Pros and cons of fossil fuels

The word “fossil fuels” as used in this article refers to coal, petroleum, crude oil, and natural gas.

According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA) of the United States, 79% of the primary energy used in the country comes from fossil fuels in 2020.

The advantages and disadvantages of using fossil fuels around the world, as well as the factors that make them so divisive, will be covered in this blog.

Fossil fuel pros and cons

Well-developedContribute to climate change
Cheap and reliableNon-renewable

Though fossil fuels have been meeting our energy needs for many years, the cons outweigh the pros. 

What are fossil fuels?

In its most basic form, the term “fossil fuels” refers to energy sources made of the remains of extinct species. These include more rock-like fuels like coal as well as liquid ones like oil/petroleum and gas.

Plant carbon is encased when fossils are created. The stored carbon is released when fossil fuels are mined and burned, causing pollution and an excess of CO2 in the atmosphere, which alters the climate.

Advantages of fossil fuels

The benefits of using fossil fuels are primarily ascribed to how convenient and simple it is to employ tried-and-true energy sources. The ongoing usage of fossil fuels is having detrimental environmental effects notwithstanding their convenience.

1. Well-developed

We have well-developed technology for extracting the energy from fossil fuels, such as oil rigs and drilling machinery.

Fossil fuels have been utilized to power our globe for a long time, which is the main cause of this. This makes it simple for energy businesses and utility companies to rely on outdated energy sources like fossil fuels rather than developing new, more efficient technologies.

2. Cheap and reliable

Because they are subsidized substantially by the government and are a dependable (as opposed to intermittent like solar and wind power) source of energy, fossil fuels are so inexpensive.

Because they may be burned day or night and are unaffected by weather patterns that affect renewable energy sources like wind and sun, they are regarded as reliable. However, the phrase “cheap” is misleading because subsidies are the main reason fossil fuels are affordable.

Disadvantages of fossil fuels

1. Contribute to climate change

The main cause of global warming is fossil fuels. They emit enormous volumes of dangerous greenhouse gases, particularly carbon dioxide (CO2), into the environment when they are burned.

Increased temperatures, more droughts, more irregular rainfall, and a less hospitable planet are all results of CO2’s unnatural ability to retain heat in the atmosphere.

2. Non-renewable

In contrast to solar, geothermal, and wind energy, fossil fuels are non-renewable sources of energy.

This indicates that the resources are limited and that there is no natural replenishment of its supplies. Although dead plants and animals and other organic material that has decayed make up fossil fuels, their formation takes millions of years.

And when they are burned for energy, they pollute unlike their renewable counterparts.

3. Unsustainable

We consume fossil fuels far too quickly.

There is no safe level of fossil fuel consumption because the combustion of fossil fuels in vehicles or power plants results in the production of CO2 and other atmospheric pollutants.

Fortunately, fossil fuel prices are rising and renewable energy sources are becoming more competitive.

4. Incentivized

A history of government subsidies totaling $5.2 trillion in USD is one of the main factors contributing to the perception that fossil fuels are inexpensive.

We must start subsidizing renewable resources and alternative energy sources more than fossil fuels if they are to ever compete with the fossil fuel sector in a meaningful sense.

Since the introduction of electricity in the early 1900s, fossil fuel businesses and utility companies have been bogged down in politics, making it difficult to disentangle their influence on the energy market due to the multiplicity of players.

5. Accident-prone

Over the years, fossil fuels have caused severe mishaps including pipeline breaches, drilling rig explosions, and the release of massive amounts of oil into the ocean. As long as fossil fuels are used, they will continue to harm the environment.

Although fossil fuels have long been able to supply the world’s energy needs, this does not imply that we should keep using them as our primary source of energy.

Alternative energy sources are getting increasingly affordable, dependable, and advantageous in that they don’t release CO2 while supplying our daily needs.

Transitioning to renewable energy sources

A fantastic option to help with the switch away from fossil fuels is to install solar panels.

Solar panels have significantly decreased in price over the years and can provide enormous amounts of energy for homes and businesses.

Because it has no negative effects on human health, emits no greenhouse gases, and can harness the power of natural processes like the sun’s rays, solar energy outperforms fossil fuels.

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