Conventional Sources of Energy

What is Energy?

Energy is one of the most important components of economic infrastructure. In a developing economy, the energy demand is high from sectors like agriculture, industry, residential and economical.

Energy resources are very much necessary for the existence of mankind.

Classification of Energy Sources

Energy sources can be divided into two types based on how quickly can they be replenished:

  • Conventional sources of Energy
  • Non-conventional sources of Energy

Conventional Energy Sources:

The energy sources which cannot be compensated, once these are used (after their exploitation) are termed as conventional energy sources



Coal is the most abundant conventional source of energy which could last for at least 200 years. It is a black-brown sedimentary rock.

Formation of coal occurs when the remains of plants convert into lignite and then into anthracite. This involves a long process that takes place over a long period of time. Coal helps for various proposes such as heating of the house, as fuel for boilers and steam engines and for generation of electricity by thermal plants.

It constitutes about 70% of total commercial energy consumption in the country.


Out of all the conventional sources of energy, oil is used abundantly all over. Considering, oil is one of the most important conventional sources of energy in India, the resources for same are even smaller. The extraction of oil from deposits is known as oil resources.

Petroleum and Natural Gas

Petroleum is the mixture of hydrocarbons like alkanes and cycloalkanes. In crude form black liquid is known as petroleum and the formation of a natural gas occurs when the gas comes in contact with petroleum layer.

Natural gas is a mixture of 50-90% of Methane, Ethane, Propane, Butane, and Hydrogen sulphide.

After refining and purifying crude petroleum, it is available as petrol, diesel, lubricating oil, plastic etc.

Natural gas is also making a significant contribution to the household sector. It causes less air pollution as compared to other fossil fuel.

Fuel Woods

Rural people use the fuelwood for their day to day cooking which comes from natural forests and plantations. The availability of fuelwood has become difficult due to rapid deforestation.

We can avoid this problem by planting more trees on degraded forest land, culturable wasteland, barren land grazing land.

Thermal Power Plant

Power stations burn a large number of fossil fuels to heat up water, to produce steam, which further runs the turbine to generate electricity.

Transmission of electricity is more efficient than, transporting coal or petroleum over the same distance.

It is called as the thermal plant because fuel is burnt to produce heat energy which is converted into electrical energy.

Nuclear energy

A small amount of radioactive substance can produce a lot of energy through the nuclear substances all over the world. In order to obtain nuclear energy, nuclear reactions are essential and there are about 300 nuclear reactions.

Nuclear energy is one of the most environmentally friendly conventional sources of energy as it produces fewer greenhouse gas emissions during the production of electricity in comparison to sources like coal power plants.

Although in case of accidents, this same nuclear energy releases in high amount in the environment. Also, the nuclear waste that remains is radioactive and hazardous.



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