Natural resources and their types
The development model of our society is based on the consumption of large amounts of energy. We need more and more energy to satisfy our needs, and this energy comes from the natural resources that our planet provides us.
Since the appearance of the human being, we have been needing more and more resources. Any electronic device, for example, is made up of many elements of different composition. The amount of waste we generate has also increased considerably .
A natural resource is all the good that comes from nature and humans provides the raw materials and energy needed to meet their needs.
According to the regeneration capacity of a resource, natural resources are classified into:
- Renewable resources. A resource is renewable if after being used it can be regenerated. They are not depleted with use, as they return to their original state or regenerate at a faster rate than it is consumed. Therefore, if used correctly, they can be inexhaustible. For example, hydraulic, solar, wind, tidal, geothermal, biomass, or hydrogen energy are renewable energies.
Wind turbines in the Sierra de San Just (Teruel).
- Potentially renewable resources. They are those resources whose renewability depends on the use that humans make of them. For example, water or fishing. Fishing can be a renewable resource if it is not abused.
- Non-renewable resources. A resource is non-renewable when when it is depleted or can be depleted. They cannot be regenerated at the same rate as they are consumed, without nature being able to produce them again in short geological periods. These resources are limited. For example, energy obtained from fossil fuels or nuclear energy. In other cases, such as minerals and rocks, although they are non-renewable resources, recycling can extend their useful life (copper, aluminum, iron, etc.).
Sometimes, it may be the case that a resource exists but cannot be used by humans. The part of the resources that can be used and whose extraction is economically profitable is called a reserve.