A Guide To Renewable Resouces And Different Types Of Renewable Resources 

Clean Energy 9 Mins Read priyanjana kar Feb 20, 2024
what is a renewable resource

Want to learn about what is a renewable resource? Are you curious about energy production is a more sustainable way that would not harm the planet? Then this article is exactly what you are looking for. 

In this article we have talked about renewable resources and different kinds of renewable resources in the world. 

With the increase in population, researchers and world leaders have started to find more renewable resource uses which will sustain life. Post industrial revolution, non-renewable resources have been used in abundance leading to rapid decrease in availability in near future predicted by researchers. 

Hence, why people are finding for more sustainable yet long lasting way of producing energy to keep leading this life. Without energy there will be no electricity and without electricity no internet or power. Electricity was one of the discoveries that helped our world develop rapidly in the last decades. 

So, finding renewable resources to replace decreasing non-renewable energy sources has become a major importance at present. 

What Is A Renewable Resource?

What Is A Renewable Resource? 

Before digging deep into renewable resources, let’s first learn what is a renewable resource? 

A renewable resource is a source that over time replenishes naturally instead of depleting within a set specific period due to over usage. Even though renewable sources can also diminish over a very long period it still is more sustainable than non-renewable resources. 

Renewable resources are very important as they have the power to replace non-renewable resources. Even after repeated consumption of renewable resources the renewable source does not deplete easily. Some renewable resources to make it easier to understand are sunlight, wind, biomass, earth’s heat and ocean.  

Although we know that one day our sun will stop being a star and die but that’s millions of years in the future. Again, wind is a renewable resource but there is no fixed way to know when winds will stop flowing so we can use it to produce resourceful energy. 

While on the other hand non-renewable resources like coal, natural gas, and oil are sources that form in nature after thousands of years of certain conditions. Once we start using these resources from nature more and more the quantity of non-renewable sources replenishes. 

Like fossil fuel which takes millions of years to form after degradation of dead animals and plants within Earth when used up within a decade a two can extinguish the resource forever. 

But renewable resources, even when used continuously, take much more than a century or two to deplete. Renewable resources are also cleaner energy solutions than non-renewable resources like fossil fuel or oil or coal. 

Renewable Energy Will Also Replenish But In A Very Long Time 

Renewable Energy Will Also Replenish But In A Very Long Time 

Now that you learned ‘what is a renewable resource?’, let’s understand how renewable resources are different from non-renewable resources.  

Non-renewable resources can deplete over a short period of time due to limited amount. While renewable resources are available in abundance and can restore the resources naturally. Hence, it’s easier to use renewable sources without worrying about finishing it. 

Water is considered a renewable resource as it can be found in abundance. At the same time, oil is considered a non-renewable resource as only limited areas have it and that does not replenish itself. Water is also considered a natural renewable resource as through precipitation or rain it can restore its production. 

Again, due to excess use of water and climate change natural water is also decreasing, especially fresh water. But all these can be turned around. If we are more careful about conserving water and using it correctly without wasting. 

On the other hand, non-renewable resources like oil, fossil fuel, coal or nuclear energy will take a lot of time to restore to a natural level. Most precious metals are also considered renewal resources. Like gold, platinum, silver, copper, etc., as they can be reused and not destroyed during extraction. 

When you can recycle any sources of material, then it’s likely renewable resources. Renewable resources take a limited amount of time to restore themselves, even when depleted. The population boom post-World War 2 has led to a rapid increase in the use of non-renewable resources, result in scarcity of non-renewable resources like coal, oil, and fossil fuel. Thus, the demand for renewable resources is increasing for energy production. 

Different Kinds Of Renewable Resources

Different Kinds Of Renewable Resources 

There are five major kinds of renewable resources. The Sun, water, wind, biomass, and geothermal. All these five sources can help produce energy that can sustain human life and development in the future. 

Sun Or Solar energy

Sun Or Solar energy 

Sun is the most recognizable renewable energy that is available in abundance on Earth. Throughout human history, natural sunlight has been used to heat shelters, warm water, keep warm, dry food and cook them. Hence, it already was a natural source of energy for a long time even when people did not know much about science. 

As a new age came sunlight was converted for greater purposes with the help of developing technologies leading to solar radiation and solar energy. Solar energy incorporated with technology led to solar panels that could help generate electricity in remote areas as well. 

Solar energy is continuously being used to generate heat energy for different purposes. Like solar photovoltaic devices, commonly known as solar cells that transform sunlight into electricity. When several solar cells are used it can power a whole home. 

The only challenge with sunlight to source our energy needs is that it varies from time to time or region as well. Uniform sunlight in a particular area or region is not constant and thus not fully reliable.  

In medical cases electricity keeps many machines working so using solar cell isn’t a great idea in life and death situation. Weather, time of the day, season, geographic location and climate are a big factor in getting appropriate amounts of sunlight into electricity. 

Wind Or Wind Energy 

Wind Or Wind Energy 

Wind and sun have a direct relationship because winds flow as the result of sun’s heat captured on different surfaces of Earth such as oceans, land or other water masses.  

When this sunlight heats up the land faster than the surface water during the daytime, this warm air expands and then rises, while cooler air replaces it. This results in winds which can be utilized to create wind power. 

Earlier there were several windmills across the U.S. that helped capture this heat trapped air and converted into wind energy. This wind energy was used to pump water from wells. Still in some states across the U.S. there are windmills especially near farming areas. These remaining windmills provide water for farming and livestocks. 

In present, wind power is harnessed and converted into electricity. You might have seen large white fans placed over hills if you live in California, these are called wind turbines that capture the wind as the wind flows over the blades. When the wind passes over the blades the blade turns generating electricity. 

Wind turbines are known to not emit any water or air pollutants generally and they do not need to be cooled down with water as well. Although they do have some environmental negative effects but rarely when wind turbines catch fire or leak lubricating fluids. This can cause harm to birds and other species.                                                                                                                                              In the US, wind turbines have provided about 9.2% of utility-scale electricity in total in 2021. 

Water Or Hydropower

Water Or Hydropower 

71 percent of the Earth’s surface is covered with water and the oceans holds 96.5 percent of the total water on Earth. Rivers, lakes, ponds, springs, streams, glaciers, icecaps and even air contain water vapor or water particles. Hence, Earth has more than enough water for thousands of years for it to be called a renewable resource. 

Water helps generate power as well, called hydropower, which is a major source of energy. Water was initially known as a renewable resource even before it could help generate electricity, like sun or sunlight. In earlier times, water was used to paddle wheels on streams or rivers to mill lumber and grains. 

Hydropower helped generate electricity in the US since 1880s. At present, hydropower is built in facilities adjacent to large dam areas in the US which were built during 1970s. Until 2019, the largest renewable electricity generator in the US was hydropower. But in 2021, hydroelectricity generated a total of 31.5% utility-scale electricity in the US.  

Hydropower from water can be affected during droughts or changes in weather in earlier times but that problem was solved after building dams. Climate change can become the only factor affecting hydropower soon due to drier climate in different regions. 

Geothermal Energy

Geothermal Energy 

Geothermal is the energy source which generates power from heat trapped on Earth’s surface. It is a renewable resource that is used to heat district heating systems. For centuries, natural hot springs have been seen across the earth’s surface that naturally uses geothermal energy to heat natural springs across the Earth. 

Geothermal energy can also generate electricity, hence why power plants are built underground for this purpose. These power plants are built a mile below the Earth’s surface that converted the trapped heat into electricity for utility purposes. 

As of 2021, seven states in the US have geothermal power plants that produce 16 billion kilowatt hours of electricity. This equals to a total of 0.4% utility-scale electricity generation. These seven states are California, Idaho, New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, Hawaii and Oregon.  

There are geothermal heat pumps that convert earth’s heat into power. Geothermal heat pumps transfer ground heat or heat from water into power that heats the buildings during winter and reverses the process to cooling during summer. 



Biomass is another renewable resource that produces energy. It uses the power of sun or sunlight to convert biomass into chemical energy by using the photosynthesis process. In 2021, biomass helped provide the Britain with five quadrillion Btu (British thermal units). In the United States, biomass consisted about 5% of the total primary energy usage.  

Renewable resources known as biomass are wood, agricultural waste, agricultural crops, wood waste, livestock feed, paper, cotton, food, yard waste, animal manure, sewage and other municipal waste. 

Biofuel is a liquid fuel that is made from feedstock materials like agricultural waste, crops and wood waste. Biofuel is a great example of biomass in generating energy for transport and heating systems. It is from biomass can generate electricity that can easily replace non-renewable resources like coal, natural gas and coal. 

As of 2021, biomass produced biofuel accounting for 17.5 billion gallons in the US. 16.8 billion gallons of biofuel was used in the US that year. The US also exports biofuel accounting for 0.8 billion gallons in total. The most exported biofuel is ethanol.  

Since prices are higher for biofuel, a few experts in the fields expect the prices to become competitive soon as fossil fuel prices increase. 

Wrapping Up!

Excessive use of non-renewable resources has led to permanent depletion of natural gas, oil, coal and other minerals on the Earth’s surface.  

So, when we are learning more about renewable resources and developing them so that we can replace the non-renewable resources we must learn to limit our consumption as well. Wastage is one factor which we as humans need to work on at present. Hope this article was able to enlighten you about renewable resources. 

Now that you are all caught up on what is a renewable resource and different kinds of renewable resources, what changes are you going to bring about in your life to save the environment? 

Would you opt for solar panels to power your house? Would you like to make changes in your transport as well opting for an eco-friendlier car model, like electric cars instead of petrol or diesel run cars? Let us know your views in the comments. 

Read More…

What Are The Different Types Of Power Plant In Use?
Revolutionizing Transportation: Exploiting the World of Renewable Diesel and Its Types
Wind Turbine: How Do These Renewable Energy Sources Of Energy Work?
How To Make Electricity In Little Alchemy? Little Alchemy Cheats

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.