Which of the following is not a renewable resource? a. the sun beating down on a rain forest. b. plants, such as bamboo and rice, growing in a moist environment. c. oil reserve, buried deep below the surface of the ground. d. water flowing through a dam.  

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The answer is (c). Oil reserves that are buried deep below the surface are not renewable energy sources.

Oil is a nonrenewable energy source because it takes millions of years to make and is in limited quantities on Earth.

Oppositely, renewable energy sources are easily replenished. They are not likely...

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The answer is (c). Oil reserves that are buried deep below the surface are not renewable energy sources.

Oil is a nonrenewable energy source because it takes millions of years to make and is in limited quantities on Earth.

Oppositely, renewable energy sources are easily replenished. They are not likely to run out over time. Examples of renewable energy sources are identified below.

  • Sunlight energy is a renewable energy source that is captured by solar panels.
  • Wind energy is captured by windmills. One type of windmill is created by placing a wind turbine made of propellers on top of a large pole. Wind energy passes through the turbine and blows the blades of the propellers. The turbine is connected to a generator that then converts the wind energy into electricity. Alternatively, some propellers convert the wind energy into mechanical energy. Electricity created by a windmill can be used in any way that electricity from another source may be used. Mechanical energy created by a windmill may be used to pump water or grind grain.
  • The force of water spinning the turbines of a dam can produce energy in a similar manner as the energy that is produced by windmills.
  • Geothermal energy is produced by energy stored within the earth (“geo” = earth). Hydrothermal plants produce geothermal energy. Hydrothermal energy plants reside over or near locations where molten rock heats water that is close to the earth’s crust. The steam that is produced by the heated water is used to turn a turbine that is connected to a generator that produces energy.

 

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The answer is C, the oil reserve buried deep below the surface. Not only did it take millions of years for the oil to form from the remains of previously living organisms, but the conditions under which the oil formed have changed. We cannot replace the oil found under the ground once we have used it up--this is what it means to be non-renewable. Your other choices are all examples of renewable resources for energy. For A, the sun's energy is captured by the plants through photosynthesis, and will last as long as the sun burns. In choice B, rice and bamboo will continue to grow as long as they continue to receive sunlight and moisture. For choice D, water flowing through a dam, electricity will be generated as long as the water continues to flow.

Estimates vary as to the length of time that non-renewable energy sources, such as oil and other fossil fuels, will last if we continue to use them at our present rates. Once they are gone, we cannot get more. This is why it is important to explore various types of renewable energy sources such as water, wind, biomass and solar power if we hope to be able to continue our present style of living. Even if we discover vast new stores of fossil fuels, at some point they will run out.

 

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