Conventional sources of energy


Energy is everything that we see around but the energy crisis is one of the  pressing arguments around the world. It is the duty of everyone to look at he longterm perspective of life by safeguarding the available resources through using them constructively.Each day, we are using tones of energy sources hence, the  sources are draining away in an unnoticeable manner . Some of them could be fuel, wood, gas and petroleum products. Moreover, the majority of these sources are non-renewable.  Our energy needs aref ulfilled by 2 types of sources; conventional and non-conventional sources. Conventional sources of energy are the most commonly  used sources on a regular basis hence they are essily finished. Let us understand about different conventional energy sources in detail.


1. Fossil fuels

Fossils are the natural sources being increasingly exploited by humans since ages. Centuries back, when plants and animals got buried under the earth, they have eventually undergone series of  chemical process resulting in the formation of plaques. The process is mediated by the earth`s core temperature and the high pressure inside. Such a tremendous pressure and temperatures have helped in converting the dead and decayed matter into reserves of coal and petroleum. Fossil fuels are non-renewable sources of energy, and are the prime reasons behind the environmental problems. India encompasses  6% of its total coal  reserve in the world and it is reckoned that it can last for 250 years by taking into accoubt of the  present rate of consumption. However, coal and petrol produces a lot of greenhouse gases like CO2 and carbon monoxides that can lead to global warming.


Fossil fuel unit (Geothermal unit or thermoelectric unit)

It is a thermoelectric unit that works by supplying a massive fossil fuels into a pressure cooker that connects to a spinning tennis ball unit. A tennis ball unit is a turbine with 3 slits (plaster or Metallic). When the steam is produced as a result of burning fossil fuels, it will impart energy towards the rotor of the turbine. The turbine can move the shaft of the generator to produce electricity. However, this is not an economical idea because a huge amount of fossil fuels are burnt to produce the steam.


2. Hydropower Plants

It is also one of the traditional methods of generating electricity in India. Around 25% of energy in India is fulfilled by hydropower plants. With the advent of nuclear plants, solar power sources, the popularity of the hydropower plant has diminished. Hydropower plants convert mechanical energy (forceful waterfall) into electric energy. The turbines are forcefully hit by the waterfall from top resulting in the conversion of mechanical energy into the electrical energy. The drawback of hydroelectric plants is that, they work only if there is enough rain along with a high force of water.  Fortunately, hydroelectricity is a renewable source as the same water can be reused if the unit is planned properly.


A hydro-power turbine, mage source-Wiki images

A hydro-power turbine, mage source-Wiki images


Disadvantages of hydro-power

  1. Construction of huge dams does involve legal and financial problems. Many projects have stopped in the past as a consequence of political pressures.

  2. The technique may not be consistent in all the locations as water need to flow from a certain height which may not be possible on a flat geographic space.

  3. The place of building a dam is most vital as it must be built at the right place to make a waterfall from the peak. So, searching for the right geographic location can be difficult. Hydropower plants do not suit flat areas as well as dry lands. 

  4. Sometimes people have to sacrifice their agricultural, residential land if the government impose legal order in its favour. One such example is severe opposition to the construction of the Tehri dam on the coastal area of river Ganga because of such problems.

  5. . Big dams can cause earthquakes and landslides etc.​



3. Biogas and its advantages 

It is one of the most economical and safe source of energy for domestic use. Biogas is generated by using biomass produced by agricultural and animal wastes. Some of them are cattle dung, firewood, sewage, dry leaves, stems, etc. Biogas contains 75% of Methane which is one of the important fuel used in many domestic settings. Burningorganic matter neither produces heavy smoke nor the ash, hence, it is eco-friendly. In the earlier days, biomass used to generate a lot of smoke but with the advent of technology, smoke emission from the gobar gas units has been controlled effectively. Charcoal is the best raw material used for biogas production as it does not contain water or other volatile material that can form heavy smoke. The sludge produced from biogas is one of the useful and productive compost as it is bvery rich in nitrogen and phosphorous. 


Biogas unit

Biogas unit has a reservoir into which dung is poured through a pipe-like structure. The raw materials are allowed to decay. The bottom of the reservoir has an outlet that receives the gas produced from the plant. the outlet is connected to an external channel to receive the gas. The Bio-gas is stored in the gas tank from which they are drawn through pipes for use in a Bio-gas plant. The large scale use of Bio-wastes & sewage material provides a safe and efficient waste-disposal system besides supplying energy and manure. 


Disadvantages of biogas

  1. It is limited to domestic and small scale industries and it won’t suit to cities

  2. Production needs some time as the processing requires decomposition.

  3. Small scale impurities may be produced while decomposing and subjecting the products to anaerobic processing.



Read more


Sources of energy                                      


Coal and petroleum


Forests and wildlife


Management of natural sources


Environmental chemistry



Important Questions

  1. What are fossil fuels and how can we produce energy out of them?

  2. Explain the mechanism of electricity production by geothermal unit.

  3. Mention the primary gas released by biogas unit.

  4. What kind of geography favours a hydropower unit?





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