Why Are Fossils Fuels Considered a Nonrenewable Resource? | Energy Warden (2022)

Last night whilst out for a meal I overheard ayoung couple having a discussion, one of them asked why are fossils fuels considereda nonrenewable resource? This came as a bit of a shock as I simply thought thateverybody knew the answer to this question, but obviously not. So let’s findout are fossils fuels renewable or nonrenewable.

Why arefossils fuels considered a nonrenewable resource

Fossils fuels are considered nonrenewable resourcesdue to the fact that we humans will use all the resources faster than the timeit takes to replenish them.

What isFossils Fuels?

Fossils fuels are formed over millions of yearsfrom the remains of dead organisms. Fossils fuels are the main source of energyworldwide and at present, they account forabout 80 percent of our energy sources. When these fossils fuels are burnt theyproduce Carbon Dioxide which is a major contributor of greenhouse gasesaffecting the Ozone layer.

For this reason may Governments around the worldare looking at alternative sources of energy such as Solar power, wind power and hydroelectric power, theseare known as renewable sources ofenergy, alternative sources of energy or as green energy.

Howmany fossils fuels are there?

There are three main fossils fuels which we burnfor a source of energy; these are natural gas, coal and crude oil all of which can befound in most countries across the world. The largest amounts of coal depositsare usually found in the United States, Russia and China, whilst the majorityof crude oil and natural gas are to be found in the Middle East.

Crude oil and natural gas are found deep below theearth’s surface, usually at depths greater than a mile down, therefore makingthem harder to locate and extract. Once located and drilled they can betransported from offshore rigs to lad via pipelines and refined into fuels suchas petrol and diesel etc.

Coal is a little easier to be found at about two orthree hundred feet below ground and is much more plentiful, therefore cheaperto purchase.

Whatare the advantages of fossil fuels?

The modern generation find it difficult to talkabout the advantages of fossil fuels as they are correctly concerned aboutglobal warming and the environment for themselves and their children. We’re allstarting to view renewable energy sources as the way forward. We are startingmore and more to harness and utilise the sun’s rays and wind power.

Only large corporate businesses making largeamounts of money talk unsurprisingly about the advantages of fossil fuels, sowhat are they? Let’s have a look at a few advantages.

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Safe to transport

As mentioned above gas and oil can be transportedlarge distances relatively safely, either above or below ground utilising apipework system. Once transferred into containers they then, like coal can betransferred either by trucks or by rail quite inexpensively.

A cheapsource of energy

Some of the cheapest forms of energy are stillfossil fuels, grated they are expensive initially to mine and refine. Due tothe continuing development of technology, machines have become more efficientat extracting fossil fuels from the ground making them more cost effective.


The availability of fossil fuels as mentionedearlier can be found in almost every country in the world in vast amounts. Thismeans that Governments or businesses can extract these fossil fuels quiteeasily and cheaply to serve their countries energy needs either for industry orto supply homes with energy.

High calorific value

Whatdoes this mean? Calorific value is the amount of energy contained in any fuel.To ascertain a calorific value a given amount of fuel is burnt to measure theenergy produced. The more efficient the fuel is the higher the value.

Fossilfuels are still best at producing energy when burnt, so no surprise that theyare still widely used. Renewable sources of energy are a long way off fordeveloping countries due to the expense.

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Howmuch fossil fuels do we use

In 2018, the United States consumed an average ofabout 20.5 million barrels of petroleum per day, or a total of about 7.5billion barrels of petroleum products. Globally it is predicted that we willutilise 100million barrels per day in 2020.

Whatare fossils fuels used for?

We all think of crude oil as the main source of allour energy providing fuels, such as petrol, diesel and heating oil. Burningpetroleum is widely used to produce electricity which powers appliances in ourhomes and workspaces; it illuminates the streets at night too.

Plastic is a by-product of crude oil and is used every day by millions of us, it can be found in items such as packaging, toys, dresses, tires, heart valves, tooth paste, lipstick, artificial limbs, dentures and anaesthetics. Source

Coal is burnt either to heat our homes or inindustry to produce electricity or steel for example, but its by-products suchas gypsum and slag can be sold for use in cement and roofing materialsrespectively.

How long will fossil fuels last?


Our known oil deposits could run out in just over 53 years.


Our known gas reserves only give us just 52 years left.


Our known coal deposits could begone in 150 years.

Why are Fossils Fuels Bad for the Environment?

Fossil fuelsare one of the pillars in the global economy due to all the benefits that itoffers to the human beings in almost every possible industry around the world,and for that reason, it is the most used fuel without any doubt.

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Thanks tothese fuels, we can obtain a lot of power when they are burned in specificfacilities in different countries (most specifically in the ones that areliving thanks to the income of these fuels) to later use it for the productionof electricity by burning coal, providing a very reliable heating source incold countries, and most importantly, they can be used in the public transportsin form of gasoline or diesel, providing a 99% of the energy for cars aroundthe world.

Sadly,nothing is perfect, and in the case of fossil fuels, they are incrediblydangerous for the environment for a lot of reasons that are going to beexplained.

Why are Fossils Fuels Bad for the Environment?

Sure, theyare incredibly useful for us, however, they have a major disadvantage… fossilfuels are one of the leading sources of global warming pollution in the world!This means that it will kill us slowly in the future if we don’t take anymeasures to reduce the damage that it produces to the world.

There aremultiple reasons why these fuels are bad for the environment, the greatmajority of those reasons are related to how it is extracted in nature becausethe workers use chemicals on the ground or even destroy a lot of plants andtrees to pass the required machines for the process.

Check thislist of facts about the fossil fuels industry to learn more about how big isthe produced damage to the environment around the world:

1-Fossil Fuels are wrecking our Climate:

Like has beensaid before, one of the principals responsible for the current climate crisisthat exists in the world is fossil fuels.

When someoneburns coal, oil or gas, this will cause a great impact on the climate becausethe amount of heat and smoke produced will rise to the atmosphere, creating alot of severe damage to practically every place of the world.

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If we are notcareful with this amount of production and extraction of fuels around theworld, with the passing of the years, we will face big problems like heatwaves, heavy precipitations, dangerous rise of the sea level, polar meltingwhich will cause a lot of deaths to the near animals, and more importantly, itwill expand gradually the health risk in illness related to the skin.

2-Fossil Fuels Companies produce a Deadly Amount of Air Pollution:

Not only itreleases great gas emissions to the environment, but also, burning these fuelscan generate some localized air pollutants like soot (in a fine particulatematter, or P.M 2.5) and smog (it causes a lot of damage to the ozone) whichleads to more heatwaves and dangerous rise of temperatures in some places ofthe world and also, it increases the possibility of getting some illness likelung cancer, strokes, and heart diseases.

The WorldHealth Organization estimates that ambient exposure of the previous pollutantswill cause millions of death per year, so, to avoid this, the fossil fuelscompanies should take some measures and limitations to their production,however, that is not so easy because it can reduce significantly the economyaround the globe.

3- It’snot only Air Pollutions, but Fossil Fuels also releases a lot of WaterPollutions as Well!

With the passof the years and thanks to some companies greedy behavior, explosions and oilspills have wreaked havoc and destruction in the water around the world,affecting not only the fishes but also the communities that are near to it!Sadly, there is not a safe way to extract fossil fuels in these days, and thiscan cause minor damages in most cases.

However, thishas been changing at a fast pace, contaminating not only the environment butalso the water, which can lead to serious diseases to the people who drink thiswater that has been infected thanks to a coal mining process that leaves thezone with some coal ash that later reach the water of near communities andafter that, the people will suffer serious consequences thanks to the negligentcompany that doesn’t care about the life of plants and human beings, only fortheir money and production.

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