What is meant by natural resources ?« Back to Questions List

Natural resources are valuable substances given to man by nature. They get formed themselves but one has to extract and purify them before putting to it to its proper use. Examples of such resources are coal, petroleum, water, wind, sunlight and so on.

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Natural resources are generally classified as renewable and non renewable sources of energy.  Renewable resources are those substances that gets re-generated at the rate of their consumption. For example wind, water and sunlight are renewable resources.

Non Renewable resources are those that take a very long time to get formed (millions of years) and that we cannot get them as and when we finish using them. Examples are oil, coal, natural gas and nuclear energy.

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On a broader perspective, resources can also be classified based on their origin, their stage of development besides their property of renewability.
·        Biotic resources are from living things like trees, animals etc and abiotic resources are from physical factors or non-living things like water, land, metals etc. Fossil fuels like coal and petroleum are biotic resources and gold, silver are abiotic resources.

·        Potential resources are those that are available in its crude form but yet to process them to a form that makes it useful.

·        Actual resources are those that are ready for use.

·        Reserves are the part of actual resources that could be put to use in the future.

·        Stock resources are those that are available but cannot be used due to lack of technology.

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Today lot of attention is being given to the energy resources and their conservation. With the increase in population, demand gets more and more everyday with the supply remaining the same. That is why many organisations have been set up in order to plan and utilise renewable  resources in an efficient way and conserve the energy resources.


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