Define nonrenewable energy resources, and contrast them with renewable sources.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

A nonrenewable resource is one that is not easily replaced in comparison to its level of consumption. Examples of nonrenewable resources are most fossil fuels such as oil, petroleum, or natural gas. These fuels are called fossil fuels because they take millions of years to undergo the decomposition process required in order to be produced. 

In comparison, renewable resources take a shorter period of time to be produced with respect to their level of consumption. Examples of renewable resources are wind energy, solar energy, timber, and biomass. Renewable resources can also refer to commodities such as wood, leather or paper. Renewable resources have the extra benefit of being alternative fuels that emit less pollution. Thus, there is a push in our society to start using more of such resources for energy. 

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial