8.2.2 Outline and distinguish between renewable and non-renewable energy sources (objective 2)


Renewable Energy Sources
Renewable energy sources are energy sources that rapidly replace themselves, and are therefore constantly available. Examples are solar energy, hydro-energy, biomass energy and wind energy.
Note that Hydro-energy and wind energy and biomass energy are all indirect variations of solar energy, because energy from moving water usually comes from rivers. A combination of evaporation (caused by the sun) and condensation (rain) creates these rivers.
Wind is created by differences in temperature. The sun creates these differences.
Plants are gain energy from the sun using photosynthesis.
The big issue with renewable energy is that it is very new and not researched to the extent it could be (even though this is rapidly changing!) and therefore relatively expensive (Wind energy is a good example; setting up the turbines is expensive and they need to be maintained) and inefficient (Solar power is a good example, it only converts a fraction of sun light absorbed into electricity).
Non-Renewable Energy Sources
Are energy sources that are not renewable on a short-term basis. For example, decomposing animals for millions of years has created oil. Eventually, more oil will be formed, however it is not considered renewable because, as we all know, oil is running out.


Sources:
http://www.re-energy.ca/t-i_renewablebasics.shtml
http://www.nrel.gov/learning/re_basics.html