Renewable vs nonrenewable energy pros and cons

Posted by on Jan 31, 2013 in environmental | Comments Off

Renewable vs nonrenewable energy pros and cons

Energy is an important aspect of every living organism. Organisms need to obtain energy from food to carry out their daily work. Apart from living organisms, machines created by human being need to deriver energy from fuels so as to carry out their intended work. According to law of thermodynamics, energy cannot be created or destroyed but can be transformed from one form to another. This is law of energy conservation. For example, battery transforms its stored chemical energy to electrical energy for it to do the intended work.

There are different forms of energy which include mechanical energy such as kinetic energy that facilitate motion and stored potential energy. Other forms of energy include radiant energy that originate from sun and thermal energy obtained from heat. Electromagnetic energy from radio waves and microwaves together with chemical energy are other forms of energy

Sources of energy

Energy is one of the requirements necessary to run day to day activities. There are many different sources of energy that are naturally available throughout the world in different forms. Depending with energy regeneration, energy can be categorized into two main different sources which are renewable and non renewable sources.

Renewable sources of energy

Renewable sources of energy are obtained from different natural sources. The main common sources are sunlight, wind, tides and geothermal. Statistics has indicated that renewable sources of energy comprise approximate 16% of total global energy that is consumed on daily basis. One advantage about this form of energy is that it can be replaced and used continuously without becoming depleted. Renewable sources of energy are mostly used in three different areas which include electricity generation, heating by use of solar hot water and motor fuels through the use of renewable bio-fuels.

Pros of renewable sources of energy

  1. Renewable sources of energy are renewable and easily regenerated. This is unlike fossil fuels which are perishable once used.
  2. Renewable source of energy such as solar produce clean energy that does not pollute the environment. This is because no burning is required during usage of the energy.
  3. Most importantly, renewable energy are available everywhere throughout the world thus there is no chance of the sources becoming depleted in future. For example, solar energy is everywhere as the sun will always be there every day.
  4. Maintenance cost needed to install and use the renewable energy is relatively cheap. Solar energy can be trapped easily and used for domestic needs.
  5. Renewable sources of energy boost economic growth and increase job opportunities. This includes electrical energy which is used to run many industries.

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Cons of renewable sources of energy

Every set of energy has its own drawbacks once introduced to the ecology. Some of these limitations include

  1. Difficult to produce the energy quantity that is equivalent to that produced by nonrenewable fuels
  2. Technology required to trap renewable energy is costly. Setting of dams requires high initial capital to construct and maintain
  3. Most renewable sources of energy are affected by weather thus reducing their reliability. For example, hydro generators need constant rainfall that will overflow the dams, wind turbines only rotate if there is wind of a given speed.

Nonrenewable sources of energy

Nonrenewable sources of energy have continued to produce constant energy throughout the world. This is because of their high availability. Sources of nonrenewable energy can be attributed to natural sources that are not regenerated once the source is depleted. Sources include fossils fuels such as coal and petroleum products e.g. natural gas and diesels.

Pros of nonrenewable sources of energy

Some such as natural gas burns without any soot hence less environmental pollution.

  1. Most nonrenewable sources of energy are easy to transport from one area to another. For example petroleum oils which can be transported via pipes.
  2. Cost of producing nonrenewable energy is low since they are naturally available. Furthermore they are cheap to transform from one form of energy to another.
  3. Most of this energy sources are abundantly available in different areas. Their availability is not affected by climatic condition.

Cons of nonrenewable sources of energy

  1. Produce harmful green house gases which contribute global warming. Coal once burnt produces carbon dioxide harmful to the environment.
  2. Once they are depleted they cannot be replaced making them expensive to obtain.