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Renewable Energy vs. Fossil Fuels

The modern world is changing—and changing fast. This transformation includes moving away from our previous reliance on fossil fuels to produce energy, with renewable energy fast taking precedence to saving the environment by reducing greenhouse gases.

In this blog, we examine renewable resources vs. fossil fuels, including alternative energy sources like solar and wind power, to understand why renewable energy is the energy of the future.

Renewable Resources vs. Fossil Fuels: The Differences

The difference between renewable resources and fossil fuels is simple – one source can be endlessly replenished, while the other cannot. Read on as we examine some prominent renewable and fossil fuel energy sources and explain the main difference between the two, with examples.

Types of Fossil Fuels

Fossil fuels are energy sources that take millions of years to replenish.

Fossil fuels examples include:

  • Coal
  • Natural Gas
  • Oil

These fuels are not sustainable, and they typically emit CO2 when burned. They are also incredibly challenging to source, requiring drilling and mining extraction, which is not friendly to the environment.

Types of Renewable Energies

The sources of renewable energy are renewable resources. These sources of energy must be those that can be replenished during a human’s lifetime.

Examples include:

  • Solar power
  • Hydropower
  • Biomass
  • Geothermal
  • Wind
  • Wood

These energy sources have zero carbon emissions and are cleaner than fossil fuels. Although the capital investment is higher, over time, the long-term cost of renewable energy will be cheaper. Although the inclusion of wood as a renewable energy source is controversial due to the emission of CO2, scientists still classify wood as a renewable energy source because we can quickly replenish trees.

Why Are Renewable Resources Better Than Fossil Fuels?

What do most renewable energy sources have in common, and why are these energy sources better than fossil fuels? Some of the advantages of using renewable resources over fossil fuels include:

  • Renewable energy sources never run out
  • They have zero carbon emissions and a minimal carbon footprint
  • They do not pollute our air and water
  • They create new and innovative jobs
  • They are cheaper than electricity and gas

Renewable Resources vs, Fossil Fuels: The Future

When it comes to energy production in the U.S., natural gas accounts for more energy production than coal or renewables. This may be surprising to many, but currently, fossil fuels dominate American energy production.

U.S. energy production breaks down as follows:

  • Natural Gas – 34%
  • Coal – 30%
  • Nuclear Power – 20%
  • Renewable Energies – 15%
  • Oil – 1%

What may surprise you is the infinitesimal contribution of oil production in the U.S., although it is a well-known fact that the U.S. imports most of its oil. Most of the petroleum the U.S. imports is crude oil, amounting to approximately 70-80% of total petroleum imports.

Concerning electricity, the landscape is also changing. Many utility providers in the U.S. are now investing in renewable energy sources by building or outsourcing green power projects to abandon fossil fuel services in the future.

Other utility companies invest via renewable energy credits or certificates (RECs); these are tradable receipts proving that an organization or individual purchased or produced renewable energy.

Solar Energy vs. Traditional Energy

According to the World Economic Forum, solar power is more affordable than electricity or fossil fuels in the long term, although the initial capital investment may be heavy. Solar power also has zero harmful emissions, making it environmentally friendly.

Wind Power vs. Fossil Fuels

Is wind energy a viable alternative to fossil fuels? Yes, we believe so.

Wind power does not release carbon emissions into the atmosphere. Carbon pollutes the air, depletes the ozone layer, and requires water for cooling, as do fossil fuels. Wind energy is also cheaper to produce than fossil fuels energy, costing $32 – $62 per megawatt-hour compared to coal’s $57 – $148 per megawatt-hour.


When it comes to comparing renewable resources to fossil fuels, renewable energy is fast gaining ground. There is no argument to the fact that it is a cleaner and more efficient operation that’s more cost-effective and cleaner for the environment.

Ampra Energy is a leading supplier of affordable, reliable, and eco-friendly energy plans for homes and businesses in Texas. For more information, please call 888-678-7866 or contact us to explore how we may be of assistance.

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