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Conventional Sources of Energy- wandofknowledge

Conventional Sources of Energy- wandofknowledge

Conventional sources of energy are non-renewable sources of energy which is obtained from natural sources or natural processes that are replenished on their own but are limited and will last one day. Some of the examples or types of conventional energy sources are coal, mineral oil, natural gas, fuel-wood, nuclear power etc.  Among which coal still occupies the central position.

Some of them are discussed below in detail:


Coal being a prime source of industrial energy is also a raw material. About 6,000 billion tons of coal lies under the earth and near about or more than 200 billion tons had been used by now. Coal including ignite even today fulfills 60% of the commercial power requirements. In todays developed world, there is a shift in usage from coal to oil or gas.

Major coal fields in India are Raniganj, Jharia, East Bokaro and West Bokaro, Singrauli, Talchar, Godavari Valley, Chanda-Wardha.

The major states that have coal reserves are Bihar, Orissa, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh and Maharashtra.

In terms heat capacity, the quality of Indian coal is quite poor. This poor heat capacity can be converted into electricity, gas or oil. That is why many of our thermal and super-thermal power stations are located on the coal fields to produce electric power to help feed the regional grids.

Oil and Natural Gas

Sources of mineral oil are the sedimentary rocks containing plant and animal remains that are about 10 to 20 crore year old. Mineral oil is unevenly distributed over space like any other mineral. There are six regions in the world that are rich in mineral oil; these are USA, Mexico, former USSR and West Asian region (including Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iran, United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Bahrain).

India has large proportion of tertiary rocks and alluvial deposits particularly in the extra-peninsular India. The potential oil producing areas include northern plains in the Ganga-Brahmaputra valley, coastal stripes together with their off-shore continental shelf (Mumbai High), the plains of Gujarat, the Thar desert and the area around Andaman and Nicobar islands.

Natural gas is a mixture of 50-90% by volume of methane and also contains smaller amounts of ethane, propane and butane and a little of HS. In India, natural gas can be used both as energy source and also as an industrial raw material in petrochemical industry. The gas is also used for fertilizer plants. There are already 12 refineries in India for refining of natural gas. The liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) is very common domestic fuel in country.

Firewood (Fuelwood)

Firewoods are majorly required in rural areas, which is about 70%. In rural areas the food is cooked over in chulah and the requirement for firewood is fulfilled by plantations of non-agricultural lands, degraded forest land, cultivable wasteland, barren or permanent pasture and grazing lands.

One must combine environmental supply of firewood and other biomass energy sources. We need technologies for total utilization of biomass.


The Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi has developed the technology of briquetting saw dust into smokeless fuel.


Gasification of biomass is a significant way to harvest energy through thermo-chemical conversion. It yields biogas, producer gas and pyrogas.

Improved chullahs (or stove)

Present day chullahs have a very low, 2-10% efficiency. This results into waste of wood, forest and environment degradation and health problems. Department of Non-conventional Energy Sources (DNES) could design the improved stoves with thermal efficiency to about 15-25%. These stoves in addition to wood can also use coal cakes, cow dung, pellets etc.


Water-energy is most conventional renewable source of energy. This energy is obtained from water flow, by water falling from certain height. Hilly and highland areas are suitable for this purpose, where there is continuous flow of water in larger amounts falling from high slopes. Hydropower, also called as hydraulic power is the force or energy of moving water and hydroelectricity is a form of hydropower which is used widely as a form of renewable energy. Most of it comes from the potential energy of dammed water driving a water turbine and generator. Hydropower is a non-polluting source of energy and does not produce any primary waste. It can also be transferred to long distance through wires and cables but it cannot be stored for future use.

Nuclear Energy

Nuclear energy is generated in the power stations by using to fission from the reactions of Uranium-235 which is an isotope of Uranium. This is the chief source of energy when the fossil fuel reserves are depleting very rapidly. A small amount of radioactive material can produce an enormous amount of energy. Besides electricity, atomic power is also used as fuel for heat generation for chemical and food processing plants and for spacecrafts.

Nuclear power does not produce any principal air pollution but it releases highly radioactive wastes and has high environment and economic expense. It has major nuclear disaster possibility which is more hazardous than any other pollution.

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