Renewable and Non-Renewable Energy

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Renewable and Non-Renewable Energy

Energy, in the most basic terms is described as the ability/strength to do work. We need energy to do work. Let us find out what actually energy is!

Energy is a characteristic or possession of objects and it can be passed on to other objects or transformed into various forms.

Energy can be divided into different categories on the basis of their renew-ability and position (kinetic energy and potential energy). In this article, we will discuss energy on the basis of renew-ability.

One the basis of renewability, energy can be divided into two categories-

  1. Renewable Energy
  2. Non-Renewable Energy

Renewable Energy

Meaning: Energy that can be replenished regularly in nature and is available in abundance is called renewable energy. Renewable energy can be used on a continuous basis. This energy keeps our environment clean and green as it is environment-friendly.

The various types of renewable energy includes:

1. Solar Energy– Solar energy is the heat and light received from the sun. Hence, sun is the source of solar energy. Solar energy is used in lighting up homes and heating water.

2. Hydro-power– Energy received from water is called hydro-power energy. Water is a renewable resource. Running water is used to produce electricity. Dams are built across water sources that have potential to rotate turbines for producing electricity.

3. Bio energy– Bio energy is produced with the help of biomass (biological material derived from living organisms). Bio energy is either directly used to produce heat via combustion or is converted to various biofuels. Bio-ethanol is used as an alternative of petrol in various countries.

4. Geothermal Energy– It is an energy form derived from earth’s surface. It is used in heating systems.

Non-Renewable Energy

Meaning: The basic definition of non-renewable energy says that it is the energy that comes that comes from sources that are finite.

  • Not Available in Huge Quantities: It is obvious that as non-renewable energy comes from sources that are limited, this energy is not available in huge quantities.
  • Cannot be Replenished Quickly: Non-renewable energy also means energy that that cannot be replenished in nature as quickly as renewable energy.

The various types of renewable energy includes:

  1. Fossil fuels– Fossils are remains of dead plants and animals and fossil fuels take millions of years to take form which can be easily usable. Coal, petroleum and natural gas are examples of fossil fuels.
  2. Nuclear Energy– Though nuclear energy itself is a renewable energy resource, but the materials used in it are not. Uranium (U-225) is used in nuclear power plants and is nonrenewable.

Renewable Vs Non-Renewable Energy

  1. Availability: Renewable energy is available in huge quantity while non-renewable energy is limited.
  1. Environment: Most of the non-renewable energy resources pollute the environment whereas renewable energy is environment friendly.
  1. Cost of energy sources: The cost of using renewable energy sources is higher than using the non-renewable energy sources. The technologies associated with renewable energy require significant investment.
  1. Initial set up cost: The initial set up cost for setting up plants to harness renewable energy resource is much more than using non-renewable energy resources. Also, it depends on the geographic location of a country for deciding the price of non-renewable resources too. However, the final results of using renewable energy are beneficial in the long run.
  1. Maintenance cost: Though renewable energy sources is available infinitely, the cost of setting up the resources as well as the maintenance cost for using it is expensive than non-renewable energy.
  1. Energy quantity: The amount of energy produced using non-renewable resources is less than that produced with the help of non-renewable energy resources.
  1. Reliability/Climatic Conditions: Renewable energy is dependent on climatic conditions. Windmills for example cannot be set up in areas where wind does not blow frequently.

Conclusion: Renewable energy can definitely add on conventional power, and has got environmental benefits too, but at the same time, it is worth mentioning that presently, we cannot completely replace the non-renewable energy with renewable energy!

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