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Nonrenewable Resource Definition

A nonrenewable resource cannot be easily replenished. For example, coal is extracted for energy and may run out.

View Lesson on Renewable vs. Nonrenewable Resources
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Renewable vs. Nonrenewable Resources

Fun Facts

  • It took millions of years to form fossil fuels and we are currently using it up faster than it is being made.
  • Nonrenewable resources like fossil fuels have been our primary source of energy because they are relatively inexpensive.
  • Pressure from the ground above, combined with the Earth's heat, converted fossils into fuels that can be pumped out of the Earth and used as energy.

Why Do We Need To Know About Nonrenewable Resource

Learning about nonrenewable resources shows why making electricity is important. It’s key for jobs like being an electrical engineer or working at a power plant. These resources are a big part of everyday life and the world’s money.

Finding and getting nonrenewable resources like coal and oil creates lots of jobs in fields like geology and engineering. Knowing about the problems with using these resources up is important for jobs in environmental science and creating new, cleaner energy sources.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do different types of fuels create different types of energy?
All types of fuels can be burned for energy. Burning coal, oil and natural gas produces heat, which is then converted to other energy forms, like electricity.
Are energy sources unlimited?
Some energy sources are more limited than others. Coal, oil and natural gas are used a lot right now but they could run out in only a few generations. Renewable sources like wind, sunlight, biomass, geothermal, and water power can be easily renewed and are almost unlimited!
Why are renewable energy sources important for Earth’s future?
If we are still dependent on non-renewable energy sources when they run out, we will not have enough energy to meet our needs.
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