Energy sources are the pivotal components of the global economic infrastructure. They are the prime drivers of economic growth of any country for almost every sector of the economy (industries, agriculture, enterprises) requires energy on a daily basis. Even basic needs for household living such as Fans, Lights, mobiles etc need energy on a constant basis. There are two primary sources of energy – Non-Conventional (renewable) energy and Conventional (non-renewable) energy.
By non-conventional energy resources, we mean the alternative energy sources of clean power such as solar energy, wind energy, geothermal energy, hydropower, and tidal energy. Contrary to this, conventional sources of energy are formed underneath the Earth’s surface over a period of millions of years. They are coal, oil, and natural gas.
Both these sources of energy have their fair share of differences, advantages, and disadvantages.
Finite vs. Infinite
Conventional energy sources, namely coal, oil, and natural gas require millions of years to be formed. And, due to the ever-increasing demand for these traditional energy sources, they are exhausting rapidly. Once the reserves are completely dried out, it will take ages for them to be renewed. On the other hand, renewable energy resources are gifts of nature. They are abundant and can be renewed over and over again.
Conventional vs. Alternative Energy
As the name suggests, conventional energy resources have been the primary source of energy for ages while renewable energy resources are relatively new. Renewable energy sources began to be tapped only in the recent past when the truth of energy crisis dawned upon the world.
Hazardous vs. Innocuous
The extraction and production of conventional sources of energy cause tremendous pollution in the environment. Toxic fumes, sludge, and other hazardous wastes emitted during the production process are either dumped into rivers or on a vacant piece of land without being treated. Also, oil spills are known to destroy marine biodiversity. Renewable energy resources do not emit any hazardous waste material and are hence, eco-friendly.
Industrial vs. Domestic
Conventional sources of energy are produced in large scale for industrial as well as domestic purposes. The production of renewable sources of energy has still not reached that stage where they can be used for large-scale commercial and industrial purposes. Scientists and researchers are still trying to devise ways in which these renewable energy sources can be harnessed and produced on a large scale. Their uses are thus, limited to the domestic sector.
Expensive vs. Inexpensive
Since conventional sources of energy are limited in quantity, they are becoming costlier with each passing day. Renewable energy sources are comparatively less expensive than conventional sources of energy due to their natural abundance.
Although it is true that fossil fuels power up the global energy demands, it is also true that they might get depleted soon, owing to their huge market demand. Keeping this in mind, developing and adopting clean and alternative energy has become more important than ever.