What are renewable resources?





Question: What are renewable resources?

Answer: Renewable resources, in the sense of energy, are materials that can be used to produce energy without being depleted in the process or requiring more energy to reform than is obtained from their use. In a way there are no renewable resources on a cosmic scale but we ignore things that are on a timeline of millions of years. For example we consider solar energy to be a renewable resource but eventually the Sun will stop burning. On the other hand we don’t consider fossil fuels a renewable resource because they take hundreds of thousands or even millions of years to form in spite of them being from biological matter that is renewable. In the end something being renewable or not comes down to if we can use it for energy without depleting the source on a timescale that matches our perceptions and use.

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