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Last updated on December 9th, 2022 at 12:38 am

Natural resources are very essential for life on earth. We depend on these resources in some or another way. These resources such as sunlight, atmosphere, mines, air, water, land, vegetation, and animal life are classified into two categories- Renewable and Nonrenewable. Before discussing the Difference between Renewable and Nonrenewable Resources, let us summarise first what these resources are.

Renewable Resources

Renewable Resources are termed as natural resources that do not get exhausted even after their continuous utilisation. These resources are sunlight, wind, tidal energy and more. Renewable resources through the natural process over the course of time.

Type of Renewable Resources

Here are the different types of renewable resources as follows:

  • Solar energy
  • Hydropower
  • Bioenergy
  • Wind
  • Geothermal

Nonrenewable Resources

The resources which cannot be replaced immediately once they are depleted as it takes millions of years to form are called nonrenewable resources. These resources include fossil fuels – coal, petroleum, minerals and natural gas.

Types of nonrenewable resources

Nonrenewable energy resources can be classified broadly into two types of categories. These are

  • Fossil fuels
  • Nuclear energy

Now, let us write the difference between Renewable and Nonrenewable resources.

Difference between Renewable and Nonrenewable Resources

Let us find out What is the difference between Renewable and Nonrenewable resources. The following table shows the Difference between Renewable and Nonrenewable Energy Resources.

Renewable ResourcesNonrenewable Resources
There is no depletion in Renewable resources over time. These resources can be used and reused again and again.There can be depletion in Non-Renewable Resources over time. These resources can not be restored once they decay.
They are replaced naturally in a short period of time.These resources are for a very limited amount of time and require millions of years.
Renewable resources are also called inexhaustible resources.These are also called exhaustible resources.
The regular consumption of these resources does not affect their availability or restoring capacity.The rate at which these resources get consumed is too fast. And it may affect its restoring capacity and availability. 
These are sustainable and friendly to the environment.These can cause pollution and also release carbon.
The next point for the Difference between Renewable and Nonrenewable resources with Example is that the upfront cost of this energy is high. For instance, generating electricity using renewable energy can be costlier than generating it with fossil fuels.Nonrenewable resources have a comparatively lower upfront cost.
Renewable resources refer to sunlight, water, wind, biomass, solar energy, geothermal sources, hot springs and fumaroles.Nonrenewable resources refer to fossil fuels such as coal, minerals, petroleum etc.
One of the major Difference between Renewable and Nonrenewable resources of Energy is that Most renewable resources have low carbon emissions and footprint.This energy has a higher carbon footprint and carbon emissions in comparison to renewable energy.
Infrastructure for forming renewable energy is prohibitively costly and is not easily accessible in most other countries.For nonrenewable energy, cost-effective and accessible infrastructure is available across most countries.
Renewable resources require a large land or area.The lower area requirements are there in harvesting nonrenewable energy.

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Advantages of using renewable resources

The advantages of using renewable resources are as follows:

  • The energy is inexhaustible and obtained from renewable resources.
  • Renewable resources are usually less polluted as they do not produce any greenhouse gases while generating energy.
  • These resources ultimately can be regenerated.
  • This energy is known for the very low emission of carbon dioxide.
  • Renewable resources are easily available and have a low maintenance cost.

Advantages of nonrenewable resources

The various advantages of renewable energy resources are as follows:

  • Nonrenewable energy resources are usually affordable.
  • These resources are accessible, compatible and abundant.
  • The storage of non-renewable resources is comparatively easy.
  • It can provide more energy compared to renewable resources.
  • Nonrenewable energy has a cost-effective and accessible infrastructure across most countries.

Difference between Renewable and Nonrenewable Resources: FAQs

What is the difference between Renewable and Nonrenewable Resources?

One of the main differences is that renewable energy is replaced naturally in a short period of time, while nonrenewable resources are for a very limited amount of time and require millions of years. For more details please refer to the above article.

What are the types of renewable energy?

Solar energy, Hydropower, Bioenergy, Wind, Geothermal and more are some of the kinds of renewable energy.

What are the types of nonrenewable resources?

There are two types of nonrenewable resources – Fossil fuels and Nuclear energy.

What is the major difference between Renewable and Nonrenewable Energy Resources?

One of the major Difference between Renewable and Nonrenewable resources of Energy is that Most renewable resources have low carbon emissions and footprint. Nonrenewable resources have a comparatively lower upfront cost.

What are the advantages of using Nonrenewable resources?

Nonrenewable energy resources are usually affordable. These are accessible, compatible and abundant.

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