Non-renewable energy is that which is obtained from a scarce and limited natural resource.
As non-renewable energy comes from limited and finite resources, it cannot be renewed, because when the resource it comes from is exhausted, that resource cannot be substituted. For this reason, if the natural sources from which it comes will end, the energy will cease to exist.
They generally originate from nuclear or fossil fuels. Coal, natural gas and oil can be obtained from fossil fuels. On the other hand, from nuclear power we can obtain uranium and plutonium.
Characteristics of non-renewable energy
1. Easy to remove
Its extraction process is relatively easy and cheap. Compared with the investments that must be made in renewable energies, it is extremely cheap and is sold at good prices in the international market. Exporting countries benefit from the commercialization of non-renewable energies.
2. They are an efficient source to generate energy
Especially fossil fuels turn out to be very efficient to generate energy in small or large quantities. Its production and transportation processes are quite easy and simple, which lowers costs in general. For this reason, apart from being efficient, they save time and money.
3. Non-renewable energy producers are found in many parts of the planet.
There are many companies in the world that are dedicated to producing non-renewable energy and that operate at a profit. These companies produce large amounts of this type of energy on a daily basis, which allows them to meet world demand, and for the moment to have adequate quantities for market needs.
Negative effects of non-renewable energy
Among the negative aspects of the use of non-renewable energy we can mention:
- They are highly polluting: all these energy sources produce C02 emissions, which are highly polluting. It can be said that these emissions are the main cause of global warming and, as a consequence, those responsible for the climate change that is affecting us.
- They are depleted: the reserves of this type of energy source are limited, so that sooner or later when it is finished it will not be possible to produce more non-renewable energy and there would be no way to meet consumption worldwide.
- Deterioration of fauna and flora: environmental pollution puts the survival of animals and plants on our planet at risk, since these species suffer the consequences of global warming and environmental pollution.
Types of non-renewable energy
The main types of non-renewable energy are:
It is the non-renewable energy that is formed by the accumulation of plant and animal waste that has been deposited over billions of years and is now located below the earth’s surface or at the bottom of lakes and oceans.
It is a viscous liquid that is dark or black in color and has a very strong characteristic odor. It is found in sedimentary rocks that have been formed from the remains of microscopic-sized living things and that existed billions of years ago. All this forms a chemical compound of hydrocarbons such as hydrogen and carbon.
Oil is a highly appreciated resource around the world, because with it many products can be made such as gasoline, diesel, medicines, plastics, fertilizers, explosives, synthetic fibers, among others.
It is used especially for industrial use, in transportation, factories, thermal power plants and in homes for domestic use.
2. Natural gas
Natural gas is usually found regularly on oil fields, it is like a layer that is composed especially of methane gas.
It is used instead of coal and has a high heat power, but with the benefit that it is less polluting and easier to transport.
It is formed when the organic residues of vegetables are fossilized, it is black and can be of four varieties: coal, lignite, anthracite and peat.
It has industrial use as a fuel, in thermal power plants and is used for domestic heating.
It is found accumulated in the center of the atoms and is gradually shedding when the nuclei disintegrate.
Nuclear energy is used to heat water and this produces large amounts of steam that are then capable of moving large turbines that are connected to a generator that later generates electricity.
It does not produce greenhouse gases, but it is dangerous to handle, because if an accident occurs, it would be extremely harmful to people and the environment, its repercussions could last centuries, for that reason they would cause an environmental catastrophe.
To finish with the issue of non-renewable energy, we can say that they are resources that have a high demand in the market, because they have many domestic and industrial uses. They are still used because their production costs are relatively cheap compared to the exploitation and production of renewable energy. However, there is increasing awareness of the environmental deterioration that is causing its excessive use. They also think about the risk that the reserves found in some parts of the planet could be exhausted, and if there are no other options, human activity would practically be paralyzed.