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Energy Resources- Geography Guide for Class 8

Energy Resources- Geography Guide for Class 8

Information about Energy Resources

Title

Energy Resources

Class

Class 8

Subject

Class 8 Geography

Topics Covered

  • Energy Resources
  • Conventional Sources of Energy
  • Petroleum/Mineral oil
  • Natural gas
  • Thermal power
  • Hydel power
  • Non-Conventional Sources of Energy
  • Difference between Conventional and Non-Conventional Sources
  • Conservation of Energy Resources


Energy Resources

We have read in earlier classes that 'energy is the capacity to do a work'. The different ways to obtain energy is through sun, fire, electricity or burning of fossil fuels. Energy is fundamental to the quality o our lives. Now-a-days, we are totally dependent on an uninterrupted and abundant supply of energy. 

  • Electricity is generated through Thermal Power Plants, Nuclear Power Plants and Hydroelectric Power Plants.
  • It is also produced through non-conventional sources of energy, such as tidal energy solar energy, wind energy and geothermal energy.
  • After generation, electricity is transmitted to the grid through wires.
  • Grid maintains the distribution of energy in the surrounding regions.
  • As far as consumption of electricity is concerned, it is quite high in developed countries like Japan and USA.

Most of the energy of the world is produced by using coal, mineral oil and natural gas. They are formed inside the earth by decomposition of dead remains of plants and animals in the sedimentary rocks. Hence, they are also called fossil fuels.

The flowchart given below presents different types of energy sources.
  • A 'source' refers to the point of origin of something that simply provides what we are looking for. In turn, the term 'resource' is a functional concept and refers to the utilisation of materials which are valuable for accomplishing certain goals. 

Conventional Sources of Energy

Conventional sources of energy are traditional sources, which are widely in use. The highly popular conventional sources of energy are coal, petroleum, natural gas and hydroelectricity.
All the other conventional energy resources with the exception of hydroelectricity, are non-renewable

Let us discuss these resources in detail.

Coal

Coal is formed from the plant cover buried under the sedimentary rocks. Under the high temperature and pressure the plant cover gets carbonised over thousands of years. The major types of coal are anthracite, bituminous, lignite and peat. Anthracite is the hardest, brightest and best quality of coal. It contains about 90% carbon and emits little smoke.
  • Coal is widely used in iron and steel industry and thermal power stations.
  • Moreover, it is also used as a raw material in various chemical industries.
  • Coal is found in USA, Russia, China, Australia, India, Germany, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, South Africa.
  • In India, its reserves are confined to the states of Jharkhand, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Telengana and Maharashtra.

Petroleum/Mineral oil

It is widely used as a source of power. Petrol, diesel and kerosene oil are the by-products of Petroleum/Mineral oil. As an industrial power, it is widely used to run machines, generate electricity and produce steam. Railway engines, motor vehicles and ships depend on it for their fuel requirements. 
  • It is used as a lubricant in machines and petro-chemical industries for preparing rubber, synthetic, fibres, etc.
  • About 60% of the petroleum is obtained from the Middle East. Regions around Black Sea, Caspian Sea, Persian Gulf and Red Sea have the largest reserves of petroleum of the world.
  • It is mainly obtained from south-west Asian countries.
  • The countries with the world's biggest oil reserves are Venezuela, South Arabia, Canada, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, UAE, Russia, Libya, Nigeria and USA.
  • The petroleum reservoirs beneath the North Sea are extracted and used by UK, Germany, Netherlands, Denmark and Norway.
  • In India, petroleum reserves are found in Assam, Gujarat and off the coast of Maharashtra. They are also found in the delta regions of Godavari and Krishna.

Natural gas

Natural gas is mostly obtained along with mineral oil. However, sometimes exclusive gas resources are also found.
  • It is widely used to run vehicles as CNG (Compressed Natural Gas).
  • Throughout the world, it is transported by pipelines over great distances.
  • Natural gas is found in Russia, Iran, Qatar, USA, Saudi Arabia, Turkmenistan, UAE, Venezuela and Nigeria.
  • In India, it is found in Assam, offshore regions of Gujarat and Maharashtra and along the east coast in the Godavari and Krishna delta regions. 

Thermal power

A thermal power station is a power plant in which the prime mover is steam driven. Water, on heating, turns into steam and spins a steam turbine which drives an electrical generator to produce electrical energy. This is called thermal electricity.

Hydel power

Rain water or river water stored in dams is made to fall from heights. The falling water flows through pipes inside the dam over turbine blades placed at the bottom of the dam. The moving blades then turn the generator to produce electricity. This is called hydroelectricity. The water discharged after the generation of electricity is used for irrigation.
One-fourth of the world's electricity is produced by hydel power. The leading producers of hydel power in the world are Brazil, Norway and Paraguay.
  • For generating hydroelectricity, large dams are required. Hilly regions with perennial rivers are ideal for it.
  • At the initial stage, it requires high technology and huge capital investment.
  • But, in the long run, it becomes a cheap source of energy.
  • Many countries, such as Canada, China, India and Japan have developed their water resources to get electricity.
  • African countries have a great potential for developing hydroelectricity.
  • India has established several multipurpose river valley projects for generating hydroelectricity. Bhakra Nangal, Hirakud, Nagarjuna Sagar and Sardar Sarovar are some of the examples.

Non-Conventional Sources of Energy

Non-conventional sources of energy are those that are more or less, still at an experimental stage. They are non-traditional. They are less expensive and do not have much of adverse effect on the environment. In future, the dependency on these resources will increase manifolds.

Solar energy

Sun is the greatest source of unlimited energy. Specially, in the tropical zone, it can be tapped to get maximum output. Now-a-days, solar energy is used for a number of purposes, such as solar cookers, solar gysers, solar cars, solar dryers, solar lanterns, solar street lighting system, solar airconditioning, etc. People are taking initiative to make it more cost effective.

Canada, France, Germany, India, Japan and USA are some of the countries doing research and promoting its utilisation in their countries. The largest solar plant in India is located in Gujarat.

Wind energy

In the areas of high wind velocity, wind is used to generate energy. Coastal areas are ideal for it. Wind energy is mainly used for pumping water, grinding grains, sailing and electricity generation. It is developed in coastal regions of European countries (specially Netherlands), India, Japan and USA. In Tokyo, wind power is used to run the air conditioning system of buildings. In India, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu have a few windmills.

Geothermal energy

The internal heat of the earth generates geothermal energy. It is more prominent in volcanically active areas, where frequency of hot springs, is high. Some countries like Iceland, India, Japan, New Zealand, Russia and USA are generating geothermal energy. Basically, this energy is used in cold storage plants, industries and for domestic purpose. In India, Manikaran in Himachal Pradesh is famous for harnessing geothermal energy.

Nuclear Energy

It is obtained from energy stored in nuclei of atoms of naturally occuring radioactive elements like uranium and thorium. Nuclear energy is an alternative to fossil fuels and can reduce the emission of the greenhouse gases. It is a very powerful and efficient source of energy. The greatest producers of nuclear energy are USA, France, Russia, South Korea, Germany, China and Canada. In India, Jharkhand and Rajasthan have large deposits of uranium and thorium is found in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Odisha. Nuclear power stations in India are located at Kaiga in Karnataka, Kalpakkam and Kudunkulum in Tamil Nadu, Narora in UP, Ranapratap Sagar near Kota in Rajasthan and Tarapur in Maharashtra.

Tidal Energy

Energy generated from tides is called tidal energy. Tidal energy can be harnessed by building dams at narrow openings of the sea. France, Russia and Gulf of Kachchh in India have huge tidal mill farms. 

Biogas

Organic wastes, such as dead plants, animal dung and kitchen waste can be converted into a gaseous fuel called biogas. It is an excellent fuel for cooking and lighting and produces huge amount of organic manure.

Difference between Conventional and Non-Conventional Sources

Conventional Sources

Non-Conventional Sources

Traditional sources, e.g. coal, petroleum, natural gas and water.

Non-conventional sources are still at an experimental stage. Non-traditional, e.g. solar energy, wind energy, geothermal energy.

Except hydel power, these sources are non-renewable in nature.

These are renewable sources.

These are expensive to install and hard to maintain.

These are less expensive to install and easy to maintain.

Except hydel power, these cause severe air pollution and related adverse impact on the environment.

These do not cause air pollution and are largely eco-friendly.

At present, there is a lot of dependency on them.

In future, the dependency on these sources will increase.


Conservation of Energy Resources

Conservation of energy resources is required because of the rapid depletion and very slow regeneration of the exhaustible sources of energy, i.e. coal, petroleum and natural gas.
  • Due to the growing population, consumption of energy resources has increased manifolds.
  • The fossil fuels are non-renewable in nature.
  • Rampant exploitation of non-renewable resources like coal and petroleum can lead to energy crisis. 
  • Scarcity of conventional resources of energy is referred to as energy crisis.
  • The rate of consumption of energy sources is more than the rate of their formation.
Therefore, we need to conserve energy resources. It does not mean the curtailment of energy consumption, but to restrict unnecessary wasteful consumption of energy.

Following measures can be taken to conserve energy resources.
  • Use of LED bulbs and tubelights.
  • Use public transport.
  • Switch off the light and fans when not in use
  • Use of power saving electronic devices.
  • Use of non-conventional sources of energy, i.e. solar light, solar torch, solar gyser, etc.
  • Use of automatic electronic power saver. It saves approximately 30% electricity bill. 
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