What are Main Sources of Energy?

environmental chemistry

There are two main types of sources of energy. These are renewable energy sources and non-renewable energy sources. The renewable energy sources also known as non-conventional energy sources include solar energy, hydro energy, tidal energy, wind energy and biomass energy etc. On the other hand, the non-renewable energy sources are known as conventional energy sources and include fossil fuels, coal reserves and petroleum and natural gas. Besides these two types of energy resources, we have another very important resource in the from of radioactive minerals, particularly uranium (235U). These are used to produce the so called nuclear energy or atomic energy. The amount of 235U available in nature is expected to last for many years.

The demand of energy approximately doubles every 14 years and as already stated is taken as one of the indicators of development of a country. India, with 16 per cent of the world’s population consume only about 2 per cent of the total energy produced in the world, in comparison to USA which has 6.25 per cent of the world’s population and utilizes 33 per cent of the energy produced. This gives us an idea of the low level of our development and should be an incentive for generation of more energy, so that we can meet our growing demands of energy.

Even today, about 80 per cent of our population continues to depend on fuel wood, dung and agricultural wastes. It is well-known that non-renewable sources of energy, such as fossil fuels, coal and petroleum, are not going to last for long. Forests are also being depleted at a fast rate due to indiscriminate felling of trees. In view of all this, it has become necessary to think of alternative, non-conventional sources of energy.

Energy needs in India are met by harnessing three categories of energy sources as shown as follows:

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