Non – conventional sources of energy : Solar – Wind – Bio – Tidal & Geothermal energy

  • Conventional sources of power like coal, petroleum and natural gas are likely to exhaust in near future. The development of hydel power alone can not meet the demand of electricity for the future.

  • Therefore, there is a need to find and develop alternative sources of power.

  • Sun, wind, tides, biologoical wastes and hot springs are such sources which can be developed as the alternative sources of power.

  • They are called the non-conventional sources of energy. These sources of energy are renewable and pollution free.

Solar energySolar energy

  • Solar energy in the most important sources of non-conventional energy.

  • It is non-exhaustible, reliable, and pollution free.

  • Utilised for water heaters, power generation devices, air-conditioning, space heating,

  • development of pisci-culture, and multifari-ous uses of water and refrigeration.

  • An average amount of solar energy received in the earth’s atmosphere is about 1353 kW per sq metre.

  • Being situated in the sub-tropical latitudes, India receives higher amount of solar energy.

  • The greater part of the country has more than 300 solar days.

  • The total amount of energy received from the Sun is about 5000 trillion kWh per year.

  • Solar energy is tapped through the system of Solar Photo Voltaic (SPV) cells.

  • The thermal heating system can be used for water heating, solar codkers for cooking meals and drying food grains etc.

  • Solar energy can be developed in almost every part of the country but more so in hot, dry and cloud free areas like Rajasthan.

energy windWind Energy

  • Wind can be used as a source of energy in those regions where strong and constant winds blow throughout the year.

  • It is a cheap, pollution free, eco-friendly and can be developed away from the sources of fossil fuels (conventional sources of energy).

  • Wind energy can be used for pumping water for irrigation and also for generating electricity.

  • In India, the total potential of wind energy is estimated to be more than 20,000 MW.

  • India has about 45,000MW estimated wind power potential.

  • Prospective sites for generating electricity wind have been located in Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala.

  • Asia’s largest wind farm of 28 MW capacity is located at Lamba in Gujarat.

  • The potential that can be tapped at present is limited to around 13,000 MW.

  • But at present 2,483MW is generated through wind which places India in the fifth position globally after Germany, USA, Denmark and Spain.

  • Tamil Nadu has the largest installation of wind turbines in the country in the Muppandal

  • Perungudi area near Kanniyakumari. This is one of the largest concentrations of wind farm capacity at a single location anywhere in the world.

biogas processBio Energy

  • Energy generated from farm or agricultural wastes, agro-industrial wastes, energy plantations etc is known as biomass energy.

  • The potential of biomass power in the country has been estimated at about 19,500 MW. So far a total capacity of 614 MW biomass based power generating system has been installed and a capacity of 643MW are under installation in the country.

  • It is a clean source of energy which improves sanitation, hygiene and the living style of the rural population.

  • The technique is based on the decomposition of organic matter in the absence of air to produce gas.

  • It is used for cooking, and lighting fuel in specially designed stove and lamps respectively.

  • India has a capacity to produce bio-gas to the extent of 25,000 million cubic metres.

  • It produce 7 million tonnes to nitrogen, 3 million tonnes phosphate, 5 million tonnes of potassium, and over 50 million tonnes of compost manure.

  • Uttar Pradesh has the highest potential in bio-gas, followed by Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, and Bihar.

  • The highest production of bio-gas is, however, in the state of Maharashtra (74%) followed by Gujarat (62%) and Karnataka (45%).

  • The development of bio-gas is adversely affected because of the non-availability of cattle dung, water, labour, space, and low temperatures in certain parts of the country, especially during the winter season.

energy tidal processingTidal Energy

  • Energy can also be generated from high tidal waves.

  • India has a very long coastline, more than 6100 km, but the ocean energy production is limited.

  • Some of the important sites identified for generating tidal energy are located in the Gulf of Kuchch and Cambay in Gujarat state and the coast of Kerala.

  • A plant of 150 MW capacity has been installed on Kerala coast.

Geo thermal energy processeing
Geo thermal energy

Geothermal energy

  • The potential of geotherma1 power is very limited in India.

  • The Puga Valley in Jammu and Kashmir, the Manikaran area in Himachal Pradesh, the western slopes of the Western Ghats in Maharashtra and Gujarat, the Narmada-Son Valley, and the Damodar Valley are the main areas which have potential for the generation of thermal energy.

  • But the development of these energy resources is very slow, due to lack of suitable and economically viable technologies.

  • Even so there is no doubt that they would become a reality in not a very distant future.

  • There are prospects of expanding the manufacturing industries and mechanization of agriculture in the nooks and corners of the country.

  • Naturally there will be more demand for energy derived from the non – conventional sources.

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