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Non-renewable energy resource: an energy resource that is not replaced or is replaced only very slowly by natural processes. Primary examples of non-renewable energy resources are the fossil fuels--oil, natural gas, and coal. Fossil fuels are continually produced by the decay of plant and animal matter, but the rate of their production is extremely slow, very much slower than the rate at which we use them. Any non-renewable energy resources that we use are not replaced in a reasonable amount of time (our lifetime, our children's lifetime,...) and are thus considered "used up", not available to us again.