Sufficient, reliable sources of energy are a necessity for industrialized nations. Energy is used for heating, cooking, transportation and manufacturing. Energy can be generally classified as non-renewable and renewable. Over 85% of the energy used in the world is from non-renewable supplies. Most developed nations are dependent on non-renewable energy sources such as fossil fuels (coal and oil) and nuclear power. These sources are called non-renewable because they cannot be renewed or regenerated quickly enough to keep pace with their use. Some sources of energy are renewable or potentially renewable. Examples of renewable energy sources are: solar, geothermal, hydroelectric, biomass, and wind. Renewable energy sources are more commonly by used in developing nations.

Industrialized societies depend on non-renewable energy sources. Fossil fuels are the most commonly used types of non-renewable energy. They were formed when incompletely decomposed plant and animal matter was buried in the earth's crust and converted into carbon-rich material that is useable as fuel. This process occurred over millions of years. The three main types of fossil fuels are coal, oil, and natural gas. Two other less-used sources of fossil fuels are oil shales and tar sands.

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