth’s surface into the atmosphere.

This in turn causes a rise in the global mean temperature, and still continues to do so.

Furthermore, carbon dioxide, the main gaseous species produced on combustion of fossil fuels, also causes the acidification and the rise in temperatures of the oceans.

This causes physiological as well as ecological disturbances in the marine species, which causes several issues, such as the death of coral reefs as well as the organisms dependent on the reefs, poor reproduction rates, poor vertical mixing, and so on .

References

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