Conventional and Non-conventional Sources of Energy

Energy is the ability of a physical system to perform work. We use energy in our daily lives from various sources for doing work. We use muscular energy for carrying out physical work, electrical energy for running multiple appliances, chemical energy for cooking food, etc. For this, we need to know the different energy sources to obtain energy in its usable form. This article will familiarize you with two important sources of energy: conventional energy and non-conventional energy.

Table of Contents

Sources of Energy

Conventional and Non-conventional Sources of Energy
The two major sources of energy is classified as:

  • Conventional Sources
  • Non-Conventional Sources

The classification of the sources of energy is given in the below image.
Conventional and Non-conventional Sources of Energy

Conventional Sources of Energy

Conventional 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 is classified under commercial and non-commercial energy.

Commercial Energy Sources

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


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

Oil and Natural Gas

Oil is considered liquid gold and one of the crucial energy sources in India and the world. Oil is primarily used in planes, automobiles, trains and ships. The total oil production in India was 0.3 million tons in 1950-51, which increased up to 32.4 million tons in 2000-01. It is mainly found in Assam, Gujarat and Mumbai.


Electricity is a common form of energy used for domestic and commercial purposes, and it is mainly utilized in electrical appliances like fridges, T.V, washing machines and air conditioning.

The major sources of power generation are:

  • Nuclear Power
  • Thermal Power
  • Hydro-electric power
Thermal PowerThermal power is generated at various power stations utilizing oil and coal. It is a vital source of electric current, and its share in the nation’s total capacity in 2004-05 was 70 percent.

Hydroelectric PowerHydroelectric 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.

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

Non-commercial Energy Sources

Generally, the freely available energy sources are considered non-commercial energy sources. Examples of non-commercial energy sources include straw, dried dung, firewood./p>

Non-Conventional Sources of Energy

Non-conventional sources are also known as renewable sources of energy. Examples of non-conventional sources of energy include solar energy, bioenergy, tidal energy and wind energy.

Solar Energy

Solar Energy is produced by 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.

Wind Energy

Wind 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.

Tidal Energy

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

Difference Between Conventional and Non-conventional Sources of Energy

Conventional Sources of Energy Non-conventional sources of energy
These sources of energy are also known as a non-renewable source of energy  These sources of energy are also known as a renewable source of energy
They find both commercial and industrial purposes They are mainly used for household purposes
These can be considered to be one of the reasons for the cause of pollution These are not responsible for the cause of pollution
Coal, fossil fuels are two examples Wind, solar energy and Biomass two examples

Related Articles

Utilizing Solar Energy: Solar Cells Nuclear Energy
Tidal Energy: Advantages And Disadvantages Thermal Energy

Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs


What are the advantages of conventional energy sources?

The efficiency and the production expenses of the conventional energy sources are low.

What are the disadvantages of conventional energy sources?

Conventional energy sources are not environmentally friendly and it can deplete soon.

What are the advantages of non-conventional sources of energy?

Non-conventional sources of energy are environmentally friendly, inexhaustible and easy to operate.

What is the importance of the non-conventional source of energy?

Non-conventional sources of energy are considered to be important as they are renewable, pollution-free, availability of them is in abundance, and they are environmentally friendly.

Which is the largest non-conventional source of energy?

The largest non-conventional source of energy is solar energy.

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