Most natural resources, such as coal and oil, were formed millions of years ago. Other resources, such as sunlight, were present even before the earth was formed. Regardless, we all depend on these resources in one way or another. These resources are called natural resources and they are very important for life on earth. Natural resources are classified into renewable resources and non-renewable resources. Renewable and nonrenewable resources definition
Renewable resources Renewable and nonrenewable resources definition
Resources that cannot be depleted even after continuous use are called renewable resources. Some examples of renewable resources are the sun, wind, and tidal energy.
Nonrenewable resources Renewable and nonrenewable resources definition
Resources that cannot be replaced immediately once they are depleted are called non-renewable resources. Some examples of non-renewable resources include rare minerals typically found in meteorites and fossil fuels like coal, oil, and natural gas.
Now, let’s take a look at the main difference between renewable resources and non-renewable resources.
Renewable resources vs non-renewable resources
Below are the main differences between renewable and non-renewable resources.
|Renewable resources||Nonrenewable resources|
|Renewable resources cannot be depleted over time||Non-renewable resources are depleted over time|
|Renewable resources include sunlight, water, wind, and also geothermal sources such as hot springs and fumaroles.||Non-renewable energy includes fossil fuels such as coal and oil.|
|Most of the renewable resources have low carbon emissions and carbon footprint.||Non-renewable energy has a comparatively higher carbon footprint and carbon emissions.|
|The initial cost of renewable energy is high, but the “fuel” is free||Non-renewable energy has a comparatively higher cost, both in implementation and as ‘fuel’.|
|Very high maintenance cost||Comparatively low maintenance cost|
|Requires a large land / sea area, especially for wind and solar farms||Comparatively lower area requirements|
Interestingly, some resources, such as uranium, are promoted as a renewable resource. However, it remains a matter of debate as uranium is not exactly a renewable resource by many legal definitions.