Renewable and Non-Renewable Energy Resources
Energy is an important input for development. The expansion of possible energy resources has been directly related with the pace of agricultural and industrial development in every part of the world. Energy resources can be classified as non-renewable and renewable.
Energy obtained from sources that cannot renew themselves over a short period of time is known as non-renewable energy. These are available in limited amount in nature. They include coal, petroleum, natural gas and nuclear power. These conventional energy resources account for 90% of the world’s production of commercial energy and nuclear power account for 10%.
These energy resources are available in unlimited amount in nature and they can be renewed over a short period of time, inexpensive and can be harvested continuously. These comprise the vast potential of non-conventional energy resources which include biofuel, biomass energy, geothermal energy, water energy (hydroelectric energy and tidal energy), solar energy, wave energy and wind energy.
Fossil fuels are found inside the earth’s crust and are energy rich substances formed by natural process, such as anaerobic decomposition of buried dead organisms, over millions of years. As the accumulating sediment layers produce heat and pressure, the remains of the organisms are gradually transformed into hydrocarbons. e.g. petroleum, coal and natural gas.
Coal and Petroleum are natural resources. They are called fossil fuels as they are formed from the degradation of biomass buried deep under the earth millions of years ago.
Coal is used for generation of electricity at Thermal power plants. Petroleum also known as crude oil is processed in oil refineries to produce petrol and diesel which are used to run automobiles, trucks, trains, ships and airplanes etc. Kerosene and LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas) obtained from petroleum is used as domestic fuel for cooking food.
The coal and petroleum reserves can get exhausted if we continue using them at a rapid rate. The formation of these fossil fuels is a very slow process and takes very long period of time for renewal.
It is necessary to conserve or save coal and petroleum resources for the future use, which can be done by reducing their consumption.
i. If electricity is saved, it will inturn reduce the use of coal
ii. Using bicycle for covering short distances instead of using cars, scooters or motorcycles
iii. Using pressure cooker can reduce the consumption of kerosene and LPG while cooking food. Solar cooker and solar heaters can be used wherever possible
iv. Motor vehicles should be designed with fuel efficient engines to increase efficiency and also reduce air pollution