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What are the advantages and disadvantages of non-renewable and renewable energy?

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birch123 | Student | eNoter

Posted January 18, 2009 at 3:57 AM via web

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What are the advantages and disadvantages of non-renewable and renewable energy?

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afi80fl | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Assistant Educator

Posted January 22, 2009 at 4:19 PM (Answer #2)

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The advantages of non-renewable energy are found in two areas:  cost and availability.  Most of the energy-consuming products that run off of non-renewable energy sources have very little real competition from similar or comparable products that utilize renewable sources.  For example, it is difficult to find a car or truck that runs off of rechargeable battery power, solar power, or electricity.  If you did find one, it would be less efficient (wouldn't go as fast, be as practical, etc.) and cost a LOT more.  The disadvantages, of course, are that they are non-renewable, meaning that when they're gone, they're gone.  You can't replace natural gas, oil, or coal.  Also, mining for these sources at such an intense rate can have devastating environmental effects.

Renewable energy, on the other hand, provides for cleaner, environmentally friendlier power sources.  Once fully developed, they have the potential to be much more cost efficient (consider solar power; it's not like the sun is a market-based commodity that can be over or under produced to obtain a better selling price).  However, until this type of power source is fully integrated into the market, products utilizing it will remain more expensive, less readily available, and more of a unique alternative rather than viable competitor.

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sphinxer | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 27, 2009 at 12:49 AM (Answer #5)

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Renewable energy sources:

  • Solar

Advantages:

  • Infinite energy resource

Disadvantages:

  • Expensive manufacturing and implementing of solar panels

 

  • Wind

Advantages:

  • Infinite energy resource

Disadvantages:

  • Expensive manufacturing and implementing of windmills and windfarms

 

  • Tidal

Advantages:

  • A very large amount of energy could be generated in this way
  • A barrage could be used in various ways: as a bridge or as a barrage against flooding

Disadvantages:

  • Construction of barrage could be expensive
  • Wildlife could be affected

 

  • Geothermal

Advantages:

  • Infinite energy resource

Disadvantages:

  • Could be used just in volcanic regions
  • Setting up could be expensive

 

  • Biomass

Advantages:

  • Infinite energy resource, if replaced

Disadvantages:

  • Pollution with greenhouse gasses, when it's burnt

 

  • Wood

Advantages:

  • An available cheap source of energy

Disadvantages:

  • Pollution with greenhouse gasses, when it's burnt
  • If the process of replantation of trees is interrupted, could become an non-renewable energy source

 

hello thank you for the impormation you made.

it helps me a lot.

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beagle9700 | Student | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 22, 2009 at 4:19 PM (Answer #3)

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The advantage of renewable energy is that we will never run out. The disadvantage is we have to work hard to have solar powered cars and homes. The is no advantage of non-renewable energy. The disadvantage of non-renewable energy is that we will never get that energy back and that we have to use some of our most endangered resources to create more non-renewable energy. 

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giorgiana1976 | College Teacher | Valedictorian

Posted January 22, 2009 at 4:19 PM (Answer #4)

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Renewable energy sources:

  • Solar

Advantages:

  • Infinite energy resource

Disadvantages:

  • Expensive manufacturing and implementing of solar panels

 

  • Wind

Advantages:

  • Infinite energy resource

Disadvantages:

  • Expensive manufacturing and implementing of windmills and windfarms

 

  • Tidal

Advantages:

  • A very large amount of energy could be generated in this way
  • A barrage could be used in various ways: as a bridge or as a barrage against flooding

Disadvantages:

  • Construction of barrage could be expensive
  • Wildlife could be affected

 

  • Geothermal

Advantages:

  • Infinite energy resource

Disadvantages:

  • Could be used just in volcanic regions
  • Setting up could be expensive

 

  • Biomass

Advantages:

  • Infinite energy resource, if replaced

Disadvantages:

  • Pollution with greenhouse gasses, when it's burnt

 

  • Wood

Advantages:

  • An available cheap source of energy

Disadvantages:

  • Pollution with greenhouse gasses, when it's burnt
  • If the process of replantation of trees is interrupted, could become an non-renewable energy source

 

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enotechris | College Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

Posted March 1, 2009 at 7:43 AM (Answer #6)

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The key advantage of non renewable energy sources is that to access them, you must pay a supplier.  Most non renewables, by their very nature, are not corporately controlled in a a "top down" hierarchy.  You could put up your own wind / solar system, but then nobody collects a monthly fee. If you read carefully the objections by current energy suppliers regarding renewables, their main complaint is that "there's no distribution system in place."  Precisely.  There doesn't need to be one. If we go to renewables, they're out of business. They could make the philisophical change. Nothing's preventing them from changing their business model, but their own corporate inertia.

Once energy is used, you can never get it back, no matter what the energy source was.  This is a law of Thermodynamics.

Currently, Tesla and Fetish are new electric car companies that make fast, sexy long-range vehicles.  These have arrived!  You can buy one! There's a waiting list! Still very expensive, but so was the Model T when it debuted.  How about a little bailout money for them instead of GM? (For a sad, but informative documentary, watch "Who killed the electric car?")

 

 

 

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krishna-agrawala | College Teacher | Valedictorian

Posted May 23, 2009 at 1:08 AM (Answer #7)

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The non-renewable energy resource refer to different types of fossil fuels such as coal, petroleum products, and natural gas. There are two major disadvantages of non-renewable energy resources. All the reserves of these fuels will be depleted sooner or later and we will run out of their supplies. This will happen for petroleum products and natural gas much faster than for coal. Other major problem with these fuel is the pollution created by their use.

The major advantages of non-renewable energy sources are low cost and ease of use. But both these advantage may be diluted over a period as prices of such fuel rise withe depleting resources, and as better technologies are developed for use of renewable energy sources.

Renewable energy sources, as the name signifies, can be renewed or regenerated, therefor we will not run out of their supplies with use. This is their biggest advantage over non-renewable energy sources. Renewable energy sources includes a very wide range of sources including, running water (as in rivers), wind power, tidal power, solar power, bio-fuels and geo-thermal heat. THere is also the nuclear power, which is really a non-renewable source of energy, but because of vast reserves of nuclear material available may be treated as renewable source of energy.

The major advantage most of the renewable energy is the high cost of equipment required for using them. Also use of bio-fuels is not as convenient as the fossil fuel. Also the current supplies of bio-fuels is limited. It is expected with further development and research, availability and quality of bio fuels will increase and prices will reduce. Similarly technologies are being developed to make use of other renewable energy sources more economical and convenient.

Nuclear energy poses special problems of sfety in operation of nuclear power plants as well as disposal of nuclear waste.

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shizza123 | Student, Grade 10 | Valedictorian

Posted June 11, 2011 at 7:53 AM (Answer #8)

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advantages:

renewable things can be replenished, so they are less expensive.

non-renewables are usually easier and more powerful.

disadvantages:

renewable can be overused and depleted thinking they will renew themselves ...like trees... we are overcutting them... or even fish..., we are overfishing..

non-renewables: usually harmful to the environment and obviously, a major one is that they can't be recycled...

 

:)

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randy24 | Student, Undergraduate | eNoter

Posted July 14, 2011 at 6:14 AM (Answer #9)

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The main difference is that non-renewable sources will eventually run out, leaving the human kind with a serious problem if we don't come up with a solution before that happens.

Non-renewable energy sources are fossil fuels (coal, natural gas, oil, petroleum, tar sands, natural gas hydrates, and shale oil). Though they are continually being produced underground from biomass, it takes about one hundred million years for natural processes to produce useful amounts of petroleum, natural gas, or coal. The two main problems with non-renewable energy sources are:

1. We are using fossil fuels much faster than they can replenish
2. Non-renewable energy creates atmospheric pollution

We need to turn to the only three renewable sources of energy that we have: solar, geothermal, and tidal.

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hpus12 | Student, Grade 10 | Salutatorian

Posted August 17, 2011 at 11:22 PM (Answer #10)

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One major advantage with the use of renewable energy is that as it is renewable it is therefore sustainable and so will never run out.

Renewable energy projects can also bring economic benefits to many regional areas, as most projects are located away from large urban centres and suburbs of the capital cities. These economic benefits may be from the increased use of local services as well as tourism.

One disadvantage with renewable energy is that it is difficult to generate the quantities of electricity that are as large as those produced by traditional fossil fuel generators. This may mean that we need to reduce the amount of energy we use or simply build more energy facilities. It also indicates that the best solution to our energy problems may be to have a balance of many different power sources.

Another disadvantage of renewable energy sources is the reliability of supply. Renewable energy often relies on the weather for its source of power. Hydro generators need rain to fill dams to supply flowing water. Wind turbines need wind to turn the blades, and solar collectors need clear skies and sunshine to collect heat and make electricity. When these resources are unavailable so is the capacity to make energy from them. This can be unpredictable and inconsistent. The current cost of renewable energy technology is also far in excess of traditional fossil fuel generation. This is because it is a new technology and as such has extremely large capital cost.

 

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projayjay | Student, Grade 9 | eNoter

Posted October 19, 2011 at 1:15 PM (Answer #13)

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One major advantage with the use of renewable energy is that as it is renewable it is therefore sustainable and so will never run out. Renewable energy facilities generally require less maintenance than traditional generators. Their fuel being derived from natural and available resources reduces the costs of operation. Even more importantly, renewable energy produces little or no waste products such as carbon dioxide or other chemical pollutants, so has minimal impact on the environment. Renewable energy projects can also bring economic benefits to many regional areas, as most projects are located away from large urban centers and suburbs of the capital cities. These economic benefits may be from the increased use of local services as well as tourism.

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projayjay | Student, Grade 9 | eNoter

Posted October 19, 2011 at 1:15 PM (Answer #14)

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It is easy to recognize the environmental advantages of utilizing the alternative and renewable forms of energy but we must also be aware of the disadvantages. One disadvantage with renewable energy is that it is difficult to generate the quantities of electricity that are as large as those produced by traditional fossil fuel generators. This may mean that we need to reduce the amount of energy we use or simply build more energy facilities. It also indicates that the best solution to our energy problems may be to have a balance of many different power sources.Another disadvantage of renewable energy sources is the reliability of supply. Renewable energy often relies on the weather for its source of power. Hydro generators need rain to fill dams to supply flowing water. Wind turbines need wind to turn the blades, and solar collectors need clear skies and sunshine to collect heat and make electricity. When these resources are unavailable so is the capacity to make energy from them. This can be unpredictable and inconsistent. The current cost of renewable energy technology is also far in excess of traditional fossil fuel generation. This is because it is a new technology and as such has extremely large capital cost.

 

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jiksaw213 | Student, Undergraduate | Honors

Posted December 5, 2011 at 10:59 AM (Answer #16)

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The main difference is that non-renewable sources will eventually run out, leaving the human kind with a serious problem if we don't come up with a solution before that happens.

Non-renewable energy sources are fossil fuels (coal, natural gas, oil, petroleum, tar sands, natural gas hydrates, and shale oil). Though they are continually being produced underground from biomass, it takes about one hundred million years for natural processes to produce useful amounts of petroleum, natural gas, or coal. The two main problems with non-renewable energy sources are:

1. We are using fossil fuels much faster than they can replenish
2. Non-renewable energy creates atmospheric pollution

We need to turn to the only three renewable sources of energy that we have: solar, geothermal, and tidal.

Yeah, you are right Randy

Unfortunately at current rates of consumption we cannot rely on renewable energy sources alone.  This leaves us with having to use "non-renewable" energy.  What we can do however is increase and improve our ability to extract usable energy from the limited supply and therefore in effect increasing the pool of available energy available again. I'm a firm believer that if we were to put our collective efforts into fossil fuels, we may be able to find alternate chemical reactions (other than plain old burning) which may be more environmentally friendly. They say gasoline contains more hydrogen atoms than liquid hydrogen has per volume. Just have to find a better way to extract it. In reality renewable energy involves high capital, and when you look at say wind or solar, the power you get out vs what energy / costs were put in, solar panels require batteries, which contain heavy metals, cannot be recycled, etc. Are they really that renewable when you look at all the other minerals mined to produce however many watts of power?  I'd say it's calculable. Look at costs to build a station, unit power and lifetime.

________________________

Alex

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clayton188 | Student, Grade 10 | eNoter

Posted December 15, 2011 at 3:39 AM (Answer #17)

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Unrenewable energy such as gasoline and oil will be gone once their gone, and in this fast moving industrial world, that will be soon. Humans need to start turning to smarter resources that are renewable, such as water vapor or electric. Coal is another example of a non-renewable resource that is used a lot and will eventually run out.

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vasudanainakumari | Student, Undergraduate | eNoter

Posted January 4, 2012 at 11:45 PM (Answer #18)

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renewable sources can be used again and again....

ex: water , forest

non renawables cant use again........

ex: fuels

 

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trophyhunter1 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted January 6, 2012 at 7:06 AM (Answer #19)

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Most renewable forms of energy can be traced to the sun. An advantage of solar energy is  its a clean form of energy, however, it is not equally distributed all over Earth and some areas receive less insolation than others. Solar panels are still costly to install. At night or during bad weather, back up systems are required. Wind is a clean form of energy and the only environmental impact of windmills is the killing of bats and birds that fly into them. However, not all places are windy--mostly coastal areas and plains areas are. Running water is an excellent way to get energy by building dams or harnassing the power of waves. Dams however, lead to disruption of the migration of certain fish and can lead to the spread of disease--example snails' territory is expanded and they can harbor parasitic worms. Geothermal is excellent, but, not all places are located where there is a great deal of crustal activity. If you live near a hot spring, it is a wonderful way to heat your home, but, it depends where you are located on Earth if you will be able to harnass this form of energy. Non-renewable fossils fuels--coal, oil and gas are still the cheapest energy source available, however, coal supplies may only last 200 more years and oil is believed to be depleted by the end of this century. Also, these hydrocarbon fuels are very polluting adding carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides and particulates to the environment and these can lead to the formation of secondary pollutants namely ground level ozone and acid deposition.

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melissaivanarampersad | Student, Undergraduate | Salutatorian

Posted January 31, 2012 at 1:26 AM (Answer #20)

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One major advantage with the use of renewable energy is that as it is renewable it is therefore sustainable and so will never run out.

Renewable energy facilities generally require less maintenance than traditional generators. Their fuel being derived from natural and available resources reduces the costs of operation.

Even more importantly, renewable energy produces little or no waste products such as carbon dioxide or other chemical pollutants, so has minimal impact on the environment.

Renewable energy projects can also bring economic benefits to many regional areas, as most projects are located away from large urban centres and suburbs of the capital cities. These economic benefits may be from the increased use of local services as well as tourism.

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melissaivanarampersad | Student, Undergraduate | Salutatorian

Posted January 31, 2012 at 1:27 AM (Answer #21)

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The Disadvantages of Renewable Energy

It is easy to recognise the environmental advantages of utilising the alternative and renewable forms of energy but we must also be aware of the disadvantages.

One disadvantage with renewable energy is that it is difficult to generate the quantities of electricity that are as large as those produced by traditional fossil fuel generators. This may mean that we need to reduce the amount of energy we use or simply build more energy facilities. It also indicates that the best solution to our energy problems may be to have a balance of many different power sources.

Another disadvantage of renewable energy sources is the reliability of supply. Renewable energy often relies on the weather for its source of power. Hydro generators need rain to fill dams to supply flowing water. Wind turbines need wind to turn the blades, and solar collectors need clear skies and sunshine to collect heat and make electricity. When these resources are unavailable so is the capacity to make energy from them. This can be unpredictable and inconsistent. The current cost of renewable energy technology is also far in excess of traditional fossil fuel generation. This is because it is a new technology and as such has extremely large capital cost.

 

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melissaivanarampersad | Student, Undergraduate | Salutatorian

Posted January 31, 2012 at 1:32 AM (Answer #22)

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Advantages of Non-Renewable Energy

Because non-renewable energies seem abundant, like oil, gas and coal, some experts believe if channeled correctly, our supplies will be safe for future generations. Non-renewable energy sources include oil and petroleum products, gasoline, diesel fuel, and propane, natural gas, coal, and uranium used for nuclear energy. Some environmentalists include our forests, trees, and plant life as a non-renewable energy source as well especially due to the deforestation of our forests.

One advantage of non-renewable energies is that right now, they seem widely available and affordable. Oil and diesel are still good choices for powering vehicles. They are cost effective and much easier to produce and use. Non-renewable energy also has market value where a supplier or manufacturer makes money and pays workers enhancing economies.

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melissaivanarampersad | Student, Undergraduate | Salutatorian

Posted January 31, 2012 at 1:33 AM (Answer #23)

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Disadvantages of Non-Renewable Energy

On the other side, there are many disadvantages to non-renewable energy. Because non-renewable energies come from sources on our planet, once they are gone they can't be replaced or revitalized.

Pollution grows greater through the by-products they leave behind and mining of non-renewable energy is causing damage to our environment. There is no doubt that fossil fuels contribute to global warming and to break humans of their habit to lean on non-renewable energy sources remains a challenge.

As countries disagree through wars and differences, the prices of non-renewable energies such as oil has become a commodity where price fluctuation is always eminent. The burning of fossil fuels continues to rise producing high levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) which climatologists believe is a major cause of global warming.

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parkourfreak | Student, Grade 9 | Honors

Posted September 13, 2011 at 8:07 PM (Answer #11)

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To #7. Thanks a lot-very helpful

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arrellbelle | TA , College Sophomore | Valedictorian

Posted July 19, 2014 at 3:27 PM (Answer #24)

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Non-Renewable Energy:

  • Disadvantages: The obvious reason is that once a non-renewable source is used up, it cannot be re-used again.
  • Advantages: Many people believe that, since there is an abundance of resources available, if we were to use them wisely, they will always be available for future generations.

Renewable Energy:

  • Disadvantages: Unlike non-renewable energy, renewable energy cannot be generated easily because of the lack of funding that goes into the generators and therefore, we cannot entirely depend on them just quite yet.
  • Advantages: Obviously, as a renewable energy, one can always use these energy sources and never have to worry about them running out.

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