Advantages and Disadvantages of Fossil Fuel .

Climate Real Talk Team

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Fossil Fuels Still Supply 84 Percent Of World Energy. Despite being potentially detrimental to the environment, fossil fuels are still heavily relied on to provide energy around the world.

Fossil fuels are also used for other industrial processes including household appliances and transportation. Since the industrial revolution, fossil fuels have played a major role in the industrialization of countries such as Japan, Germany, and the United States. We’ll be looking at the advantages and disadvantages of fossil fuels in this article.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Fossil Fuel: Examples of fossil fuel

What are fossil fuels?

Fossil fuels are natural substances that have been transformed from previously living plants and animals by the heat and pressure of magma and sediment. Some of the most common forms of generating energy used in daily life activities are fossil fuels. 

Fossil fuels are carbon-based, meaning they are made up of carbon combined with hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen.  Fossil-based fuels are non-renewable resources because they take millions of years to form and are becoming increasingly scarce. A renewable resource can be replenished more quickly than it is used up and as such Fossil fuels are not renewable resources.

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Fossil fuels and the environment

Fossil fuels are the leading cause of global warming, and the biggest environmental threat facing the planet. In the past millennium, fossil fuel usage has released billions of tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

Fossil fuels also have a large negative impact on the environment, particularly on the ozone layer, which protects the earth from ultraviolet radiation. 

Due to the harmful effects, these fuels have on the environment, many groups and governments around the world have called for their gradual or eventual ban. Some of those groups include environmentalists, environmental health care professionals, activists, industry experts, and religious leaders.

Furthermore, fossil fuel usage is linked to pollution, rising sea levels, and habitat destruction.

While fossil fuels are necessary for the advancement of society, environmental concerns must be taken into consideration.

Examples of Fossil fuels

Fossil Fuels are chemicals made from broken down ancient life forms. Fossil fuels are used all around the world to produce electricity, heat, and power.

There are many different types of fossil fuels such as coal, natural gas, and oil.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Fossil Fuel : Coal

Fossil fuels are the most common and widely used energy source in the world. Fossil fuels can be found in the ground below us. Fossil fuels are primarily used in the production of electricity and the creation of heat to produce steam. Fossil fuels are also used to power our vehicles and machinery. 

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Advantages and disadvantages of fossil fuels

The advantages and disadvantages of fossil fuels are numerous. We would be discussing the very key ones.


1.  Fossil fuels are a cheap source of energy.

Number one advantage of fossil fuel is the cost of fossil fuels is a major advantage compared to other energy sources. Fossil fuel energy sources are relatively low cost and cheaper compared to most other energy sources. 

Compared to the cost of solar energy, wind power, and hydroelectric power, fossil fuels are still commonly found and far less expensive to produce and obtain in the market. 

Coal and Petroleum have a relatively cheaper cost of exploration and due to their high availability are more economically feasible for large-scale and industrial use than most other sources of energy.

This cost factor makes using fossil fuels more economical for most people. Fossil fuels are also a better choice to resist supply shortages because they are readily available worldwide.

2.  Fossil Fuels are abundant and easy to find.

Fossil fuels are readily available and relatively abundant as they are formed from the earth. There are relatively large deposits of fossil fuels such as coal and crude oil around the world estimated to be billions of tons.

The supply of fossil fuels is assured because the earth is an abundant source. This factor makes fossil fuels a more reliable source than wind and solar power, which are dependent on weather conditions. The large and common supply of fossil fuels makes them inexpensive and easy to obtain by most people.

3. Easier to store and transport

Compared to solar or wind power, fossil fuels are easier to transport. They are heavy, but also easy to store and transport. 

Transporting this energy source is relatively simple because it is transported by trucks and trains across continents or even oceans by ships or global gas pipeline networks.

It is impossible to store renewable energy sources effectively. In contrast, fossil fuels can be kept in storage indefinitely. We can become ready for the times when we need them, like the winter, which is why it is advantageous.

4. Reliability

The dependence of renewable energy on environmental changes is one of its main drawbacks. The efficiency of the solar or wind turbine depends on whether there is wind or sunlight. However, when the weather or conditions are not optimum, they only employ half of their maximum capability.

However, the use of fossil fuels is entirely within our control and is unrelated to environmental variables.

5. Job opportunities

In addition to reducing the price of electricity, using fossil fuels helps create jobs. There are many people who work as coal miners, oil drillers, and petroleum engineers. Fossil fuel companies also employ many others in their companies and various industries. 

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Due to this reason, fossil fuel jobs are a necessary part of the economy. But despite having these pros and advantages to using them, fossil fuels still come with some downsides ranging from issues in exploration to effects of the by-products of burning fossil fuels on the health of man and on his environment.


1. Risk Factors

Exploration of fossil fuels like coal through the process of underground mining

comes with the risk of explosion due to the fact that methane gas usually coexists

with coal dust. 

Methane being highly inflammable could be ignited causing an explosion and

the possibility of such an event is high as the risk of explosion always exists as long

as methane gas is present. An accidental spark can act like a detonator leading to an explosion. This is usually avoided by coating the walls of the mine with limestone.

Besides, continuous mining could cause ground subsidence resulting in the occurrence of sinkholes. Such a fall can be dangerous to miners and others within the area.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Fossil Fuel

2. Environmental impacts

Due to its high Carbon content, coal mining has a great impact on the environment. Carbon is one of the components of global warming as it is usually referred to as a greenhouse gas. Carbon emission is a major threat to the environment.

Burning gas, coal, and oil not only provides us with the energy we need but also contributes to the current global warming catastrophe. When burned, fossil fuels release a lot of carbon dioxide. Climate change is caused by carbon emissions, which trap heat in the atmosphere. About three-quarters of the carbon emissions in the United States are caused by the burning of fossil fuels, primarily for the power and transportation sectors.

Coal-burning plants contribute greatly to global pollution as they tend to give out large amounts of ash, carbon monoxide, and sulfur dioxide which are highly toxic to man.

 Burning fossil fuels makes the earth even warmer than it already is causing climate

change which has as a consequence not only the melting of ice caps and rising of sea levels, but also extreme weather events like floods and tornadoes.

3. Respiratory health risks.

The burning of fossil fuels like coal produces different harmful by-products such as soot, fine particles, and other chemicals which when inhaled affect the respiratory system adversely. This can cause high blood pressure and heart disease among other lung and heart disorders.

4. Fossil Fuels are Non-renewable

Fossil Fuels are non-renewable because they are only present in the ground. This is because there is a finite amount of fossil fuels on the earth. But the burning process of fossil fuels does not just leave them as they are. This means that what is left behind after the burning of fossil fuels is actually a reduced amount. These fuels will eventually run out because there is no way to renew the supplies that have been consumed.

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5. Land deterioration

Land degradation is the process by which the soil and other natural resources are used up in such a way that the land becomes less productive. Our ecosystems and landscapes have been severely impacted by the discovery, processing, and transportation of underground coal, gas, and oil reserves. 

Large tracts of land are leased by the fossil fuel sector for the construction of processing, waste storage, and disposal facilities, as well as infrastructures like wells, pipelines, and access roads. In the case of strip mining, huge expanses of land are scraped and blasted away to reveal underground coal or oil, including forests and entire mountaintops. The nutrient-leached land will never recover to its original state, even after operations stop.

The outcome is the fragmentation and destruction of vital wildlife habitat, which includes areas needed for breeding and migration. Even animals that are able to escape may suffer since they are frequently forced into less-than-ideal habitats and forced to compete with already-existing species.

6. The use of fossil fuels causes climate change.

Burning fossil fuels makes the earth even warmer than it already is causing climate

change which has as a consequence not only the melting of ice caps and rising of sea levels, but also extreme weather events like floods and tornadoes.


Fossil fuel combustion is a significant contributor to climate change. Fossil fuels like coal, oil, and gas are the major causes of climate change since they release pollution and allow such things as carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrous oxide to enter the atmosphere.

This leads to the warming of the earth and as temperatures rise, it causes ice caps to melt. The melting ice caps will result in rising sea levels, which in turn impacts human activities.

After reading these advantages and disadvantages of fossil fuels, Be determined to be part of the change today. Go renewable as much as you can. 

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