Sources of energy that cannot be depleted, but can be replaced, recycled, or renewed by natural processes or the environmental cycle are known as renewable sources of energy. Non-renewable sources of energy, on the other hand, are those that cannot be reproduced, and once used, cannot be replaced. These are formed naturally over a period of millions of years and therefore, they cannot be replaced easily. Moreover, there is always a danger of these resources getting extinguished. Hence, they are also known as exhaustible resources. Due to this fact, conservative use of these resources is the need of the day. Researchers are in the process of finding substitute sources of energy that will replace these resources, but until that time it is our responsibility to use these non-renewable resources carefully and wisely. About 85% of the world's energy comes from non-renewable sources of energy, if we use resources at this rate; it will only intensify the problem further. A list of non-renewable resources is given below, which as a result of continual use may no longer exist and humanity will have to find alternate sources of energy.
Non Renewable Resources List
Coal is burnt in large quantities to acquire heat, which is converted into steam, used to run generators, which ultimately is used to produce electricity. This fossil fuel is the largest energy source, for the generation of electricity worldwide. The formation of coal takes more than thousands of years, and it is a task to extract it as well. Hence, using this resource to its fullest potential and not wasting it, is what people have to understand.
Nuclear fuels like uranium, platinum, plutonium, thorium and so on, are used to generate electricity and are also useful in various other projects and research work. Mishandling these nuclear fuels can lead to dangerous accidents or explosions. Hence, we need to use them carefully and dispose their waste properly too. Care must be taken with these valuable metals to avoid their depletion.
After refining liquid petroleum, a lot of energy products can be extracted, such as diesel, gasoline, heating oil, so on and so forth. The usage of these oils is gaining popularity, since they are cheap and have no substitutes as such. These resources have to be utilized properly as they are on the verge of getting extinct. Statistics show that if use of these resources is not controlled today, the resources will be exhausted within the next 30-50 years.
Natural gas is a mixture of gases like methane, ethane, propane and butane. The use of natural gas has increased to a great extent as it is cheap and environment friendly. It is used for heating, cooking, power and as a fuel in vehicles. But figures show that there are only about 100 mmt (million metric tons) available, which is estimated to last for only 100 years from now!
Minerals and Metals
Important minerals and metals like gold, mercury, titanium, iron, cobalt, nickel, copper and so on are found in alluvial deposits and deep underground. These rare and unique, minerals and metals are found along with quartz or other sulfide minerals in the ore form. To extract them to the purest form and use them, requires a lengthy process. The price of these minerals and metals are already soaring, which indicates more demand but lesser availability. Hence it is important we use these minerals and metals wisely and responsibly to combat the problem of its depletion.
Although wildlife is considered to be a renewable source of energy, things seem to have changed. Our world is full of unique and rare wildlife species, but a lot of these are on the verge of getting extinct. One animal which of late, has featured majorly in world news, of being extinct, is the tiger. There are as few as 3200 tigers left in the world. If we cut down forests and take away the homes of these animals, then the future generation is sure to not see tigers and many other wild animals.
No doubt we will find a way out of this problem, but until this problem persists it is everyone's responsibility to exploit these natural resources to the fullest and not waste a bit. We can do our bit at a personal level to combat the problem of non-renewable resources getting depleted by using the above list of non renewable resources responsibly, so that our future generations too can avail the benefits of these resources.