Renewable and Non-Renewable Energy Sources

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Renewable and Non-Renewable Energy Sources

We often hear about clean energy, fossil fuels, renewable and non-renewable energy sources. But what does all that mean? Let’s start with renewable energy sources. The expression is used to describe energy types that can renew themselves in an endless cycle, such as wind and solar power. There are many advantages connected with renewable energy.

For one, because of its renewable nature, it’s not going to run out. Once the technology necessary to harness it, store it and distribute it will have been fully developed to maximum efficiency, it will be able to provide humanity with energy indefinitely. Secondly, renewable energy tends to be available anywhere in the world. This fact has huge political implications since it gives countries energy independence and could lead to an end of conflicts over petroleum.

Finally, renewable energy types such as wind and solar do not need to be burnt to produce power, which makes them cleaner and safer to use. They could spell the end of the era of oil spills and excessive carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. On the other hand, non-renewable energy sources present several problems. For one, we know their reservoirs are going to dry up at one point. That’s the case with oil, coal and even nuclear, which depends on uranium, which is also non renewable. This limitation creates political tension and price instability, with a knock-on effect on every segment of the economy.

The other problem is that non renewable sources such as oil and coal are dirty. From extraction to combustion, they alter landscapes, impact on wildlife, emit greenhouse gases and cause damage to all life. They are simply not sustainable and for this reason alone they should be replaced with cleaner choices. The debate over renewable and non-renewable energy sources is one that divides opinions and is the subject of a lot of politicking. But the fact is that we have reached a crossroad where we have to make a decision regarding our energy sources and way of life. The way we have been living since the Industrial Revolution simply needs to change.