Energy Sources And Their Classification


This is an essential input for economic development and improving the quality of life. It is very difficult to imagine modern living without the use of energy resources. Day by day the consumption of energy has been increasing. It is available in various forms in India.


There are several sources of energy. They are classified in different ways.

One way is to distinguish between commercial and non-commercial sources of energy.

  • The sources of energy used in urban areas are commercial in nature. They may include coal, petroleum, natural gas, cooking gas and electricity.
  • In rural India even today a large number of people use human labour or man power, animal power, animal refuge, farm or crop residue as easily available and relatively inexpensive sources of energy. The scenario in rural areas has been changing for quite sometime.

Another classification of sources of energy is based on their longevity.

  • Mineral Resources
    • includes coal, petroleum, natural gas;
    • radioactive or atomic minerals (uranium, thorium etc.);
    • these are all non-renewable or exhaustible resources;
    • they all cause pollution;
    • represent the stored energy of the sun. Hence they are also called fossil fuels;
  • Non-Mineral Resources
    • includes running water, the sun, wind, tides, hot springs and bio-mass;
    • are inexhaustible or renewable sources of energy;
    • they are pollution free.

Yet another classification of energy is based on conventional and non-conventional sources.

  • Conventional sources includes coal, petroleum, natural gas and running water.
  • Non-conventional sources of energy include sun, wind, tides, hot springs and bio-mass. They are still in the initial stage of experimentation for want of appropriate and viable technology.


Bibliography : NIOS Geography Book



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