Examples of Renewable and Non-renewable Sources of Energy

Industrialized countries won’t be where they are now without reliable sources of energy. Energy has become a necessity when man decided he could not live without it. Today, it is required in performing simple tasks such as cooking and heating, and even more complex commercial and industrial projects such as transportation and manufacturing.

To make these activities and developments possible, we rely on energy sources. There are two classifications, known as renewable and non-renewable sources. Their names are enough to explain their nature, but each classification have sub-classes that we need to learn. Listed below are examples of renewable energy and non-renewable energy.

Renewable Energy

This source of energy is naturally replenished and cannot be diminished. They also create less harmful impacts on the environment, specifically pollution. However, the global industry uses only about 16% of energy from renewable sources, mainly because they are much more expensive and transition is both costly and time consuming. Some examples of renewable energy are the following:

  • Solar energy – This is probably one of the most popular alternative sources of energy. Solar energy is energy derived from the sun through solar radiation. Photovoltaic panels are used to capture sunlight which is converted to energy. You can have these panels installed in your home as an alternative energy source; maintenance is low cost so you won’t have to worry about additional expenses.

    Photovoltaic array

    Photovoltaic array

  • Wind power – Wind energy, like all examples of renewable energy, does not produce pollution. It is reliable enough to support the energy requirement of most industrialized nations, if only they would change their energy source. It is also one of the cheapest ways to acquire energy; the only expense is getting the collected energy across the country.

    Wind Farm in Fluvanna, Florida

    Wind Farm in Fluvanna, Florida

  • Hydropower – Hydropower has been used for hundreds years. Man first gathered energy from water through the use of the water wheel. Today, we use large generators to generate energy from water. Hydropower is clean and available in most areas rich with potent water sources. However, tapping this energy source requires building of dams, which can destroy the habitat and biodiversity of aquatic flora and fauna.

    St. Anthony Falls hydro-electric dam

    St. Anthony Falls hydro-electric dam

Non-Renewable Energy

Most developed nations rely on non-renewable energy sources. In a global scale, non-renewable supplies account for about 85% of our total energy source. The major issue surrounding the use of non-renewable energy is its threat to the environment. Our rapid consumption also depletes resources at a rate much faster than nature can create them. Some examples of non-renewable energy are:

  • Fossil fuel – Coal, petroleum and oil are sources of fossil fuel. Each of these resources take thousands of years to develop. With our growing needs, this source of energy is rapidly decreasing in availability. At present, fossil fuels are our main source of energy. Soon, we’ll have to explore more energy sources once fossil fuels become difficult and costly to harvest due to scarcity.

    Coal

    Coal, a fossil fuel

  • Natural gas – Also one of the examples of non-renewable energy is natural gas, produced as a by-product of oil recovery. Natural gas is a mixture of gases including methane, ethane, propane and butane. Humans use natural gas to create liquefied petroleum gas or LPG. It is also used for powering vehicles, removing impurities and odor in pipelines and making ammonia fertilizer.

    Natural gas drilling rig

    Natural gas drilling rig

  • Nuclear power – This source of energy is created in nuclear power plants through the fission of uranium atoms in the reactor. This process produces heat and steam to generate electricity. The use of nuclear power has always been a controversial issue, especially with its threat to humanity. Popular examples of nuclear disasters occurred in the Fukushima Daiichi power plant in Japan after the tsunami attacks, and at the Chernobly power plant in Ukraine. 

    Calder Hall nuclear power station

    Calder Hall nuclear power station


About the Author

Raymund Camat blogs about anything green including green energy sources and green products including his company’s green compatible Canon laser toner cartridges. His company TonerGreen.com has a Recycling for Cash Program in which customers can recycle empty toner and ink cartridges. Follow TonerGreen at Twitter and Facebook.

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