Examining the Possibilities: Is Oil Renewable?
Did you know the world’s oil supply is only projected to last for about 50 more years? Other fossil fuels are expected to dry up soon, too. Natural gas could be gone shortly after oil, and even coal might only be around for about another century.
It took millions of years for each of these fossil fuels to form through the decomposition of animals and plants. But each fuel source is finite, including oil, which has disappeared quicker than the others because of how dependent people have become on it.
This makes the answer to the question, “Is oil renewable?”, a resounding “no!” It also proves just how important it is for people to continue to find new sources of renewable energy and begin using them.
In this article, we’re going to break down why oil is not a renewable energy source. We’re also going to touch on why it’ll be imperative for people to adopt renewable energy sources before it’s too late.
Keep reading to get more information on all of this.
Is Oil Renewable?
It’s easy to answer the question, “Is oil renewable?” As we mentioned a moment ago, oil isn’t a renewable resource because the world will eventually run out of it.
There are billions of barrels of oil manufactured and consumed on a daily basis. This has led at least some people to believe that there is no possible way the world will ever run out of it completely.
But if countries continue to drill for oil like they have over the last century, there isn’t going to be any oil left a century from now. There will come a time when there simply won’t be any more barrels of oil to go around.
Why Isn’t Oil Renewable?
Oil can be found all throughout the world at this time. There are more than 30 countries that specialize in drilling for oil, including the U.S.
Companies that produce oil are able to get access to it by creating oil wells. They’re able to utilize these wells for anywhere between 20 to 40 years in most cases before there is no more oil to be taken from them. And once a well is dry, it’s dry for good.
This helps explain why oil isn’t renewable. Oil manufacturers can, of course, continue to drill for oil and set up new wells. But after those wells dry up, they aren’t going to be able to use them anymore.
When this starts to happen on a widescale level, it’ll indicate that the world is running out of oil altogether. There won’t be any bringing it back.
Why Do Some People Say Oil Is Renewable?
If you Google “is oil renewable,” you might be surprised to find some articles out there that suggest oil may be more renewable than experts think. There were a lot of these articles floating around about a decade ago, including this one.
At first glance, you might think, “Oh, that’s interesting, so maybe we won’t ever have to worry about running out of oil after all!” But if you dig a little deeper, you’ll see that these articles are more wishful thinking than anything else.
Many of them allude to the fact that countries like Russia have been drilling for oil without a care in the world over time and are yet to run out of oil. They claim this could indicate we aren’t anywhere close to running out of oil.
Some of these articles also claim, without providing any proof, that oil might form in different ways than scientists previously thought. For example, they conclude oil could originate from the Earth’s mantle and continue to come up from it for centuries to come.
These theories have been thrown out there, but there is no evidence to back any of them up. The fact remains that oil is renewable and, unless something changes soon, it’s going to run out at some point down the line.
Will Oil Ever Run Out?
If things keep on going the way they’ve been going both in the U.S. and all across the world, the global oil supply isn’t going to last forever. But the hope is that changes will be made soon to stop the oil supply from drying up all the way.
Electric vehicles might have a big impact on this. If more people begin driving EVs, it could help cut down on how much oil is being used on an annual basis. This could prevent the world’s oil supply from diminishing down to a dangerous level.
What Are the Best Alternatives to Oil?
People have known that the answer to the question, “Is oil renewable?”, is “no” for a long time now. As a result, scientists and other researchers have been exploring alternatives to oil for decades.
So far, many individuals and corporations have been slow to adopt these oil alternatives. But some of these alternatives are beginning to make headway—with renewable energy sources, in particular, making a big splash.
Here are some of the best alternatives to oil at this time:
- Solar power
- Wind power
- Geothermal energy
- And more
Each of these oil alternatives offers something a little different. But each one is a better option than oil based solely on the fact that it can provide renewable energy, which is something oil cannot do.
Why Are Oil Alternatives Important?
Oil alternatives are important, first and foremost, because, as we’ve stressed here over and over again, oil isn’t going to last forever. If the world continues to rely on it too much, there will come a day when oil will be gone.
But this isn’t the only reason why the world needs to focus on using oil alternatives that can provide renewable energy. People also need to do it because the process associated with drilling for oil and manufacturing it isn’t good for the planet in and of itself.
Mining crude oil, transporting it, and consuming it have all contributed to climate change and global warming. These steps have each increased carbon emissions and greenhouse gases.
With this in mind, switching from oil to renewable energy sources won’t just ensure the world doesn’t run out of oil. It’ll also help reverse at least some of the drawbacks that come with using oil as an energy source.
Learn More About the Impact Oil Is Having on the World
Now that you know the answer to the question, “Is oil renewable?”, would you like to discover more about how it’s affecting the planet? Would you also like to get the inside scoop on renewable energy sources and how they might be able to help save the world?
Listen to our climate change podcast to get information on oil, fossil fuels, renewable energy, and more.
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