Nonrenewable Energy Resources

Energy is the most important component of the economic infrastructure of a country. It is vital for a country’s growth and development. Nonrenewable Energy Resources have been known and used by us for a long time.

Nonrenewable Energy Resources

Nonrenewable Energy Resources

Nonrenewable Energy Resources such as natural gas, oil, coal, or nuclear are finite but still hold the majority of the Energy market.

Nonrenewable Energy Resources #1


Coal is the most abundant conventional source of energy which could last for at least 200 years. Coal is an important mineral in India. It occurs as a sedimentary rock in association with carbonaceous shale, sandstone, and fine clay. Coal was formed by the decomposition of large land plants and trees buried under the Earth about 300 million years ago. Sediments began to get deposited over the pile of trees and plants. The resultant heat and pressure resulted in physical and chemical changes leading to the formation of coal.

Advantages of Using Coal
  • It is an important source of power for running machines, trains, ships, and dynamos.
  • Coal is used in the manufacturing of iron and steel.
  • It is a source of direct heat for domestic purposes, burning bricks, tiles, and iron and brass factories.
  • When coal is burnt in a closed chamber, a variety of chemicals such as ammonia and benzol are obtained as by-products.
Disadvantages of Using Coal
  • The calorific value of coal found in India is low.
  • Coal reserves in India are scattered and limited.
  • The cost of production and transportation of coal is very high.
  • The burning of coal results in large-scale pollution.

Nonrenewable Energy Resources #2


Petroleum is an important mineral resource. It is known as ‘liquid gold’ because not even the tiniest part of crude petroleum goes waste or remains unused. Petroleum is found in underground reservoirs in sedimentary rock formations like sandstone, shale, and limestone. Petrol, diesel. Kerosene, tar, Liquefied Petroleum Gas, lubricants, and paraffin wax are some products that are obtained during the refining process. Coal is also an important Conventional Source of Energy.

Advantages of Petroleum
  • It has a high density. One kg of oil can generate 10,000 kcal of energy.
  • Petroleum is liquid in form and can be transported through pipes or vehicles.
  • It is used as fuel. Its by-products that are used as fuel include diesel, gasoline, jet fuel, kerosene, and LPG.
  • Petroleum after refining is used for the production of various petrochemical products such as synthetic rubber, synthetic fiber, PVC phenol, gasoline, varnishes, lubricating oil, and paraffin wax.
  • Petroleum is also used for power generation.
Disadvantages of Petroleum
  • Petroleum is a non-renewable source of energy. Hence, its availability is limited. Because of ever-increasing demands, petroleum resources are fast depleting.
  • Extracting and burning petroleum generates greenhouse gases that contribute to environmental pollution and global warming.
  • Because of petroleum’s limited supply and high demand, the cost is high.
  • It is highly inflammable and can cause a fire.
  • The spilling of oil into the water not only pollutes the oceans but also leads to the death of a number of marine animals.

Nonrenewable Energy Resources #3

Natural Gas

Natural gas occurs in association with mineral oil. It is a fossil fuel. It is found along with the deposits of oil because it has been formed by decomposing remains of dead animals and plants buried under the earth.

Advantages of Natural Gas
  • It is an environment-friendly fuel as it is made up of methane which results in less carbon emission.
  • It is easier to preserve the fuel as it can be stored and transported through pipelines, cylinders, or tankers on land and sea.
  • It is a cheaper fuel than diesel or gasoline.
  • It is used for producing hydrogen, and ammonia for fertilizers, paints, and plastics.
Disadvantages of Natural Gas
  • Leaks in natural gas are extremely dangerous. Such leaks may result in explosions and fire. The leakage of natural gas can have serious consequences as methane is more dangerous than carbon dioxide.
  • Natural gas is a fossil fuel and hence is a non-renewable source of energy.
  • The infrastructure requiring the setting up of the production process and distribution of gas is very expensive.
  • Natural gas when used as a fuel in vehicles provides less mileage than gasoline.

Nonrenewable Energy Resources #4

Hydel Power

The electricity that is generated from water is known as hydel power or hydroelectricity. It is generated when water stored in a dam falls from a great height on a turbine whose blades then move with a great force. This in turn rotates the generator and produces electricity. Hydropower projects are multipurpose projects because they are used for irrigation, water supply for domestic and industrial consumption and to control floods.

Advantages of Hydel Power
  • It is a clean, non-polluting source of energy. It does not release any toxic gases. Natural Gas Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) Compressed Natural Gas (CNG)
  • It is a renewable source of energy that can be repeatedly used.
  • The dams built to produce hydroelectricity help in saving and restoring water.
  • It is economic and sustainable. The cost of electricity generation is cheaper than the electricity produced from fossil fuels and nuclear power.
Disadvantages of Hydel Power
  • The initial cost of building dams for generating hydroelectricity is extremely high.
  • Building large dams result in the destruction and submergence of forests on a large scale.
  • The building of huge dams may trigger earthquakes in an area.
  • Dam building may displace people from their villages. They may also lose their source of livelihood.

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