Chapter 12: fossil fuels: energy use and impacts. An immense amount of energy resides within the bonds among protons and neutrons (nuclear power) Most energy comes from the sun: drives wind and water patterns, drives photosynthesis which leads to the creation of fossil fuels. Three fossil fuels used widely today are oil, coal and natural gas: consumption of these fossil fuels is at its highest level ever, used to create electricity (secondary form of energy that is easier to transfer) Sunlight, geothermal and tidal energy are considered renewable. Coal, oil and natural gas are considered non-renewable: nuclear power is also non-renewable because uranium ore is in limited supply, cannot be replaced within any time span useful to our civilization. Aerboic decomposition occurs in the presence of air, use oxygen to break down parts of the organic matter. Coal is formed when plant matter is compacted so tightly that there is little decomposition.