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Pros and Cons of NonRenewable Energy

Early in human history, most of the energy used in performing several activities ranging from heating homes to industrial purposes was predominantly renewable. These include energy from the sun, wind, plants, water, and heat from inside the earth. By the 1800s, the transition to non-renewable energy was commencing and by the mid-1900s, they had become the major source of energy.

What is non-renewable energy?

Non-renewable energy is finite natural resources that cannot be replenished at the rate at which they are being consumed. This form of energy is derived from sources that are bound to run out and will not be replenished in our lifetime. They take millions of years to form.

Non-renewable energy is mostly derived from fossil fuels. They are formed in the earth’s crust as a result of the decay of plants and animals stored under rocks and other sediments under high temperature and pressure for hundreds of millions of years. These remains are converted to fossil fuels, including coal, natural gas, and petroleum.

Although all fossil fuels are Non-renewable energy, not all Non-renewable energy is a fossil fuel. Other types of non-renewable energy include uranium, minerals, and metals such as steel, phosphate, aluminum, etc.

Types of Non-Renewable energy, their prons, and Cons

There are different types of non-renewable energy, although the majority is from fossil fuels. Fossil fuels—including coal, oil, and natural gas—have been powering economies for over 150 years and currently supply about 80 percent of the world’s energy.

SOURCE: KGS (2006)

  • Coal

They are non-renewable energy formed through a process called carbonization. Carbonization is the process by which ancient organisms undergo to become coal. Depending on the level of carbonization, coal can be peat which is the lowest rank of coal, or anthracite, which is the highest rank of coal. Generally, coal is considered a very reliable source of energy as it is available all year round. However, although coal is highly versatile and can be used in different forms, it is also very harmful. One of the dangerous jobs in the world is coal mining. Coal miners are constantly exposed to toxic substances and risks of cave-ins at mining sites. In addition, when burned, coals are very significant air pollutants and can cause respiratory infection.

  • Natural gas

They are mostly made up of methane. It is one of the fossil fuels formed underground, and it is considered a clean and healthy form of energy. Natural gas does not form in big open pockets and can be formed in deposits a few meters underground. Mining natural gas is done by different techniques, some of which include: hydraulic fracturing, also called fracking, hydrofracking, and hydrofracturing; it is a good stimulation technique involving the use of water at a very high pressure to split underground rock so as to access the natural gas underneath, or the use of acid to dissolve the rocks. Natural gas has a wide range of use, from domestic cooking to industrial energy generation. When compared to other fossil fuels, extraction is cheap. Although it does not produce poisonous fumes or gas when burned, Natural Gas isn’t 100% clean. Instead, it produces carbon dioxide and water vapor, the same by-product of human exhalation. Despite its many advantages, natural gas can also be harmful due to its extraction process, which can cause mini earthquakes due to high-pressure liquid used during hydraulic fracturing and can also cause harm to the environment as acids can contaminate water from other sources when extracted through rock dissolution by acids.

Natural gas extraction
Source: cred.com

  • Petroleum

like other fossil fuels is formed from the decay of plants, algae, bacteria, and other organisms under sediment rocks at high temperature and pressure for millions of years. As a liquid fossil fuel, petroleum has so many derivatives that can be used for a wide range of purposes. It is a good source of energy and is also financially rewarding. Despite the pros, petroleum is harmful to both the environment and individuals’ health. During drilling, there are cases of oil spills both on land and inside water which causes land pollution, affects land composition for farming and causes the death of aquatic animals due to reduction in oxygen availability. In addition, gases and fumes from the burning of petroleum cause respiratory disease.

  • Uranium

is the major material used in building nuclear energy. Nuclear energy is considered renewable, uranium which is its main component is not. Uranium, U-235 is formed under rocks for a long period of time also. Nuclear energy is extremely powerful and currently a major source of electricity globally. Nuclear energy harvests the powerful energy in the nucleus, or core, of an atom. Nuclear energy is released through nuclear fission, the process where the nucleus of an atom splits. Nuclear power plants are complex machines that can control nuclear fission to produce electricity. Although nuclear energy does not pollute the atmosphere, nuclear energy plants are very expensive, complicated, and challenging to build and operate. Also, nuclear energy produces radioactive waste, which is responsible for several health problems, predominantly cancer of the lungs, blood, skin, and bone.

Nuclear fission (Graphic: A. Vargas/IAEA)
Source: IAEA

  • Biomass

is considered both a renewable and non-renewable energy source because although it is renewable, the planets and animal wastes used require regeneration and can be exhausted.

Disadvantages of Non-renewable energy 

Lately, there has been so much media attention and awareness on the effect of fossil fuels on the ecosystem. The disadvantages of Non-renewable energy are numerous, which justifies the movement towards renewable energy sources in performing both day-to-day activities as well as industrial energy requirements. The disadvantages are numerous and their effect ranges from ozone layer depletion, oil spills, soil pollution, water pollution, and rising cost.

Some of the disadvantages include:

  • Emissions of greenhouse gases: These are produced by the combustion of fossil fuels. They are a contributing factor to climate change, extreme weather, and an increase in wildfires. In addition, greenhouse gases are responsible for ocean acidification, smog pollution, and ozone depletion, among other things.
  • They are responsible for acid rain, which is caused by pollution in the atmosphere caused by the burning of coal and other fossil fuels. They also have a negative effect on plant growth as well as the nutritional content of the plant.
  • They pose a severe threat to human health: The effect of most of the several non-renewable energy products and by-products on health is very hazardous and causes various health defects like cancer and other respiratory problems.
  • They are capable of becoming exhausted: Nonrenewable energy is energy that has been formed over thousands of millions of years and, as a result, it cannot be replenished in our lifetime.
  • Apart from the fact that they pollute the environment, the majority of the byproducts are not biodegradable. This means they pollute the environment and pose a significant threat to human health.

Advantages of non-renewable energy

There are so many advantages of non-renewable energy. Some have been discussed under types of non-renewable energy but overall advantages are listed below.

  • Non-renewable energies are abundant and affordable.
  • Nonrenewable energy is more cost-effective and easier to produce and use than renewable energy.
  • Non-renewable resources are a significant source of energy.
  • Wide Profits range from different oil sales, oil drill, coal mining, and natural gas pipeline construction.
  • These resources are readily available for use for domestics activities
  • It may be impossible for some people to completely wean themselves off of their reliance on traditional minerals such as coal and oil, no matter how advanced technology and alternative energy sources become. As a result, it is referred to as “traditional energy” in some circles.
  • Nonrenewable energy sources can be found in abundance all over the world. As a result, they can be transported easily throughout the entire world. Individuals who live in remote areas have the option of using nonrenewable energy sources.
  • Nonrenewable resources are instrumental in the creation of jobs. The extraction, transportation, and refining of nonrenewable resources all result in the creation of employment opportunities.
  • The majority of nonrenewable resources are also extremely simple to store, making them ideal for long-term use.

Future of crypto mining

Due to the fact that cryptocurrency mining consumes a significant amount of energy, it is a hot topic of discussion in the cryptocurrency ecosystem. The competitiveness of bitcoin mining has led to miners investing in high-grade PC frameworks to mine more proficiently.

As a result of cryptocurrency mining, there has been an increase in energy consumption as well as an increase in electricity costs. The crypto climate accord, which outlines the need for decarbonization in the cryptocurrency industry, was born out of this enormous burden.

Increasingly, there has been a call for the decarbonization of cryptocurrency mining, owing to the negative impact that these energy sources, which are mostly nonrenewable energy sources, have on both humans and the environment. There is also a call for the adoption of clean energy sources such as solar, geothermal, hydroelectric, and wind energy.

In order to address this issue, EZ Blockchain has developed an innovative and revolutionary solution.

EZ Blockchain is a forward-thinking organization on a mission to combat global waste energy issues with the help of cryptocurrency mining. By utilizing waste energy such as gas flare, we are able to design and manage physical blockchain infrastructures. This solution is environmentally friendly, reasonably priced, and beneficial to all parties involved.

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