Energy exists freely in nature. Some of these are infinitely available in our surrounding and termed as renewable. Other are termed as non-renewable. It is our responsibility to make sure the proper use of both types of renewable and non-renewable energy. Non-renewable energy is available in limited quantity and eventually, these will run out over the time frame. In simple words, we can say that Non-renewable energy resources cannot renew themselves at a sufficient rate.
Introduction to Non-Renewable Energy
Unlike renewable energy, non-renewable energy needs sensible human intervention to make it controlled consumption. Fossil fuels mainly consist of Carbon. The resources for non-renewable energy are fuels from fossil deposits.
Non-renewable energy comes from the sources which will run out or will not be replenished soon and easily. Mostly non-renewable energy sources are fossil fuels like coal, petroleum, and natural gases. Carbon is the main element in such fossil fuels. Due to this fact, fossil fuels are called as the Carboniferous Period. All the fossil fuels formed in a similar way. Hundreds of millions of years ago, Earth was having a different landscape. These were covered with wide, shallow seas and swampy forests.
Plants, algae, and plankton grew in all those ancient wetlands. They absorbed the sunlight and further created energy through photosynthesis. When they died, the organisms drifted to the bottom of the sea or lake afterwards. There was the energy stored in the plants as well as in the animals when they died.
Over the passage of time, the dead plants were crushed under the seabed. Rocks and other sediment piled above them, creating high heat and pressure underground. In such an environment, the plant and animal remain eventually turned into fossil fuels. At present, there are huge underground pockets means reservoirs of these non-renewable sources of energy all over the world.
Advantages and Disadvantages Non-Renewable Energy
Fossil fuels are a valuable source of energy and are relatively inexpensive to extract. We can also store, pipe, or ship them around the world. Burning fossil fuels is harmful to the environment due to making pollution of the air, water as well as land. Some of these particles are caught and set aside, but most of them are released into the air.
Burning fossil fuels also disturbs the Earth’s “carbon budget,”. These are balancing the carbon in the ocean, earth, and air. With the combustion of fossil fuels, these are releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide is the gas responsible which keeps heat in Earth’s atmosphere. This process is called the “greenhouse effect.” This greenhouse effect is necessary to live on Earth and relies on a balanced carbon budget.
The carbon existing in fossil fuels has been sequestered, underground for millions of years. By removing this sequestered carbon from the earth and releasing these into the atmosphere is making unbalance to the carbon budget. This is contributing to temperatures rising faster than organisms can adapt.
Coal is also termed as the black or brownish rock. Its burning generates energy. But it is ranked depending on how much “carbonization” takes place. It is the process that ancient organisms undergo to become coal. Coal is a reliable source of energy, but the usage of coal is also harmful.
Petroleum or crude oil is a kind of liquid fossil fuel. Petroleum is trapped by the underground rock formations. Mostly oil is still deep under the ground. It is also a type of reliable and dependable source of energy. But, burning gasoline is also harmful to the environment. It releases hazardous gases and fumes into our breathing air.
FAQs about Non-Renewable Energy
Q.1: Is Gold renewable or non-renewable kind of material?
Answer: Earth minerals and metal ores such as gold, silver, iron etc are non-renewable resources. This is because these form from the geological processes that take a span of millions of years.
Q.2: In nuclear energy is also a kind of non-renewable energy?
Answer: Yes. Nuclear energy is also a non-renewable energy source. Nuclear energy harvests the powerful energy in the core of atom i.e. nucleus. It is released through the nuclear fission process. Nuclear power plants are using this to produce electricity. Nuclear power plants are very difficult to build and execute. Also, Nuclear energy is producing harmful radioactive material.