Renewable Vs. Non-renewable Energy Resources: Environmental and Economical Advantages and Disadvantages
Imagine a life without washing machines, dryers, refrigerators, computers, televisions, lights, and cars. Imagine a planet so polluted that smog is in the air so bad that one cannot see very far, lakes and streams are poisoned, and land so badly scarred from people trying to find more energy sources. One day this may be a reality if we do not do something to change how we use our energy resources. This may be the case if society keeps using non-renewable energy resources at its current consumption rate. Our saving grace may be the development and use of using renewable energy resources. Renewable sources not only will help our planet stay clean due to little or no pollution, but may also help the economy.
This paper will compare both renewable energy resources and non-renewable energy resources and attempt to show that not only are renewable energy resources better for the environment but also show that they are better for the economy.
Non-renewable Energy Resources
One of the problems with non-renewable energy resources is that in order convert them into usable energy requires chemically changing whatever it is to extract the potential energy within. Non-renewable energy resources include wood, oil, gas, and coal. To extract the potential energy contained in these resources it is necessary to burn them, which gives off heat. This heat is converted into energy by using the heat to turn a turbine, which turns the generator, which creates electricity. Using gas in a vehicle the combustion of the gas and air mixture forces a piston, which turns the crankshaft. When burning these materials, heat is generated, and there is a chemical change. This changes the composition of the material. The result of this burning is typically water vapor, ash, and carbon dioxide. Water vapor is not harmful to the environment but carbon dioxide and ash are. Carbon dioxide and ash are pollutants, which cause problems in nature. When too much ash gets in the atmosphere, it can cause smog, which in excess can limit visibility. The carbon dioxide that is produced is harmful to humans and other animals but the main problem with carbon dioxide is it increases what is known as greenhouse gases. Greenhouse gases block the sun’s light from escaping the planet. Without the escaping light, the temperature of the Earth increases. With the temperature increase, weather patterns are changed and polar ice caps can melt.
Converting these resources into usable energy requires money. Money is required to obtain them, to ship them, and to convert them. This conversion costs money to build the equipment for converting it, money for parts when something breaks, to maintain it, and to clean the equipment. Some parts cost a substantial amount of money to make or in some cases ship in. As one can see, non-renewable energy resources are expensive.