Renewable Energy v/s Nonrenewable Energy (conventional energy) – Advantages & Disadvantages

While talking about renewable and non-renewable energy, it is quite confusing as to which one is worthy. Thus let us have a detailed comparison of renewable and non-renewable energy.

As we all know that there are different forms of energy available on earth. On the basis of exhaustibility, energy is classified into renewable energy and nonrenewable energy (also called as conventional energy). Renewable energy is a type of energy that is replenished naturally over the course of time. It is also known as green energy. This energy is generated naturally from sunlight, wind, tides, heat and rain. This type of energy cannot be exhausted and are comparatively cheaper forms of energy. No green house gases are emitted. Some of the types of renewable energy are solar energy, wind energy, tidal energy, biomass and geothermal energy. Nonrenewable energy on the other hand, is a type of energy which cannot be replenished or takes a long time to replenish. Fossil fuels, natural gas, coal, petroleum and uranium come under the category of nonrenewable energy. It comes out of the ground as solid, liquid or gaseous form. Once these resources are used, it is used for good.

Renewable Vs Nonrenewable energy


  1. Solar energy from the sun
  2. Wind energy from wind
  3. Tidal energy from the ocean waves
  4. Geothermal energy is the energy of the earth.
  5. Biomass energy is from agriculture and food waste.


  1. Petroleum also known as liquid fossil fuel formed within the underground sedimentary rocks.
  2. Coal is deposit of yesteryears plants which are found deep within the ground which when burnt produces huge amount of heat energy.
  3. Natural gas is found in deep rock beds along with coal and also the byproduct of petroleum.
  4. Crude oil is found deep underground within the sedimentary rocks.
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  • Renewable source : the main highlight of renewable source like solar energy, wind energy, tidal energy, biomass and geothermal energy is that it is renewable and can be replenished easily. The more the use, the more it is reproduced.
  • Easily available : another advantage of renewable resource is that it is easily available on a regular basis.
  • Not polluting : the renewable resources does not cause any pollution. No green house gases are being released in the process. Renewable resources are environment friendly.
  • Low cost : since the availability of these natural green resources is abundant, it can be procured at a very low cost. This increases the saving and profit.
  • Improves health : the eco-friendly renewable source improves the health of the population as it causes no pollution. The ozone layer gets protected in the process.
  • Stability : these renewable resources provide stability in prices because of it readily available.


  • Reliability : one of the major disadvantages of renewable energy is that it is not reliable. It depends upon the climate, temperature, geographical location, humidity, speed of wind and so on. So the functioning of these natural resources depends upon a lot of factors and cannot be completely relied on.
  • Limited location : this is another major disadvantages of renewable energy. The plants and the industry cannot be set up anywhere. It can be only setup as per its availability.
  • Misuse : since the availability is in plenty, it is more likely to be misused by mankind.
  • High capital investment : huge money is needed in building up of industries that use these natural resources as raw materials.
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  • High energy : the nonrenewable resources are high in energy as compared to renewable resource. The energy per unit is more which is not observed in renewable source.
  • Profitable : more income is generated from mining coal, construction of gas pipelines and mining of coal. This is a more profitable business.
  • Job opportunities : a lot of job offers are created in this industry like extracting, transportation, creating machinery, refining, procuring and so on. This in turn increases the national income of the country.
  • Availability : all these nonrenewable resources like coal, fossil fuel, oil and natural gas are available in plenty and are cost effective. The per unit cost are also cheap as compared to renewable resource. It is easily accessible and more compatible.
  • Transportation : since these nonrenewable resources are available in solid form, the transportation is comparatively easier with very low wastage.
  • Storage : storage is easier for nonrenewable resource and more compatible as compared to renewable energy source.


  • No replacement : one of the greatest disadvantage of renewable energy is that it cannot be replaced. It is impossible to renew of takes a long time to renew. Once this energy is used up, it cannot be replaced.
  • Pollution : burning of fossil fuels causes emission of green house gases that are highly polluting. A large amount of carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere which hampers the natural life cycle.
  • Global warming : nonrenewable energy adds to global warming. The ozone layer gets disrupted due to pollution which triggers the climatic conditions of the earth. Due to global warming, the temperature in many places has increased which has added to the melting of ice in Polar Regions and increase in sea level.
  • Health hazard : due to air pollution, a lot of health issues have increased among people like lung diseases, asthma, eye infections and heart problems. A lot of skin infections are also reported due to pollution.
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The above mentioned are a broad comparison between renewable energy and nonrenewable energy. Both have its own merits and demerits. After a thorough study, I have come to a conclusion that renewable energy has an upper hand over nonrenewable energy considering the pollution aspect. Pollution hampers the ecosystem as a whole. All living thing like plants, animals, trees, shrubs, aquatic animals and mostly humans gets affected by pollution. The breathing capacity, reproductive ability, life span, capacity to withstand adverse climatic conditions and also immunity also gets affected due to pollution. Global warming affects the world as a whole. The climatic conditions change drastically, the seasonal variations change, the humidity increases and the temperature rises in this process. All these will finally affect the existence of mankind and all living creatures on earth. So to conclude, the green renewable source of energy should be used more and an alternative to nonrenewable source. More steps should be taken for its maximum utilization with minimal wastage. Steps should be initiated by the government to develop technology for the adequate use of these renewable resources. Though it is available in plenty and freely available, these energy sources are likely to be misused. Proper planning and measures should be taken to curb this practice. Recycled materials should be used more so as to minimize the use of available resources. On the other hand, the use of nonrenewable source of energy should be minimized so as to reduce pollution. Alternative energy source should be used to minimize the use of these nonrenewable resources. If all these above mentioned steps are adopted, the world will be a better place to live in.