Definition of Energy Resources
Every field of life needs some kind of energy. It can also be said that energy is life. Energy is used in some form or the other from body operation to running large factories, vehicles, machines, etc. All the resources which are used to obtain energy are called energy resources. Energy resources can be mainly divided into conventional and non-conventional resources.
1. Conventional Energy Resources
Traditional energy resources are those which have been in use for a long time. They are available in limited quantities in nature and these sources will be exhaustible after some time, ie they will be exhausted as they are non-renewable. Such as wood, coal, petroleum, natural gas, etc.
1. a) Coal
As a result of geographical upheaval millions of years ago, the trees which were buried in the ground were converted into coal due to excessive heat and pressure. Thus coal is a fossil fuel. Coal is said to be the father of the industrial revolution because initially, coal used to be a major source of energy in factories yesterday. It is also called black gold due to the usefulness of coal. China is the largest consumer and importer of coal in the world. On the other hand, Australia is the world’s largest coal exporter.
1. b) Mineral Oil or Petroleum
Among the energy resources, petroleum (Petra =, shale, Oleum = oil) is the second most energy resource after coal. Petroleum also originated like coal from millions of years ago due to the geographical upheaval of trees and plants and animals being submerged in the geology. It is a dark brown colored oily fluid of saturated hydrocarbons found between sedimentary layers at the very bottom of Earth’s Crust. It is also known as Crude Oil or Mineral Oil.
1. c) Natural Gas
It is made from the rotten throat substance of dead organisms and vegetation buried inside the earth millions of years ago. It is found in a gaseous state. It is generally a mixture of methane, ethane, propane, butane, pentane, in which up to 87–92% methane is found. Natural gas is an important energy resource that is found independently above petroleum wells and is the first to be obtained at the time of petroleum extraction. It is used as a source of energy and as a raw industrial material for the petrochemical industry.
1. d) Electricity
In the present times, the growth and development of any nation depend on its better and stronger infrastructure, and electric energy is an important component of the infrastructure. Per capita, electricity consumption in any nation is considered as an index of development. India is the fifth largest country in the world in terms of power generation capacity, while it is the sixth-largest consumer of electric power.
Electricity in India is mainly generated in two ways –
- By running hydro-turbine with water collected by building dams on rivers,
- By running a turbine by steam generated by burning coal, petroleum, or natural gas.
2. Non-Conventional Energy Resources
Rising prices and possible shortages of petroleum and fossil fuels have created uncertainty about energy supply in the future. In such a situation, renewable energy resources, nuclear energy, solar energy, wind energy, tidal energy, organic energy, etc. are in great need. All these are called non-conventional means of energy.
2. a) Nuclear or Molecular Energy
Nuclear power is energy produced by controlled (i.e., non-explosive) nuclear reactions. Currently, commercial plants use nuclear fission for power generation. The heat from the nuclear reactor is used to heat water to produce steam, which is then used to generate electricity. In India, uranium and thorium, which are found in the Aravalli mountain range of Jharkhand and Rajasthan, are used in the production of nuclear or molecular energy.
2. b) Solar Energy
Converting sun energy into electrical energy is mainly known as solar energy. The energy of the sun can be converted into electrical energy in two ways. The first with the help of a light-electric cell and the second after heating the fluid from the heat of the sun by running an electric generator from it. Solar energy is used in many ways. Through this, grains can be used for drying, water heating, cooking, refrigeration, water refining, and electric power generation. Lights can be obtained by converting solar light into electricity through a photovoltaic system.
2. d) Wind Energy
According to the direction and speed of the wind, power is generated by running the windmill in the same way as running a turbine by water. Winds are carried throughout the year in seaside areas. India is a country with a vast seaside area, so there is immense potential for wind energy production. The largest box of wind power farms in India is located from Nagercoil to Madurai in Tamil Nadu. Apart from this, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Gujarat, Kerala, Maharashtra, Orissa, and Lakshadweep also have wind power farms.
2. e) Biogas
In rural areas, biogas is produced for domestic consumption through a specific type of biogas plant from agriculture, livestock, and man-made waste materials. The cattle dung plants are known as dung gas plants in rural India. This not only provides biogas but also provides high-quality fertilizer from cattle dung.
2. f) Tidal Energy
When tidal water power of the ocean is used to generate electricity through a turbine, this energy is called tidal energy. For this, tidal water is prevented by making a dam across the seaside narrow bay. After the tide comes down, the water of the dam is dropped by a pipe on the turbine towards the sea, which produces electricity. In India, ideal conditions to generate energy by tidal waves are present in the Gulf of Khambhat, Gulf of Kutch, and Gujarat on the coast, the Sundarbans region of West Bengal, the delta of the Ganges.
2. g) Geothermal Energy
Hot sources and hot water fountains are found in volcanic regions. The hot steam coming out with them is used to run turbines and generate electricity at some places. It is called geothermal energy. Several countries based on geothermal energy have been built in countries like the USA, Italy Land, etc.