Difference Between Renewable and Non-renewable Energy (With Table)

Our Mother Earth provides many resources and energies to humans without exchange with anything else. These resources are replenished by the earth itself over the years, months, or weeks. Some of them are – air, water, food resources, minerals, raw materials, and many more things that are not even counted. Because of these resources themselves, the human population on the earth exists.

Renewable Energy vs Non-Renewable Energy

The difference between Renewable Energy and Non-Renewable Energy is that Renewable energy sources can be replaced over and over again in nature itself. These are also said to be present in the excess or infinite form and the cleanest source of energy. Whereas comparatively, on the other side, the non-renewable energy sources are the energy that cannot be replenished or refill on its own by nature. These energy forms are limited in nature and are not the cleanest source.

Renewable energy is the source of energy that is present in nature and is available to the human population without any additional cost. In simple terms, it is free for all. These are the cleanest energy source and is refilled when required. Some of the examples for the same are – wind, air, water, sunlight, tidal energy, solar energy, geothermal energy, etc.

Non-renewable energy is the source of energy that is also present in nature and is available to the human population, but the difference is that the quantity of these resources is limited and can be finished by overexploitation. These resources took over millions of years to get replenished or refill by nature which is why it is asked for the sustainable use of them.

Comparison Table Between Renewable and Non-Renewable Energy

Parameters of ComparisonRenewable EnergyNon-Renewable Energy
DefinitionEnergy resources are refilled by the earth whenever in need.Energy resources that are not refilled whenever in need.
Depletion No depletion and can be consumedDepleted by the excess consumption
Impact on EnvironmentLow carbon footprintHigh carbon footprint
Area Required Requirement of large area  Requirement of small area
Upfront Cost A huge lump sum of money is required.Low amount of money required
InfrastructureHighLow
ExampleSun, wind, air, water, vegetation, tidal energy, geothermal energyMinerals, ores, fossil fuels like – coal, petroleum
ConsumptionNon-exhaustibleExhaustible
Economically UseIt cannot be used economically.It can be used economically and is also the need of the hour.

What is Renewable Energy?

The energy source that is being replenished or restored by the earth whenever in need is known as renewable energy. The renewable energy that is available and accessible is the purest and the cleanest form of the energy that is found. Some of the examples of renewable energy are – sunlight, water, air, wind, tidal energy, geothermal energy, biomass, etc.

The advantage of using renewable energy sources is that they are available and accessible in large quantities and are free for all. This energy produces very little carbon, which is why they have less carbon footprint and are greener and environment friendly. The production and infrastructure provide lakhs of jobs to people along with that by using these energies lead to the reduction in the utility bills.

The disadvantage of using renewable energy sources is that it requires a high cost to get set up with a large area of land. Energy like – solar power can be used only in summers or daytime and not in the rainy or winter season or at night. 

What is Non-Renewable Energy?

The energy source that is being used and cannot be replenished or restored whenever required is known as non-renewable energy. Non-renewable energy takes over millions and thousands of years to restore the earth naturally. Examples of non-renewable energy are – minerals, ores, coal, petroleum, diesel, nuclear energy, etc.

The advantage of using non-renewable energy is that it is affordable and cheaper to use. Small nuclear energy can largely produce a high amount of energy source. Also, it is cheaper to convert energy from one form to another.

The disadvantage of using non-renewable energy is that it is very limited in quantity. The emission of carbon is very high, and that is why it is an impure form of energy and is not considered environmentally friendly.   

Main Differences Between Renewable and Non-Renewable Energy

  1. Renewable energy is the energy source that is refilled by nature itself whenever in need, whereas comparatively, on the other side, non-renewable energy is the energy source that is not refilled by nature whenever in need because it takes over millions of years to get restored.
  2. Renewable energy is the source that has been used regularly and can never get vanished or be finished, whereas comparatively, on the other side, non-renewable energy is the source that, if used in regular form, may deplete them completely, and there won’t be anything left for the future generation.
  3. The carbon emission caused by the renewable energy sources is less that is why they are considered as the cleanest energy forms whereas comparatively, on the other side, the carbon emission caused by the non-renewable energy sources is very high so that the carbon footprint, which is why they are the impure form of energy. 
  4. To produce energy from renewable energy sources, a large area is required, whereas comparatively, on the other hand, to produce non-renewable energy large area is not required. 
  5. For the production of renewable energy sources, the upfront cost invested is very high, which is unlike for the production of non-renewable energy resources as only a small amount of money is required or invested. 
  6. The infrastructure cost requirement is high for that renewable producing energy, while the infrastructure head cost is low for non-renewable energy sources.
  7. The examples for the renewable energy sources are – sunlight, wind, air, water, heat, geothermal energy, tidal energy, etc., whereas comparatively, the examples for the non-renewable energy sources are – minerals, ores, fossil fuels like – coal, petroleum, diesel, etc.
  8. Renewable energy sources are said to be non-exhaustible, while non-renewable energy sources are said to be an exhaustible source of energy. 
  9. The use of renewable energy sources is not economical while comparatively, on the other hand, the use of non-renewable energy sources must be sustainably and economically, which is now the need for the hour.  

Conclusion

Earth is the only living planet with all the necessary requirements for the human population to exist. It provides almost every tiny possible thing like – the food we eat, the water we drink, the air we breathe, the shelter that lives in, and many more other things for the existence of life. And in return, it never asked anything, which is the most selfless deed, but still, humans are over-exploiting the energy and resources that are accessible to us.

The sustainable use of energy resources is very much required because of the overexploitation and overusing the amount and quality of the resources are degrading with the coming time. And if it is meant to be going at the same pace, the complete vanishing of these resources will not be a surprising event. 

References

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0960148116306930
  2. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12667-011-0037-6
  3. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0140988311000909
  4. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301420718306573
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