Non-renewable energies are energies generated from non-renewable resources; a group of resources that cannot be restored once used. These resources mainly include fossil fuels (coal, oil, natural gas), nuclear fuels and biofuels.
Fossil energy and fossil fuels
Resources such as coal, oil and natural gas take several thousand years to form and cannot be replaced as quickly as they are used today. It is believed that fossil-based resources will be too expensive to process, that humans will have to resort to other sources of energy, such as solar and wind.
Currently, the main source of energy used by man is non-renewable fossil fuels. Since the 19th century, with the arrival of internal combustion engines, oil and other fossil fuels have been in constant demand. The constant use of fossil fuels has led to the emergence of global warming, as well as severe climate change.
Coal was once the main source of energy used for industrial electricity production, later replaced by oil that is easier to use and work with. Coal comes from the fossilization of aquatic plants.
Petroleum is a liquid fuel composed mainly of hydrocarbons, that is, substances whose molecules are formed from hydrogen and carbon (derived from the decomposition of organic substances by anaerobic bacteria). Oil is the product of chemical transformation, which lasts hundreds of years, of animal and plant organisms.
This fossil fuel is found in the subsoil and, therefore, it is necessary to proceed with a drilling of the soil, and the characteristics vary according to the reservoir of origin. After its extraction, it needs to be refined for use and, therefore, is called "raw."
The use of nuclear technology, which is based on fission in nature, appears as a radioactive material or nuclear fuel. Uranium is the most common fission nuclear fuel, is present in relatively low concentrations and is being exploited in 19 countries. Uranium is used as fuel for nuclear reactor energy, which generates the heat used to power a turbine to generate electricity.
Nuclear power provides approximately 6% of the world's energy and 13% -14% of the world's electricity. Nuclear production is associated with potentially dangerous radioactive contamination because it is based on insecure elements. Specifically, nuclear plants produce about 200,000 tons of low and medium level waste and 10,000 tons of high level waste each year.
Biomass and Agrofuels
Biomass and agrofuels are fuels that are burned for energy in engines or thermal power plants, sometimes mixed with fossil fuels, but that come from vegetables (wood, wheat, etc.) extensively cultivated or livestock products, which later They must be treated industrially.
They are considered non-sustainable and non-renewable on a human scale. It may seem that if a plant can be grown and can grow, that is, we can produce it, unlike uranium or coal, it should be renewable, but it is not because it grows too slowly compared to the speed with which We spend and because there is not enough space on Earth to cultivate it. The entire surface of a few Earth planets should only be used for the biomass crops needed to replace the energy currently obtained by fossil fuels.
Last review: October 15, 2019