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Difference Between Renewable Energy Resources and Non-Renewable Energy Resources

Main Difference

The main difference between Renewable Energy Resources and Non-Renewable Energy Resources is that Renewable Energy Resources are the resources that replenished naturally in a short time, whereas Non-Renewable Energy Resources are that which cannot be replenished or replenished very slowly.

Renewable Energy Resources vs. Non-Renewable Energy Resources

Renewable energy resources are the resources that can be renewed or replenished naturally with time, for example, solar energy, wind energy, geothermal energy, and hydro energy, etc. On the flip side, non-renewable energy resources are the resources that cannot be replenished or renewed easily in a short time. Examples of such resources are natural gas, coal, oil, and natural energy, etc.

Renewable energy resources are abundant in this universe and never finished. On the other side, non-renewable energy resources are present in limited quantity in this universe. Renewable energy resources can easily be replaced within a short time. On the other hand, Non-renewable energy resources are the resources that either do not replace or replenished very slowly through natural processes.

People are using renewable energy resources since the dawn of humanity for heating and cooking, etc., whereas the use of non-renewable energy resources has been started with the start in the use of technology.

The establishment of renewable energy resources plants required high cost and proper planning for implantation. But, once the plant has established, then its cost reduces. On the flip side, non-renewable energy resources are limited and replenished after a long time, so that is why they are expensive.

Comparison Chart

Renewable Energy ResourcesNon-Renewable Energy Resources
The type of energy resources that can be renewed or replenished naturally with time is known as renewable energy resources.The type of energy resources that cannot be replenished or renewed easily is known as non-renewable energy resources.
Abundance
Renewable energy resources are abundant in this universe and never finished.The non-renewable energy resources are present in limited quantities in this universe.
Time Required to Renew
Renewable energy resources can easily be replaced within a short period of time.These resources are the resources that either do not replace or replenished very slowly through natural processes.
History
The use of renewable energy resources has been started since the dawn of humanity for heating and cooking etc.The use of non-renewable energy resources has been started with the start of the use of technology.
Examples
Examples of renewable energy resources are solar energy, wind energy, geothermal energy, and hydro energy, etc.The examples of non-renewable resources are natural gas, coal, oil, and natural energy, etc.
Cost
Renewable energy plants require high initial cost for implementation, but, once established, it becomes cheap.Non-renewable energy resources are limited in quantity so, they demand high cost.
Pollution
The use of renewable energy resources does not cause pollution.Its use causes pollution due to the burning of fossil fuels.
Effect of Weather
Weather effect the efficiency of renewable energy resources, e.g., wind turbines cannot move in the slow wind.Weather does not affect the efficiency of non-renewable energy resources.

What are Renewable Energy Resources?

Renewable energy resources are the type of natural energy resources that can be renewed or replenished with time. These resources are present in abundance in this universe. So, they never deplete and keep on using again and again. Only a short period of time is required to renew such resources.

Advantages

Renewable energy resources are present everywhere in this universe and can never be exhausted. These resources do not involve the burning of fossil fuels, so they do not cause pollution into the environment and provide a healthier atmosphere. Moreover, its Cost for tapping is decreasing continuously with the advancement in technology. Once established, its maintenance cost is generally low. Moreover, it causes little or no greenhouse gas emissions that are increasing the temperature of the planet.

Disadvantages

The initial establishment of renewable energy plants required high cost and proper planning for implantation. For example, the building of dams requires high maintenance expenses. On the other side, solar and wind energy plants demand large tracts of land. Moreover, Weather effect the efficiency of renewable energy resources, e.g., solar energy plants do not work in cloudy days, and wind turbines cannot move in the slow wind.

Examples

  • Solar Energy: Sun is known as the biggest source of energy, and such energy is known as solar energy. Nowadays, this type of renewable energy is used to produce electricity, to cook food through solar cookers and to pump water for irrigation, etc.
  • Wind Energy: In this type of energy, the wind is used to produce energy. Windmills are installed in the windy areas that convert the energy of wind into electricity, which is used for different purposes. Moreover, it can also be used for pumping water and grinding grains, etc.
  • Hydro Energy: The word ‘Hydro’ stands for water. So, hydro energy is the energy that is obtained from water. Water is the basic need for life on earth, and it is present in excess in this universe. So, the energy of flowing water is used to produce hydro energy by constructing dams. Here, hydro energy is converted into electricity by using turbines, which is then used for various purposes.

What are Non-Renewable Energy Resources?

The type of energy resources that cannot be replenished or renewed easily is known as non-renewable energy resources. These resources are not so abundant in the universe so, they can be exhaust or take a long time to replenish. That is why they are known as exhaustible resources.

Advantages

Fossil fuels are used as an energy source in excess. They are used in industries, in vehicles and homes, etc. Moreover, the weather does not affect the efficiency of non-renewable energy resources. They provide energy continuously.

Disadvantages

As non-renewable energy resources are limited, so, they are a more expensive source of energy than renewable energy resources. Moreover, the process of extraction of fossil fuels causes a lot of disturbance in the environment and is expensive. The burning of fossil fuel also causes the release of harmful gases in the environment that cause pollution. On the other side, radiation leakage in a nuclear plant may cause great economic and social loss.

Examples

  • Fossil Fuel: Fossil fuels like coal, oil, gas, etc. are used as non-renewable energy resources. Coal is also called a black diamond and used in steam engines, factories and to generate electricity, etc. Natural gas is also used as a fuel for cooking and as an alternative to diesel and petrol. Petroleum is also called crude oil or mineral oil. This liquid is refined to make different types of fuels like petrol, diesel, kerosene, and cooking gas. Moreover, it is also used in the formation of lubricants, plastic, and cosmetics.
  • Nuclear Energy: Nuclear energy is also a non-renewable resource of energy. Generally, uranium is used as a fuel in nuclear energy, which is a limited content in this world. So, it is also non-renewable. Nuclear energy is also used in the production of electricity etc.

Key Differences

  1. The type of energy resources that can be renewed or replenished naturally with time is known as renewable energy resources, whereas the type of energy resources that cannot be replenished or renewed easily are known as non-renewable energy resources.
  2. Renewable energy resources are abundant in this universe and never finished. On the other hand, the non-renewable energy resources are present in limited quantity in this universe.
  3. Renewable energy resources can easily be replaced within a short time. Conversely, non-renewable resources are the resources that either do not replace or replenished very slowly through natural processes.
  4. The use of renewable energy resources has been started since the dawn of humanity for heating and cooking etc. On the flip side, the use of non-renewable energy resources has been started with the start in the use of technology.
  5. Renewable energy resources plants require high initial cost for implementation, but, once established, it becomes cheap. On the other hand, as non-renewable energy resources are limited in quantity so, they demand high cost.
  6. The use of renewable energy resources does not cause pollution because it does not involve the burning of fossil fuel. In contrast, the use of non-renewable energy resources causes pollution due to the burning of fossil fuels.
  7. Weather effect the efficiency of renewable energy resources, e.g., solar energy plants do not work in cloudy days, and wind turbines cannot move in the slow wind. On the flip side, the weather does not affect the efficiency of non-renewable energy resources.
  8. Examples of renewable energy resources are solar energy, wind energy, geothermal energy, and hydro energy, etc. On the other side, non-renewable resources examples are coal, natural gas, oil, and natural energy, etc.

Conclusion

The above discussion summarizes that renewable energy resources like solar energy and wind energy, etc. that can be replenished easily. On the other side, non-renewable energy resources like fossil fuels and nuclear energy are the resources that cannot be replenished or take a long time to replenish.

Harlon Moss

Harlon currently works as a quality moderator and content writer for Difference Wiki. He graduated from the University of California in 2010 with a degree in Computer Science. Follow him on Twitter @HarlonMoss