The main sources of conventional energy include coal, oil, natural gas and nuclear power. These sources are known as non-renewable sources of energy because they cannot be replenished once used.
Conventional energy sources have a number of advantages, including being affordable, easy to harness, producing a lot of power and easy distribution. However, these sources of energy also have a downside since they may cause environmental harm as they are being used. Below are some details about conventional energy sources.
- Coal - this is a substance that is normally formed from organic materials that died ages ago and were subjected to high quantities of pressure and heat. Coal can be used to generate electricity or to power machines like steamships.
- Natural gas - when various plant and animal remains are exposed to frequent heat and pressure over thousands of years, they become natural gas. It can be used to produce electricity and for cooking.
- Nuclear power - when uranium atoms are split through a process called fission, the result is production of steam or nuclear energy. This energy is normally used to generate electricity.
- Oil - as with coal and natural gas, oil is formed when organic materials are subjected to heat and pressure over a long period of time. Oil is often used in powering vehicles, producing electricity and domestic heating.