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The traditional definition of energy is the capacity of a system to perform labour, but as energy can take many different forms, it is challenging to come up with a single, all-encompassing definition. It is an attribute of an item that can be changed or transferred from one object to another, but it cannot be created or destroyed. Energy comes from a variety of places.
Mineral fuels are necessary for the production of electricity, which is needed by industry, transportation, and other economic sectors. The traditional energy sources include nuclear energy minerals and fossil fuels including coal, petroleum, and natural gas. These conventional sources are finite, run out and exhaust with time.
Energy Resources Types
Natural sources of energy can be divided into two categories i.e, Conventional Sources of Energy and Non-Conventional Sources of Energy.
Difference between Conventional Sources of Energy and Non-Conventional Sources of Energy
|Conventional Sources of Energy||Non-Conventional Sources of Energy|
|These resources are exhaustible and run out eventually.||These resources are in-exhaustible and never run out.|
|These resources release smoke and ash, which contribute to pollution.||Typically, these resources don’t cause any pollution.|
|The upkeep, storage, and transmission of these resources are exceedingly costly.||These resources are less expensive, and they are also simple to manage.|
|Coal, natural gas, petroleum, and water power are among the examples.||Solar, biomass, wind, biogas, tidal, and geothermal energy are some examples.|
Conventional Energy Sources
One of the vital minerals, coal is primarily employed in the production of thermal energy and the smelting of iron ore. Gondwana and tertiary deposits are the two main geological eras in which coal can be found in rock sequences. In India, bituminous coal accounts for over 80% of the non-coking quality coal reserves.
The Damodar Valley is home to India’s most significant Gondwana coal deposits.They are located in the Jharkhand-Bengal coal belt, which has significant coalfields such as Raniganj, Jharia, Bokaro, Giridih, and Karanpura.The largest coal field is Jharia, followed by Raniganj. The Godavari, Mahanadi, and Sone river valleys are the others that are connected to coal. The most significant coal mining areas are Singrauli in Madhya Pradesh, Singareni in Telangana, Pandur in Andhra Pradesh, Talcher and Rampur in Odisha, Korba in Chhattisgarh, Talcher and Rampur in Odisha, Chanda-Wardha, Kamptee and Bander in Maharashtra.
Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, and Nagaland all have tertiary coal deposits. It is obtained from the Meghalayan regions of Darangiri, Cherrapunji, Mewlong, and Langrin; upper Assamese regions of Makum, Jaipur, and Nazira; the Arunachal Pradesh regions of Namchik-Namphuk; and Kalakot (Jammu and Kashmir). In addition, coastal regions in Gujarat, Jammu and Kashmir, Tamil Nadu, and Pondicherry have brown coal, often known as lignite.
Hydrocarbons in liquid and gaseous forms that vary in chemical composition, colour, and specific gravity make up crude petroleum. For all internal combustion engines in automobiles, trains, and aeroplanes, it is a necessary source of energy. Petrochemical industries use its myriad byproducts to make fertiliser, synthetic rubber, synthetic fibre, pharmaceuticals, vaseline, lubricants, wax, soap, and cosmetics. Tertiary-era sedimentary rocks contain crude petroleum.
The Oil and Natural Gas Commission was established in 1956, and since then, oil exploration and production have been actively pursued. The sole oil-producing refinery until 1956 was the Digboi in Assam, but things changed after 1956. New oil reserves have been discovered in the country’s extreme western and eastern regions in recent years.
Digboi, Naharkatiya, and Moran are significant oil-producing regions in Assam. Gujarat has several significant oil reserves, including Ankleshwar, Kalol, Mehsana, Nawagam, Kosamba, and Lunej. Mumbai High, which is located 160 kilometres off the coast of Mumbai, was founded in 1973, and production there started in 1976.
In exploratory wells in the Krishna-Godavari and Kaveri basins on the east coast, oil and natural gas have been discovered. Crude oil, which has numerous contaminants, is the oil that is extracted from the wells. It can’t be used straight up. It requires improvement. India has two different kinds of refineries: (a) market-based and (b) field-based. Field-based refineries are illustrated by Digboi, while market-based refineries are illustrated by Barauni.
3. Natural Gas
In order to transport and market natural gas, the Gas Authority of India Limited was established as a public sector enterprise in 1984. It is found in all oil fields alongside oil, however, there are exclusive reserves in Tripura, Rajasthan, Gujarat, and Maharashtra as well as along the eastern coast (Tamil Nadu, Odisha, and Andhra Pradesh).
Energy Resources Maps
Below are the Maps of the Energy Resources Maps of India
Non-Conventional Energy Sources
Coal, petroleum, natural gas, and nuclear energy all use finite raw materials as their primary energy source. Only renewable energy sources like sun, wind, hydro geothermal, and biomass are considered sustainable energy sources. These energy sources are more environmentally responsible and evenly dispersed. After the initial cost is covered, non-conventional energy sources will offer more consistent, eco-friendly, and less expensive energy.
1. Nuclear Energy
In recent years, nuclear energy has shown to be a reliable source. Uranium and thorium are significant minerals utilised in the production of nuclear energy. The Dharwar rocks contain uranium reserves. Geographically, it is known that uranium ores can be found along the Singbhum Copper belt in a number of areas. Additionally, it can be found in the districts of Kullu in Himachal Pradesh, Durg in Chhattisgarh, Alwar, and Jhunjhunu in Rajasthan, and Udaipur, Alwar, and Jhunjhunu in Rajasthan. Monazite and ilmenite in the beach sands of Kerala and Tamil Nadu’s coasts are the main sources of thorium. The richest monazite deposits in the world are found in the Keralan districts of Palakkad and Kollam, close to Vishakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh, and near the Mahanadi river delta in Odisha.
The Atomic Energy Commission was founded in 1948, but advancements couldn’t be achieved until the Atomic Energy Institute in Trombay was founded in 1954 and later renamed the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre in 1967. The significant nuclear energy projects are those at Tarapur in Maharashtra, Rahatbhata near Kota in Rajasthan, Kalpakkam in Tamil Nadu, Narora in Uttar Pradesh, Kaiga in Karnataka, and Kakarapara in Gujarat.
2. Solar Energy
Solar energy is created by harnessing the sun’s rays in photovoltaic cells. Photovoltaics and solar thermal technology are two methods that are thought to be particularly effective in harnessing solar energy. Comparatively speaking, solar thermal energy has some advantages over all other non-renewable energy sources. It is affordable, environmentally friendly, and simple to build.
Solar power is 10% more efficient than nuclear power and 7% more efficient than coal or oil-based systems. Appliances like heaters, crop dryers, cookers, etc. typically use it more. Gujarat and Rajasthan in western India have the most potential for the growth of solar energy.
3. Wind Power
Wind power is a limitless, pollution-free source of electricity. The process of converting wind energy is straightforward. Through the use of turbines, wind energy’s kinetic energy is transformed into electrical energy. As a source of energy, the trade winds, westerlies, and seasonal wind patterns like the monsoon have all been exploited.
Other than these, it is also possible to generate power using local winds, land breezes, and sea breezes. India has already begun producing wind energy. It has an ambitious plan to erect 250 wind turbines with a combined 45 megawatts of power in 12 suitable spots, primarily along the coast. To reduce the cost of oil imports, India’s Ministry of Non-Conventional Sources of Energy is fostering the growth of wind energy.
More than 50,000 megawatts of wind energy can be produced in India, of which only one-fourth is feasible to use. Conditions are favourable for wind energy in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Karnataka.
4. Tidal and Wave Energy
Ocean currents are a never-ending source of energy. Continuous efforts have been made from the beginning of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries to develop a more effective energy system using constant tidal waves and ocean currents.
The west coast of India is known to experience large tidal waves. As a result, India has a lot of potential for tidal energy production along the coasts, but this potential has not yet been realised.
5. Geothermal Energy
Extreme heat is emitted as magma from the earth’s interior rises to the surface. It is possible to successfully harness and transform this thermal energy into electrical energy. In addition to this, thermal energy is also produced from the hot water that spews from gyser wells. It is commonly referred to as geothermal energy. These days, one of the main energy sources that can be created as a backup supply is thought to be this energy. Since the Middle Ages, people have been using the hot springs and geysers. At Manikaran in Himachal Pradesh, an Indian geothermal energy plant has been put into operation.
Bio-energy is defined as energy produced from biological materials, such as municipal, industrial, and other wastes as well as agricultural residues. A potential source of energy conversion is bioenergy.
It can be transformed into gas for cooking, heat energy, or electrical energy. Along with processing waste and garbage, it will also generate energy. This would boost the quality of life for rural residents in developing nations, lessen environmental pollution, increase independence, and ease the demand for fuel wood. Okhla in Delhi is one such initiative that turns garbage from the city into energy.
Energy Resources Conservation
The difficulty of sustainable development necessitates fusing the pursuit of economic growth with environmental considerations. Traditional resource usage practices generate a significant amount of trash and contribute to other environmental issues. Therefore, conserving resources for future generations is necessary for sustainable growth. The necessity to save resources is critical.
Alternative energy sources including solar, wind, wave and geothermal power provide an endless source of energy. To replace the finite resources, these should be developed. Utilizing scrap metals will allow for the recycling of metals in the case of metallic minerals. Utilizing scrap is particularly important for metals like copper, lead, and zinc, where India has limited deposits. Utilizing alternatives for rare metals may also cut down on usage. Reduced export of strategic and rare minerals is necessary to extend the useful life of the current reserve.
Energy Resources UPSC
Conserving means taking care of and preserving these resources for future generations. As a UPSC aspirant, you should be well aware of the location of various oil refineries and the collaboration of India with various countries in upgrading the refineries. Also, the conservation of energy on an individual level is crucial and switching from conventional to non-conventional energy or alternative energy resources should be encouraged and emphasized. This topic of geography holds immense importance from both Prelims and Mains point of View. The details in the article would help candidates preparing for UPSC 2023.
Energy Resources FAQs
Q) What is the primary sources of energy?
Ans. Sun is the primary source of energy.
Q) What do you mean by conventional sources of energy?
Ans. These resources are exhaustible and run out eventually. Examples are Coal, Petroleum.
Q) Is Nuclear energy conventional or non-conventional resources?
Ans. Nuclear energy is a non-conventional resource Examples are Uranium and Thorium.
Q) Where is the Digboi refinery located?
Ans. It is located in Assam.
Q) What are examples of non-conventional resources?
Ans. Non-conventional resources include solar energy, bioenergy, tidal energy and wind energy.
Other Indian Geography Topics
Other Fundamental Geography Topics