By Samantha Jones
Though it’s relatively easy to extract, use and store non-renewable energy which are the biggest advantages, there is one major disadvantage. Non-renewable energy cannot be replenished for millions of years. That means eventually the earth will run out of non-renewable energy which is acquired from fossil-fuel, natural gasses and petroleum. One of the many ways to embark on a sustainable journey which will help us to store this non-refundable form of energy for another million years is switching to renewable energy from non-renewable means.
Non-renewable energy sources
The major resources of non-renewable energy are fossil-fuel, natural gasses, and petroleum. Over hundreds of millions of years ago, the earth had a different landscape that it is today. The surface was mostly wet and was covered with shallow seas and swampy forests. Different kinds of plants, algae, phytoplankton, zooplankton grew in these wetlands. They used photosynthesis to make food using sunlight and as plants do, used to store the energy in their body. When they died their organisms got composited into the seabed and soil and a huge amount of energy got stored. Today the earth is filled with hundreds of such underground pockets called reservoirs. This energy is known to us as non-renewable energy.
The pros and cons of using non-renewable energy
Mining energy from underground energy reservoirs is not very difficult. The mining industries all across the world are cashing on this business. The extraction process is also considerably easier. Non-renewable energy can be stored and converted in any convenient form. So usability can be considered as the biggest advantage.
The amount of energy earth still holds can meet our electricity and energy needs for thousand more years.
But this is also true for a fact that the earth reservoirs are declining by each passing year. The human population is rapidly growing, with that increasing the need for more energy and resources. Our dependencies on non-renewable energy can lead up to an earth where producing sufficient energy can be the biggest battle for humanity.
Most non-renewable energy sources are made of carbon. Whenever we burn this kind of energy to use them this carbon reacts with the oxygen existing in the atmosphere forming carbon-dioxide thus causing green house effect and increasing carbon footprints. All these are affecting the delicate atmospheric balance and earth’s ‘carbon budget’.
What are the alternative energy sources?
Scientists and climatologists have been working for years to find ways that can lessen our dependencies on non-renewable energy and preserve it for the future generation. Populating the usage of renewable energy, solar energy, recycled materials, conservation of energy are some of the widely adopted means of alternative energy usage movement. Millions of dollars are being invested in many projects throughout the globe on solar plants, windmills, hydropower plants, nuclear energy plants.
The tech industry is coming forward
Though this movement has going on for decades, only recently it has gained momentum. Many big names like Microsoft co-founder Gates, Facebook co-founder Zuckerberg, Virgin Group head Branson, founder of LinkedIn Reid Hoffman are coming forward to invest on climate and environmental issues. Tesla motors have recently changed their motto from “Tesla’s mission is to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable transport” to “Tesla’s mission is to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy”.In the United States, 97% of utility-scale storage in 2014 was in pumped-storage hydroelectric plants, according to research by Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee. | Photo Courtesy: EC&M
The authorities are more concerned about energy efficiency and carbon pollution now than they were any time before
Governments of various countries have proposed and passed laws to minimize the usage of non-renewable energy, reduce the overall energy consumption, awards and recognition for sustainable homes that runs on renewable energy to encourage efficient energy consumption among citizens. For example, in Australia, the government has made it compulsory for all the new homes and residences to have a 6-star energy rating certified by an energy rating accessor. In the UK they rate their residences on the band of A (most efficient) to G (least efficient).
The world will not run out of its fossil fuels and energy resources in a day. It’s more like a slow poisoning which will lead us to the ultimate disaster. By being a little more conscious and putting a little effort can save us all from that and ensure a green, healthy planet for our future generation.
Samantha Jones is a graduate of the University of Technology, Syndey and is now working in a software firm.
This article was originally published on Articles Factory.
Featured image credits: Reuters
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