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Information » Environment » Energy » Non-Renewable Energy

  • At the moment we heavily rely on burning fossil fuels for our energy. These include:

    • Oil - is used to make petrol and diesel to power cars and also as fuel to heat our houses

    • Gas - is used in many homes for cooking and heating. It is also used in industry to make electricity

    • Coal - is burnt in power stations to produce electricity. It also gives out the most greenhouse gases

  • Fossil fuels are a non-renewable form of energy. This means that they will one day run out. This is a problem because many of the things we rely on like cars and factories are run on fossil fuels

  • The waste gases that fossil fuels produce are bad for the environment - they contribute to the greenhouse effect and global warming. They are also harmful to human health and can aggravate breathing problems

  • The world's richer countries use the most non-renewable fuel. As other countries develop the demand for energy is also increasing. As fossil fuels - in particular oil - run out, new forms of energy will be needed to satisfy these demands

  • Another form of non-renewable energy is nuclear power. Nuclear elements, such as uranium and plutonium, are mined from the ground and there is not an inexhaustible supply of them. Nuclear fuel goes through a reaction which produces heat. It does not give off pollutants like fossil fuels do

  • Because it does not pollute the atmosphere as much as fossil fuel, some people think that nuclear fuel is a good alternative way of producing energy. However there are some risks involved

  • If there was an accident at a nuclear power plant a large amount of harmful radioactive material would be released into the atmosphere

  • This happened in Chernobyl in Russia in 1986, when the nuclear reactor exploded. The people living in the local area still suffer from many illnesses such as cancer, and many children are born with health problems. The fall-out from the explosion drifted over most of western Europe and lambs in some farms in Wales still have to be tested for radiation levels

  • The waste produced from nuclear fuels is very dangerous. There is currently no way of getting rid of this waste, and often it is sealed in concrete containers. It will have to stay this way for hundreds of years until it is safe

  • Because non-renewable fuels cannot be replaced, alternatives will need to be found to give us the energy we demand

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