Conventional and Non-conventional Sources of Energy

Conventional and Non-conventional Sources of Energy

Energy is one of the major parts of the economic infrastructure, being the basic input needed to sustain the economic growth. There exists a strong relationship between economic development and energy consumption.

The more developed is a country, higher is the per capita of energy consumption and vice-versa. Human civilization relies on different sources of energy.

The two major sources of energy can be classified under:

  • Conventional Sources
  • Non-Conventional Sources

Below you could see the difference between conventional and non-conventional sources of energy.

Conventional and Non-conventional Sources of Energy

What are Conventional Sources of Energy?

These sources of energy are also known as non-renewable sources of energy and are available in limited quantity apart from hydro-electric power. Further it can be classified under commercial and non-commercial energy.

Commercial Energy Sources

The coal, electricity and petroleum are known as commercial energy since the consumer needs to pay its price to buy them.

a) Coal

Coal is the most important source of energy. There are more than 148790 Coal deposits in India. In between 2005-2006, the annual production went up to 343 million tons. India is the fourth largest coal-producing country and the deposits are mostly found in Bihar, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh and Bengal.

b) Oil and Natural Gas:

Today oil is considered to be the liquid gold and one of the crucial sources of energy in India and the world. Oil is mostly used in planes, automobiles, trains and ships. It is mainly found in Assam, Gujarat and Mumbai.

The total production of oil in India was 0.3 million tons in 1950-51, which increased up to 32.4 million tons in 2000-01.

c) Electricity:

Electricity is a common source of energy and used for domestic and commercial purposes. The electricity is mainly utilized in electrical appliances like Fridge, T.V, washing machine and air conditioning.

The major sources of power generation are mentioned below:

  • Nuclear Power
  • Thermal Power
  • Hydro-electric power
  1. Thermal Power:

Thermal power is generated at various power stations by means of oil and coal. It is a vital source of electric current and its share in total capacity of the nation in 2004-05 was 70 percent.

  1. Hydroelectric Power:

The hydroelectric power is produced by constructing dams above flowing rivers like Damodar Valley Project and Bhakra Nangal Project. The installed capacity of hydroelectric power was 587.4 mW in 1950-51 and went up to 19600 mW in 2004-05.

  1. Nuclear Power:

The fuel used in nuclear power plants is Uranium, which costs less than coal. Nuclear power plants can be found in Kota(Rajasthan), Naroura (UP) and Kalapakam(Chennai).

Non-commercial energy sources

Generally, the energy sources that are freely available are considered as the non-commercial energy sources. The examples of non-commercial energy sources are, Straw, dried dung, firewood.

What are Non-Conventional Sources of Energy?

These non-conventional sources are also known as renewable sources of energy. The examples include solar energy, bioenergy, tidal energy and wind energy.

  1. Solar Energy

This is the energy that is produced by the sunlight. The photovoltaic cells are exposed to sunlight based on the form of electricity that needs to be produced. The energy is utilized for cooking and distillation of water.

  1. Wind Energy

This kind of energy is generated by harnessing the power of wind and mostly used in operating water pumps for irrigation purposes. India stands as the second largest country in the generation of wind power.

  1. Tidal Energy

The energy that is generated by exploiting the tidal waves of the sea is known as tidal energy. This source is yet to be tapped due to the lack of cost-effective technology.

Stay tuned with BYJU’S to know more about applications of conventional and non-conventional sources of energy and much more.


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