Changing weather patterns and increasing occurrence of natural disasters had turned the fear of global warming into a real nightmare. The call for the greater use of renewable sources are well encouraged in environmental reports such as the Special Reporton Renewable Energy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation (SRREN) of the IPCC Working Group.
This begs the question, why are we still using non-renewables?

First and foremost, what are non-renewables?

Non-renewables are energy sources with limited supply or will not be replenished for up to millions of years. Commonly known examples are fossil fuels, cruel oil, coal, and the current hot favourite, natural gases.

Why is it so bad for the environment?

With so many types of non-renewables, the degree of harm inflicted onto the environment differs with the type of fuel used.
Fossil Fuel
Derived from organic matter that have decomposed and compressed between layers of sediments within the Earth, obtaining fossil fuels requires a tedious drilling or mining process.
When fossil fuels are burned, greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide are release into the atmosphere, disrupting the carbon balance. This contributes to rising temperatures at a rate that is faster than organisms can adapt to.
Crude Oil
Similarly to fossil fuel, it is also retrieved through drilling into the layers of the Earth’s crust.
While it provides us with conveniences and serves as a portable source of energy, burning crude oil is harmful to the environment. From the release of hazardous gases and fumes into our air to risks of oil spills, consumers are well encourage to reduce their use of crude oil.
Natural Gas
There are naturally occurring gasses that are formed in Earth’s crust such as Methane and Ethane. Just like the two other fuels, natural gasses are drilled for and pumped out.
This fuel source also has its fair share of environmental problems. The high-pressure water and chemical used during its drilling process may contaminate neighbouring water sources, rending it unsafe for domestic use.

Why can’t renewable energy replace non-renewable?

Making the switch from non-renewables to renewable sources of energy sounds appealing. However, the reality is far from simplicity.
The truth is, technologies behind renewable energy hides technical limits and difficulties, making the process of switch costly and problematic.
We have seen how, even after 50 years of subsidies, renewable energy sources such as solar and wind technology can only produce less than one percent of the world’s energy. Furthermore, renewable fuel sources are highly weather dependent, meaning that it is only able to provide intermittent energy and frequently require backups from fossil fuels.

Why natural gas?

Back to why we continue to use non-renewable energy, the answer lies in the underdevelopment of renewable energy technologies.
While many companies and government around the world continue to invest in the development of the technology behind renewable energy sources, non-renewables remain as the dominant source of energy.
Don’t get us wrong, we are only talking about natural gases.
Natural Gas is Green
While the extraction of natural gases poses harmful environmental effects, it is still a “greener” alternative to other non-renewable fuels, producing 45% less carbon dioxide than coal.
Natural Gas is Economical
On a micro level, we can see how natural gas is significantly cheaper than its oil and coal counterparts.This translates to lower transportation costs and lower energy bills.
Natural Gas is versatile
With rising global energy consumption levels, natural gas has to be flexible enough to serve a large variety of functions. Other than being able to generate electricity, it also supports heating and cooling functions. That’s not all! It can even back up renewable energy sources with low emission energy generation.
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