What is the difference between a renewable Energy source and a nonrenewable energy source? Give me some specific examples.
A renewable energy source is one that naturally replenishes itself as it is consumed. Solar energy, for example, will continue to make its way to us for as long as the sun continues to burn, whether we harness it or not. The same could be said about wind, hydro, biomass, etc. (though these are really just indirect forms of solar energy – without the sun, there would be no wind, the water cycle would not function, and plant life would not grow). The only other renewable energy input that the earth sees as a whole is geothermal – heat energy from its own core (though this will also eventually run out).
Another possible example of a renewable energy source could be landfill gas, though this is debatable. As long as humans continue to create a huge amount of organic waste, I guess, then we should be able to continue capturing methane from it.
A non-Renewable source, on the other hand, will not be replenished once it is used. Fossil fuels (oil, gas, coal), for example, are considered non-renewable, because they took millions of years to form. Once a barrel of oil is brought up from the earth and burned, it will not be replenished for a long, long time.