It is widely accepted to label energy produced from sources such as sunlight, wind, geothermal heat or even biomass as renewable energy. As soon as one looks at the bigger picture, it is inevitable for one to start noticing lack of renewability of all aforementioned sources.
If we define renewable energy as “any naturally occurring, theoretically inexhaustible source of energy, that is not derived from fossil or nuclear fuel” we find that neither sun, nor geothermal, biomass or wind energy satisfy those conditions.
The Sun, like any other star, “burns” hydrogen into helium emitting huge amounts of energy in the process. Therefore, the Sun is energy source derived from nuclear fuel. It is very likely humanity won’t live long enough to observe the moment the Sun exhausts its last drops of hydrogen, so calling the Sun inexhaustible might not be that wrong. However ultimately, it is theoretically proved that the Sun is exhaustible and hence cannot be called renewable.
Probably all of us heard how Icelanders exploit geothermal energy and how cheap their heating systems are in the long run. Contrary to what most people think, heat in the depths of the Earth does not come from nothingness (nor the pressure is a cause). The fission of various elements, mostly thorium, heats the Earth and by extension, the water people pump down there. If people are smart enough to deem nuclear fuel to be exhaustible, they should find it to be a case with the geothermal energy too.
Wind is caused by differences in atmospheric pressure. — Wikipedia
The atmospheric pressure differences are mostly caused by the Sun. Therefore, no sun – no wind. It is questionable whether we can call energy source, which is dependent on existence of another exhaustible (as proved in “The sun” section) energy source, renewable.
Biomass is the worst offender of renewable title. Plants grown for biomass not only occupy precious farmland and exhaust the soil but depends on the external (exhaustible) sources of energy such as the sun as well! I would really like to speak with a person who claims being able to prove biomass energy is renewable.
The renewable fallacy
The phrase “renewable energy” is obviously just a marketing trick used by various interested parties to mislead people into thinking there exists some kind of energy panacea. Money get wasted, time, which could be better spent, is wasted too. Politicians vote for terrible decisions and proper long-term energy strategies are spoiled.