Nonrenewable Resource

AAA

DEFINITION of 'Nonrenewable Resource'

A resource of economic value that cannot be readily replaced by natural means on a level equal to its consumption. Most fossil fuels, such as oil, natural gas and coal are considered nonrenewable resources in that their use is not sustainable because their formation takes billions of years.

BREAKING DOWN 'Nonrenewable Resource'

Nonrenewable resource fuels are still the primary source of all the power generated in the world due to their affordability and high energy content.

Besides the environmental impact of burning fossil fuels, the economic impact of nonrenewable resources can also be very damaging. As nonrenewable resources become more scarce, the cost to obtain them will continue to rise. Eventually, the price will hit a point that end users cannot afford, forcing a move toward alternative energy sources.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Carbon Dioxide Tax

    A tax on businesses and industries that produce carbon dioxide ...
  2. Renewable Energy Certificate - ...

    A certificate that is proof that one megawatt-hour (MWh) of electricity ...
  3. Carbon Trade

    An exchange of credits between nations designed to reduce emissions ...
  4. Green Economics

    A methodology of economics that supports the harmonious interaction ...
  5. Kyoto Protocol

    An international agreement that aims to reduce carbon dioxide ...
  6. Pigovian Tax

    A special tax that is often levied on companies that pollute ...
Related Articles
  1. Home & Auto

    Getting A Grip On The Cost Of Gas

    Feeling overwhelmed by rising oil prices? We offer some tips that will save you money.
  2. Economics

    Peak Oil: What To Do When The Wells Run Dry

    Find out how to invest and protect your investments in this slippery sector.
  3. Forex Education

    Commodity Prices And Currency Movements

    Find out which currencies are most affected by fluctuations in gold and oil prices, and improve your trading.
  4. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    Water: The Ultimate Commodity

    Opportunities to invest in this scarce resource are flowing freely - dive in!
  5. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    ETF Analysis: iShares US Oil&Gas Explor&Prodtn

    Learn about the iShares U.S. Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF, which provides an efficient way to invest in the exploration and production sector.
  6. Stock Analysis

    The 3 Energy Stocks You'll Wish You Bought in 2015

    Learn about the energy sector and the types of companies that operate within the sector. Find out about some of the best-performing energy stocks in 2015.
  7. Stock Analysis

    The 4 Worst Oil and Gas Stocks of 2015

    Learn about the energy sector and the type of companies that operate within the sector. Find out about the four worst performing oil and gas stocks of 2015.
  8. Chart Advisor

    Traders Step Back to Assess Commodities Damage

    Traders are turning to these exchange-traded notes and exchange-traded funds to analyze key commodities and determine what could be coming next.
  9. Economics

    These 5 Countries Move the Supply of Oil

    Learn which countries are the largest source of change in the global supply of oil. Oil prices crashed in 2014 as supply increased and demand dropped.
  10. Investing News

    Oil or Gold: Which Will Recover First?

    Not sure where oil and gold are headed? The answer is complex.
RELATED FAQS
  1. How many years can structural unemployment last?

    Price elasticity is a good measurement of consumer demand based on the price of a good, as well as the business's supply ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. How do business ethics differ from industry to industry?

    The system of moral and ethical beliefs that guides the values, behaviors and decisions of a business organization and the ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. How much oil must be produced to maintain inventory levels in the United States?

    Domestic energy investors should track the reserve inventory of crude oil for the United States, which is released in a weekly ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. To what extent is the oil and gas sector dominated by a few major companies?

    Oil and gas are two expansive and highly diverse product lines, with active competition domestically and internationally. ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. How do the costs of oil sands producers compare to traditional drillers?

    The oil sands of Canada are some of the most expensive crude oil assets in the world to produce. Each asset type, such as ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. Do all oil companies received the quoted price of West Texas Intermediate for their ...

    The quoted, or spot, price of West Texas Intermediate, or WTI, crude oil is just one of several benchmark oil prices. The ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Alligator Spread

    An unprofitable spread that occurs as a result of large commissions charged on the transaction, regardless of favorable market ...
  2. Tiger Cub Economies

    The four Southeast Asian economies of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand. Tiger cub economy indicates that ...
  3. Gorilla

    A company that dominates an industry without having a complete monopoly. A gorilla firm has large control of the pricing ...
  4. Elephants

    Slang for large institutions that have the funds to make high volumes trades. Due to the large volumes of stock that elephants ...
  5. Widow's Exemption

    In general terms, a widow's exemption refers to the amount that can be deducted from taxable income by a widow, thereby reducing ...
  6. Wedding Warrant

    A warrant that can only be exercised if the host asset, typically a bond or preferred stock, is surrendered. Until the call ...
Trading Center
×

You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!