We can say that all economic activities in the country will come to a standstill if it does not have access to different energy sources. Thus, energy is the most important component of the economic infrastructure of a country. It is vital for a country’s growth and development. On the basis of renewability, energy can be divided into Renewable and Nonrenewable Energy.
Renewable and Nonrenewable Energy
Renewable Sources of Energy
Renewable sources of energy have been discovered in the recent past and their use is yet to gain popularity. Non-conventional sources of energy are also known as renewable or alternative sources of energy. Renewable resources are known as energy resources of the future. The important renewable sources of energy are wind energy, solar energy, geothermal energy, tidal energy, and biogas.
Solar energy: This is the energy derived from the sun. The use of solar energy is slowly gaining popularity in India. Solar energy products such as solar lamps and solar water heaters are now being increasingly used. It is an environmentally friendly and clean source of energy.
Wind energy: This is the energy derived from moving air or wind. Rural wind energy farms have been making use of this energy for many years. In recent years, wind energy has gained immense popularity worldwide. Efforts are being made to make wind power generators more efficient and practical.
Bioenergy: This is the energy derived from living organisms and organic matter. It comprises biogas and biomass energy. Biogas is obtained from gobar gas produced from cow dung. Biogas is an important source of energy and is used as cooking fuel. Biomass is obtained from plants. An advantage of using biomass is that it encourages afforestation.
Geothermal energy: In the word “geothermal”, geo means “earth” and thermal means “heat”. So, this is the energy derived from the heat present inside the earth.
Tidal energy: This is the energy derived from tides (i.e. the periodic rise and fall of the sea level under the gravitational pull of the moon).
Nonrenewable Sources of Energy
Nonrenewable sources of energy have been known and used by us for a long time. Nonrenewable sources of energy such as natural gas, oil, coal, or nuclear are finite but still hold the majority of the Energy market.
Coal: It is the most important conventional source of energy in India. It contributes to over 65% of the total energy production in the country. Coal India Limited and Singrani Coal Company are the two main coal producers in India. Coal is used by thermal power stations, steel plants, railways, fertilizer factories, cement factories, etc. Although coal production in India takes place at a large scale, the produced coal is of such quality that it generates very little heat and leaves a lot of ash.
Petroleum: It is a basic input in the transportation and manufacturing sectors. India is not rich in oil and petroleum reserves. A large portion of the demand for petroleum is fulfilled by imports from other countries, particularly the Gulf States.
Natural gas: In India, natural gas reserves are found in Mumbai, Gujarat, Tripura, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and Rajasthan. It is a basic input in the fertilizer and petroleum-products industries. Besides, it is also widely used in households as cooking gas in the form of LPG. Nowadays, natural gas in the form of CNG and LPG is also being used as fuels for vehicles.
Electricity: It is the most useful source of energy in India. The three basic sources of generating electricity or power are thermal energy, hydroelectric energy, and nuclear energy.
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