What are Renewable Resources?

by | Apr 18, 2022 | Biomass

Renewable resources are an essential conversation to have in the present day. At Woodyfuel, we have already discussed plenty of the subject of different renewable energies. Still, to get this, resources are necessary for the conversion. In this article, we will talk about what a renewable energy source is, including examples and characteristics, and compare them to nonrenewable energy sources.

hand-presenting-earth-sustainable-environment-remix renewable resources

What Is a Renewable Resource?

Renewable energy is power extracted from natural sources. They are renewable because they get replenished over time. These resources include food waste, water, sunlight, and wind. Others often refer to renewable energy and resources as clean energy because they hardly impact our environment. Harnessing renewable energy sources to create energy allows us to power transportation, lighting, heating, etc. 

What are the Renewable Resources (6 examples)?

Renewable energy resources cover many things, but we can list some types of renewable energy which are often used to extract energy.

Biomass as Renewable Resources

Why not start with our speciality? Biomass is organic material that comes from plants and animals. This can include things such as:
  • Wood
  • Food waste
  • Agricultural waste
  • Sewage
  • Corn husks
  • Brash
Biomass energy is a renewable energy that is often used as a heating power source because it can be burnt to provide the energy needed.
freshly-chopped-pine-tree-logs-stacked-up-top-each-other-pile-harvest-timber-firewood-is-renewable resource as biomass

Hydropower or Tidal Energy 

This is possibly the oldest and the largest renewable energy source, also called hydroelectricity, as that is the most common type of power it provides to us. Hydroelectric power stations use the movement of water, such as rivers or streams, to turn a turbine. Tidal power is extracted through the powerful movement of waves in the ocean and uses similar turbines. The mechanical energy coming from the turbines will then produce electricity. This type of renewable source can be problematic when droughts in some countries occur and there could be floods in others. 

Geothermal Energy 

This energy is taken from the Earth’s core, which naturally produces heat. Geothermal reservoirs are often found:
  • Deep underground 
  • Volcanic activity 
  • Tectonic plate boundaries 
Drilling wells to harness the geothermal energy and pumping it to a power plant, whether steam or hot water. The main issue with geothermal power is that there are many greenhouse gases beneath the surface of the Earth, and they can be challenging to contain while extracting heat beneath the crust. It is also location-specific, so some areas need to be cleared to place these plants. 
geothermal energy site for renewable resources

Wind Energy

Wind power can generate electricity through wind turbines often on onshore or offshore wind farms. When the wind energy moves the blades, it converts the mechanical energy to generate electricity, quite like hydropower. Wind energy can be stored in power grids across the world to supply power to homes and businesses. The primary problem with this is that some countries cannot rely on this if they do not get much wind power to rotate their turbines, and the wind farms are expensive to set up initially.

Solar Energy

The sun is an excellent source of renewable energy considering its unlimited supply. Governments understand the benefits of solar energy and have incentive programs for businesses and homes to install solar panels on their roofs or land to help with heat and electricity generation. As you may guess, solar panels take up room to produce solar power, but this is why having them directly attached to rooftops is quite an intelligent plan. 
solar energy farm for renewable resources

What are the 4 Non-Renewable Resources?

Fossil fuels are non-renewable energy sources, and there are four major types: nuclear, coal, natural gas, and oil energy. Fossil fuels are formed from dead animals and plants from millions of years ago (that’s why ‘fossil’ fuels are a fitting name). Heat and pressure transform the remains of plants and animals into the different types of fossil fuels that we find today. Keep in mind that fossil fuels took approximately 300 to 360 million years to form, coming from the Carboniferous period; therefore, they are non-renewable fuels.
You should also consider what damage fossil fuels do to both animal and human populations. They produce air pollutants for their power generation and are generally bad for the environment.


Coal is a solid form of fossil fuel, so it cannot be extracted like gas or crude oil. Therefore, it needs to be dug up from the ground. It’s found in fossilised swamps buried beneath sediment layers and takes a lot of work to extract, as you might already know from past coal mines throughout history. Coal is often used for generating electricity and heating places and often generates the power for power plants to make the energy we need in day-to-day living. 
coal mining site as non-renewable resources and fossil fuels

Crude Oil 

This fossil fuel is often used for power in transportation. This is because it is a liquid and quickly transformed into energy to run in vehicles. However, it is also used to manufacture plastics in some cases. Crude oil can be found in rocks beneath the surface of the Earth, and we obtain it by pumping it out through wells. 

Natural Gas

This fossil fuel is primarily used for heating homes and establishments or cooking. It is found in oil deposits below the Earth’s surface and consists of methane gas. Extracting this fossil fuel is similar to crude oil as it is also taken from wells. 


This energy comes from radioactive elements, making it different from fossil fuels. It is often found in mined ore that contains uranium which can then be refined into fuel. There have been arguments about how sustainable nuclear power is because nuclear energy itself is renewable. Still, the materials used in a power plant are not. Therefore, it is still counted as a non-renewable source. Although nuclear power reduces carbon emissions and decreases dependence on fossil fuels, there is the issue of nuclear waste that is bad for the environment. Still, new renewable technologies are being worked on all the time. Perhaps there will be a way to contain everything or destroy it safely and without harming the environment one day.
a nuclear power plant not as renewable resources

What Are Some Characteristics of Renewable Resources?

You now know about non-renewable resources and what renewable resources are. Still, there are some very defining characteristics of renewable sources that can aid you in understanding what energy resources you are using. Some attributes of renewable energy sources include:
  • The resources consist of food, water, solar, timber, etc.
  • They regenerate in small amounts of time.
  • They are always available to use (hence ‘renewable resources’).
  • Ecological processes take place while renewing the resources.
Something about renewable resources that have to be kept in mind is that they can become non-renewable if we use the energy at a greater rate than the environment can produce it.

What is the Sustainable Yield of a Renewable Energy Source?

The basic definition of a sustainable yield from renewable natural resources is often thought to be the extraction level of a particular resource that does not exceed the growth. However, this can be restrictive in a lot of cases. An example would be forests. They have several functions outside of logging, such as biodiversity and habitat protection. Therefore, the sustainable yield has to include these factors. This is usually calculated by forest experts who know the available natural growth to put sustainable forestry management into place. When concerning timber from forests, the sustainable yield focuses on the felling of trees, which has to have positive or zero net growth for it to continue being a renewable source. This means the surplus required to maintain the ecosystem has to be the same or more significant than when the afforestation occurred, including brash removal at the end. The term ‘sustainable yield’ can also be used in groundwater applications and fisheries. Still, we will stick to what we know best with our years of experience at Woodyfuel!
This article can be read to learn more about environmental management in forestry and sustainable yields.
a forest sustainable yield with renewable resources

Why are Plants Considered Renewable Resources?

They are good for renewable energy due to their abilities to grow fast to replace themselves as they are used for energy. They are classed under biomass energy as they are organic matter. Plants play an essential role in our ecosystem because of photosynthesis, which creates oxygen and draws carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. Because of our actions, carbon dioxide has increased, leading to global warming.
Limitations of plants as a renewable source occur when they cannot regenerate quick enough to keep up with our energy demands. Due to this possibility, our conservation efforts are being upped to lower our energy consumption and prevent shortages and cause further damage to our environment.
close-up-planting-new-plants-nature for renewable resources primarily biomass

How do Renewable Resources Contribute to Reducing Environmental Impacts? 

All of the projects in renewable energies have also led to communities understanding more about climate change. Some of the benefits to our environment from renewable sources include:
  • Zero carbon emissions 
  • Supplies of energy that do not run out 
  • Cleaner air 
  • Clean water 
There is also plenty of positive social and economic impacts that occur when renewable energy materials are used to produce energy:
  • More jobs for local people 
  • Use of local materials 
  • Invested money in smaller communities 
  • Cheaper energy for homes and businesses
  • Provides education for people on renewable sources
  • Better standards of living
  • Better general health relating to the surrounding environment 
We hope you have learnt a lot from this article on renewable energy and its resources. If you want any more information, particularly on biomass as a fuel, or our services, feel free to contact us at any point! 

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