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Renewable and Non-renewable Resources

A renewable resource is one that can be reused repeatedly and does not run out since it is constantly replenished.

Renewable Resources

A renewable resource is one that can be reused repeatedly and does not run out since it is constantly replenished. A renewable resource is one that generates energy from the sun, geothermal power, the wind, hydropower, or biomass power. Resources that are renewable are ones that are constantly replenished and can be used repeatedly. A renewable resource includes solar power, hydropower, geothermal power, wind power, and biomass power.
  • As the human population grows, renewable resources are needed more and more.
  • With renewable resources, fewer fossil fuels are needed to meet energy demands, which are considered nonrenewable.
  • It is costly to use renewable resources at scale, so further research is needed to determine how to use them efficiently.
Resources that can be replenished indefinitely are renewable. Solar panels, wind turbines, and water are not renewable resources, but some resources are, even if they require some effort and time to regenerate. Metals are another resource that is renewable. While precious metals cannot naturally be replaced, they can still be recycled, since they do not decompose during their extraction and use. A nonrenewable resource cannot be recovered once it is exhausted, unlike renewable resources. In an era when finite resources become scarcer and the human population continues to grow, renewable resources become more important.

Energy from organic resources, such as coal, oil, and natural gas, has been gaining traction as a substitute for nonrenewable resources such as coal. In spite of the high costs of biofuel, some experts predict that the price of fossil fuels will increase due to scarcity and supply-and-demand forces, lowering the cost of biofuels. A technological advance in the production of fossil fuels, however, has resulted in a decrease in the cost of fossil fuels. Buyers of commodities and policymakers attempting to forecast future price changes need to constantly consider these influences.

Non-renewable Resources

Nonrenewable resources are substances whose natural stock cannot be replenished as rapidly as they are consumed. Nonrenewable resources are limited. Nonrenewable resources include petroleum, natural gas, and coal. It takes eons for these substances to form new supplies as humans constantly draw from the reserves.

Renewable resources are opposite - On the other hand, renewable resources replenish naturally or can be sustained. Wind turbines and solar panels use the same energy to power themselves. Replanting can keep timber reserves intact.
  • Unlike renewable resources, nonrenewable resources are consumed faster than they can be replaced.
  • There is a finite amount of nonrenewable resources.
  • Minerals, metal ores, and fossil fuels can be considered nonrenewable resources.
  • Solar, wind, and water energy are renewable resources that are unlimited in supply.
Earth is the source of nonrenewable resources. As gases, liquids, or solids, they are extracted and then converted to use, primarily as energy. These substances have been around for hundreds of millions of years, and it will take even longer for them to replenish. Resources such as natural gas, crude oil, coal, and uranium are not renewable. The resources listed above can all be processed into commercially useful products. Fossil fuel companies, for example, extract oil from the ground and transform it into gasoline. Petrochemical products, such as plastics and polyurethane, are also manufactured from fossil fuel liquids. There are literally hundreds of products that can be manufactured using these products.

There is no renewable source of fossil fuels. Non-renewables are not all fossil fuels. All fossil fuels except for uranium are classified as fossil fuels, such as crude oil, natural gas, coal, and lignite. Nuclear power is the process of converting a heavy metal, which is extracted as a solid, into a fuel source. These nonrenewable energy sources have all been proven to be valuable and inexpensive energy sources historically. Transport, storage, and conversion are simple and inexpensive. Despite their high energy content and affordability, nonrenewable fuels remain the world's primary source of electricity generation.

Organic carbon material is transformed into crude oil and natural gas over time by heating and compressing it. Minerals and metals from the earth are also considered nonrenewable resources, including gold, silver, and iron. Similarly, these minerals and metals are formed over the course of time. Due to their deep location in the Earth's surface, they are often expensive to mine. Despite their great abundance, fossil fuels are far less abundant. When aquifers cannot replenish themselves at the same rate as they are drained, they are considered nonrenewable.
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Ankur Choudhary is India's first professional pharmaceutical blogger, author and founder of Pharmaceutical Guidelines, a widely-read pharmaceutical blog since 2008. Sign-up for the free email updates for your daily dose of pharmaceutical tips.
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