SOURCES OF ENERGY
Energy resources in our country are numerous. They comprise human and cattle power, animal dung, forest fuel, coal and lignite, crude oil and its many derivatives, water and geothermal energy, hydel and thermal power, nuclear power and the nascent solar, wind and tidal power. Energy based on fossil fuels is finite in our country and perhaps by the turn of 21st century there may be energy crisis due to depletion of fossil fuels. We are consuming power at the rate equivalent to 380 billion tonnes of coal per century. It is estimated that our fossil energy stocks will last upto 2050 AD only. Further, the escalation of crude prices has made that form of energy uneconomical. Then what should be done ?
• the efficiency of the present system of energy conversion is to be improved
• conserve the existing sources of energy
• develop alternative energy resources
NECESSITY OF RENEWABLE SOURCES OF ENERGY :
Energy crisis is a global problem. It has two equally alarming facts.
• the rapid rate at which known reserves of conventional fuels are getting depleted and
• the escalating cost of fuel
It is expected that our fossil fuels may be exhausted within a century at the present rate of consumption. Periodic price hike of crude oil has made that form of energy most uneconomical. To meet the energy crisis we have to
(i) improve the efficiency of existing energy conversion methods or
(ii) conserve the present sources of energy or
(iii) develop alternative sources of energy, specially the renewable sources of energy such as solar, wind and tidal, hydel and geothermal which are inexhaustible and can be replenished at rapid rate.
There are two main categories of alternative sources of energy
1. Non renewable sources of energy
2. Renewable sources of energy
Examples of Non renewable sources of energy –
3. Fuel Cell
Examples of Renewable sources of energy –
1. Solar Energy
2. Wind Energy
3. Hydel Energy
4. Tidal Energy