Question:

Why are fossil fuels considered nonrenewable energy sources?

Answer:

Fossil fuels are non-renewable resources because they take millions of years to form, and reserves are being depleted much faster than new ones are being formed. AnswerParty

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fossil fuels

Fossil fuels are fuels formed by natural processes such as anaerobic decomposition of buried dead organisms. The age of the organisms and their resulting fossil fuels is typically millions of years, and sometimes exceeds 650 million years. Fossil fuels contain high percentages of carbon and include coal, petroleum, and natural gas. They range from volatile materials with low carbon:hydrogen ratios like methane, to liquid petroleum to nonvolatile materials composed of almost pure carbon, like coal. Methane can be found in hydrocarbon fields, alone, associated with oil, or in the form of methane clathrates. The theory that fossil fuels formed from the fossilized remains of dead plants by exposure to heat and pressure in the Earth's crust over millions of years (see biogenic theory) was first introduced by Georg Agricola in 1556 and later by Mikhail Lomonosov in the 18th century.

The Energy Information Administration estimates that in 2007 the primary sources of energy consisted of petroleum 36.0%, coal 27.4%, natural gas 23.0%, amounting to an 86.4% share for fossil fuels in primary energy consumption in the world. Non-fossil sources in 2006 included hydroelectric 6.3%, nuclear 8.5%, and others (geothermal, solar, tidal, wind, wood, waste) amounting to 0.9%. World energy consumption was growing about 2.3% per year.

Technology Energy
Energy economics

Energy economics is a broad scientific subject area which includes topics related to supply and use of energy in societies. Due to diversity of issues and methods applied and shared with a number of academic disciplines, energy economics does not present itself as a self-contained academic discipline, but it is an applied subdiscipline of economics. From the list of main topics of economics, some relate strongly to energy economics:

Energy economics also draws heavily on results of energy engineering, geology, political sciences, ecology etc. Recent focus of energy economics includes the following issues:

Environment
Fossil fuel

Fossil fuels are fuels formed by natural processes such as anaerobic decomposition of buried dead organisms. The age of the organisms and their resulting fossil fuels is typically millions of years, and sometimes exceeds 650 million years. Fossil fuels contain high percentages of carbon and include coal, petroleum, and natural gas. They range from volatile materials with low carbon:hydrogen ratios like methane, to liquid petroleum to nonvolatile materials composed of almost pure carbon, like coal. Methane can be found in hydrocarbon fields, alone, associated with oil, or in the form of methane clathrates. The theory that fossil fuels formed from the fossilized remains of dead plants by exposure to heat and pressure in the Earth's crust over millions of years (see biogenic theory) was first introduced by Georg Agricola in 1556 and later by Mikhail Lomonosov in the 18th century.

The Energy Information Administration estimates that in 2007 the primary sources of energy consisted of petroleum 36.0%, coal 27.4%, natural gas 23.0%, amounting to an 86.4% share for fossil fuels in primary energy consumption in the world. Non-fossil sources in 2006 included hydroelectric 6.3%, nuclear 8.5%, and others (geothermal, solar, tidal, wind, wood, waste) amounting to 0.9%. World energy consumption was growing about 2.3% per year.


Non-renewable resource

A non-renewable resource (also known as a finite resource) is a resource that does not renew itself at a sufficient rate for sustainable economic extraction in meaningful human timeframes. An example is carbon-based, organically-derived fuel. The original organic material, with the aid of heat and pressure, becomes a fuel such as oil or gas. Fossil fuels (such as coal, petroleum, and natural gas), and certain aquifers are all non-renewable resources.

Metal ores are other examples of non-renewable resources. The metals themselves are present in vast amounts in the earth's crust, and are continually concentrated and replenished over millions of years. However their extraction by humans only occurs where they are concentrated by natural processes (such as heat, pressure, organic activity, weathering and other processes) enough to become economically viable to extract. These processes generally take from tens of thousands to millions of years. As such, localized deposits of metal ores near the surface which can be extracted economically by humans are non-renewable in human timeframes, but on a world scale, metal ores as a whole are inexhaustible, because the amount vastly exceeds human demand, on all timeframes. Though they are technically non-renewable, just like with rocks and sand, humans could never deplete the world's supply. In this respect, metal ores are considered vastly greater in supply to fossil fuels because metal ores are formed by crustal scale processes which make up a much larger portion of the earth's near-surface environment than those that form fossil fuels, which are limited to areas where carbon-based life forms flourish, die, and are quickly buried. These fossil fuel-forming environments occurred extensively in the Carboniferous Period.

Biofuels Fuel
Energy development

Energy development is a field of endeavor focused on making available sufficient primary energy sources and secondary energy forms to meet the needs of society. These endeavors encompass those which provide for the production of conventional, alternative and renewable sources of energy, and for the recovery and reuse of energy that would otherwise be wasted. Energy conservation and efficiency measures reduce the impact of energy development, and can have benefits to society with changes in economic cost and with changes in the environmental effects.

Contemporary industrial societies use primary and secondary energy sources for transportation and the production of many manufactured goods. Also, large industrial populations have various generation and delivery services for energy distribution and end-user utilization. This energy is used by people who can afford the cost to live under various climatic conditions through the use of heating, ventilation, and/or air conditioning. Level of use of external energy sources differs across societies, along with the convenience, levels of traffic congestion, pollution sources and availability of domestic energy sources.


Renewable energy

Renewable energy is a socially and politically defined category of energy sources. Renewable energy is generally defined as energy that comes from resources which are continually replenished on a human timescale such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, waves and geothermal heat.

About 16% of global final energy consumption comes from renewable resources, with 10% ]discuss[ of all energy from traditional biomass, mainly used for heating, and 3.4% from hydroelectricity. New renewables (small hydro, modern biomass, wind, solar, geothermal, and biofuels) accounted for another 3% and are growing rapidly.

Carbon-based fuel is any fuel whose energy derives principally from the oxidation or burning of carbon. Carbon-based fuels are of two main kinds, biofuels and fossil fuels. Whereas biofuels are derived from recent-growth organic matter and are typically harvested, as with logging of forests and cutting of corn, fossil fuels are of prehistoric origin and are extracted from the ground, the principal fossil fuels being oil, coal, and natural gas.

From an economic policy perspective, an important distinction between biofuels and fossil fuels is that only the former is sustainable or renewable. Whereas we can continue to obtain energy from biofuels indefinitely in principle, the Earth's reserves of fossil fuels was determined millions of years ago and is therefore fixed as far as our foreseeable future is concerned. The great variability in the ease of extraction of fossil fuels however makes its endgame scenario one of increasing prices over one or more centuries rather than of abrupt exhaustion.


Renewable fuels

Renewable fuels are fuels produced from renewable resources. Examples include: biofuels (e.g. Vegetable oil used as fuel, ethanol, methanol from clean energy and carbon dioxide or biomass, and biodiesel) and Hydrogen fuel (when produced with renewable processes). This is in contrast to non-renewable fuels such as natural gas, LPG (propane), petroleum and other fossil fuels and nuclear energy. Renewable fuels can include fuels that are synthesized from renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar. Renewable fuels have gained in popularity due to their sustainability, low contributions to the carbon cycle, and in some cases lower amounts of greenhouse gases. The geo-political ramifications of these fuels are also of interest, particularly to industrialized economies which desire independence from Middle Eastern oil.

The International Energy Agency's World Energy Outlook 2006 concludes that rising oil demand, if left unchecked, would accentuate the consuming countries' vulnerability to a severe supply disruption and resulting price shock. Renewable biofuels for transport represent a key source of diversification from petroleum products. Biofuels from grain and beet in temperate regions have a part to play, but they are relatively expensive and their energy efficiency and CO2 savings benefits, are variable. Biofuels from sugar cane and other highly productive tropical crops are much more competitive and beneficial. But all first generation biofuels ultimately compete with food production for land, water, and other resources. Greater efforts are required to develop and commercialize second generation biofuel technologies, such as biorefineries and ligno-cellulosics, enabling the flexible production of biofuels and other products from non-edible plant materials.

nonrenewable energy sources
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