Difference Between Renewable and Nonrenewable Resources: A natural resource refers to a naturally-occurring resource that is present without any interference from human beings like sunlight, atmosphere, air, water, land, etc. Natural resources like coal and petroleum were formed many millions of years ago. Other natural resources like sunlight were available even before the time when the earth was formed. All living beings are dependent on these resources directly or indirectly. Natural resources are considered very important for maintaining life on earth. Natural resources can be categorized into two categories namely renewable resources and non-renewable resources. Mankind utilizes both these natural resources. In this article, you will get to know more about the definition of Renewable and Non-renewable resources, and the difference between Renewable and Non-renewable resources.
Renewable resources are defined as the type of natural resources which are not exhausted or depleted even after their continuous utilization. These resources get replenished with the help of natural processes over a period of time. Renewable resources include solar, wind, water, tidal energy, etc.
Non-renewable resources are defined as the type of natural resources which can’t be immediately replaced if they are depleted once. They take many years to form again. Non-renewable resources include mainly fossil fuels like coal, petroleum, natural gas, etc.
Difference Between Renewable and Nonrenewable Resources
The complete comparison of renewable and non-renewable energy resources has been tabulated below. The differences between renewable and non-renewable resources are the most important topic for students preparing for competitive examinations like UPSC, SSC, Railway, etc. It also helps school students from class 6th to 10th.
|Basis of Comparison||Renewable Resources||Non-Renewable Resources|
|Sources||Natural sources like sunlight, water, wind, and geothermal sources like hot springs.||Non-renewable sources like fossil fuels including coal and petroleum.|
|Depletion||With the continuous utilization of these resources, they are not depleted.||With the continuous utilization of these resources, they get depleted.|
|Environmental Impact||These resources release low carbon emissions and so they have a lesser carbon footprint on the environment.||These resources release high carbon emissions and so they have a higher carbon footprint on the environment.|
|Cost of Infrastructure||For harvesting renewable energy, the high cost of infrastructure is involved.||For harvesting non-renewable energy, the lesser cost of infrastructure is involved. It makes these infrastructures cost-effective.|
|Upfront Cost||The upfront cost is high as it requires costlier technology.||The upfront cost is lower comparatively.|
|Area Requirement||It needs a huge offshore area, especially in the case of wind farms and solar farms.||It needs a lower area comparatively.|
|Examples||Solar, wind, water energy, etc.||Rare earth minerals, mineral ores, and fossil fuels like coal.|
It is to be noted here that some resources like nuclear minerals including uranium and thorium are considered renewable resources. But it is still a subject of debate and discussion as these nuclear minerals are not properly renewable resources as per its statutory definitions and scholars.