What is non-renewable resource? - Definition from WhatIs.com


non-renewable resource

Part of the Data centers glossary:

A non-renewable resource is one that either does not regenerate or does not regenerate quickly enough to serve some human purpose in a sustainable way.

The most common examples of non-renewable resources are fossil fuels, such as coal, oil and natural gas. Although these resources form naturally within the earth, they take billions of years to do so. Other non-renewable resources include metals, minerals and stone.

Resources considered renewable are those that are readily replenished such as solar, geothermal, wind and tidal energy. Energy derived from such sources is often called green power or clean electricity because it doesn’t deplete non-renewable resources or cause pollution.

 Some resources, although they regenerate, do not do so very quickly and are in danger of depletion in many locations because of overuse. There is some disagreement over whether such resources as wood and potable water are, in a practical sense, renewable.

How Stuff Works explains renewable and non-renewable resources:

See also: business sustainability, carbon offset, carbon-neutral, carbon footprint, carbon usage effectiveness (CUE), Green Grid

This was last updated in November 2013
Contributor(s): Ivy Wigmore
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

Related Terms


  • disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS)

    - Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) is the replication and hosting of physical or virtual servers by a third-party to provide failover in the event of a man-made or natural catastrophe. (WhatIs.com)

  • RTA (recovery time actual)

    - RTA (recovery time actual) is the amount of real-world time it takes for an organization to recover its systems and business processes following an unplanned disruption; that amount of time can dif... (WhatIs.com)

  • white box server

    - A white box server is a generic server made from commercially available retail computer parts. The phrase "white box" merely indicates that the equipment is generic or brand-agnostic -- the server ... (SearchDataCenter.com)


  • Data centers

    - Terms related to data centers, including definitions about network operations centers (NOCs) and words and phrases about the storage, management and the transmission of data.

  • Internet applications

    - This WhatIs.com glossary contains terms related to Internet applications, including definitions about Software as a Service (SaaS) delivery models and words and phrases about web sites, e-commerce ...

Ask a Question About non-renewable resourcePowered by ITKnowledgeExchange.com

Get answers from your peers on your most technical challenges

Tech TalkComment



    Contribute to the conversation

    All fields are required. Comments will appear at the bottom of the article.