Renewable and Nonrenewable Resources

Topics: Fossil fuel, Natural gas, Solar cell Pages: 2 (759 words) Published: January 9, 2013
Renewable vs. Nonrenewable
Unlike fossil fuels that are gradually depleting because of their nonrenewable nature, the renewable resources can be easily replenished. Wind is an inexhaustible resource, because wind is generated by the heating and cooling of the earth each day by the sun. Hydropower is the world's leading source of renewable energy. It relies on the water cycle, which consists of rain or snow, river water, groundwater, and water vapor. Thus, water on the earth is continually replenished by rain and snow. Therefore the water that is used to power turbines can be used over and over again to generate electricity. Renewable resources produce little or no greenhouse gas emissions during energy production. Geothermal energy produces nearly 50 times less carbon dioxide, nitric oxide, and sulfur emissions than traditional fossil-fuel power plants. According to Jacqueline Langwith ("Renewable Energy") windmills and solar photovoltaic cells can help in reducing carbon dioxide emissions to a great extent. Hydropower plants also do not cause pollution, since they do not emit greenhouse gases or other pollutants during power generation. The cost and financial risk for setting up efficient windmills or biogas plants is high, as current demand for renewable energy in the market in not big enough. It also makes such resources a hard-to-find commodity, even for consumers willing to "go green." Furthermore, renewable resources can be harmless to the environment, but the facilities to exploit them are not. For example, to produce hydroelectricity we need dams, which can have a serious effect in the local wildlife. With the reserves of crude oil, coal and natural gas still considerably high, conventional resources are cheaper than renewable ones. They are also the most easy-to-use resources, as well as the most efficient; all alternatives to gas in transportation for example either last shorter or have considerably worse results. Little competition also means that...
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