What is Energy, meaning, definition, types, Sources of Energy

You are currently viewing What is Energy, meaning, definition, types, Sources of Energy

Energy is the engine of the development of any country. Like the whole world, India is also facing an energy crisis, but the geographical location of India gives it a very strong position in terms of non-conventional source of energy, which can be seen as a solution to the energy crisis. Along with this, the Government of India is making commendable efforts both at the national and international level in the field of non-conventional energy to solve this crisis, so that the development of the nation can be accelerated.


The resources which we use in industries for running machines, speeding up the means of transport, mechanizing agriculture and for domestic work, they are called energy or energy resources. Generally there are two forms of energy- conventional energy and non-conventional energy.

1) Conventional Energy The main sources of conventional energy used for energy production are coal and petroleum and natural gas etc. They are also called fossil fuels, because they are made from organic materials in the earth’s womb. This process is completed in millions of years, it is also called non-renewable energy.

2) Non-conventional energy Its major sources are solar energy, wind energy, geothermal energy, tidal energy, hydrogen energy, biomass etc. They are also called renewable energy and they are pollution-free. these

Why the need for non-conventional energy sources in India?

Energy conservation and non-conventional energy sources are the need of the modern times. Conventional sources of energy in India are very limited, which are slowly getting exhausted, but India still needs a huge amount of energy for its continuous development. India has to depend on foreign countries to get the traditional means of energy, that is, it has to be imported, due to which a large part of the Indian budget goes into it. Therefore, in order to reduce the dependence on foreign countries, attention is being paid to another form of energy, non-conventional energy. On one hand India has a huge population, on the other side there are serious problems like environmental pollution and climate change. In such a situation, non-conventional energy can prove to be an important option, because this energy is pollution free.

Sources and government efforts of non-conventional energy in India

Following are the important sources of non-conventional energy in India

Solar energy

Solar energy is the most direct and vast source of energy. India is a tropical region and in most parts of the year, sunshine (sunlight) is available for three hundred days, due to which the country receives about 50,000 trillion kilowatts of solar energy annually. In this way, 20 to 50 MW of solar power per km area can be produced in India by scientific technology from solar energy obtained on a large scale. Rajasthan is an ideal state for the development of solar energy. We get solar energy in two forms, light and heat. It is used in two ways

1) Solar Photovoltaics
2) Solar thermal energy.

Photovoltaic cells convert sunlight directly into electrical energy. These cells are made from pieces of silicon. The major photovoltaic power stations in India are Chananka Solar Park, Neemuch Solar Power Station etc. The Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission, established by the Government of India, has set a target of producing 20 thousand MW of energy by the year 2022. The solar energy obtained from the photovoltaic process is used to run the lighting of the house-building, motor-pump etc.

In the solar thermal process, solar energy is converted into thermal energy, for which various devices are used; Such as-solar stove, solar cooker, solar energy heater etc. The purchase of these pollution free solar power equipment is subsidized by the government. Along with this, special facilities are also given at the government level for setting up solar power plants, food of 4-5 members is prepared in the solar cooker. Huh. One

A new technology for obtaining solar energy is being developed, which serves as a huge energy collector. Under the Ultra Mega Solar Power Park, the Government of India has set a target of setting up at least 25 Mega Solar Parks to achieve the installed capacity of about 20,000 solar power by the year 2020. It has been decided to carry forward the National Solar Mission on the lines of Atomic Energy Commission.

The International Forum for Solar Energy Cooperation was launched in the year 2015 with the contribution of India and France. This organization will bring the nations situated between the Tropic of Cancer and Capricorn on one platform. Its headquarter is in Gurugram (Haryana). Its main objective is to raise about $1000 billion for the global expansion of solar power generation capacity of over 1000 GW and investment in solar energy by 2030. So far 83 countries have signed this international cooperation treaty. Making progress towards solar energy, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicated the 750mw Rewa Solar Power Plant to the nation in Rewa, Madhya Pradesh in July 2020.

Wind power

The energy produced by wind power is called wind energy. Wind-driven windmills are used to draw water from the earth and generate electricity, which is a very cheap and completely non-polluting way of producing energy. In America, about two thousand megawatts of electricity is produced by this method. India also produces electricity of more than 28 thousand MW by this method.

Lamba generates 200 kW from wind-powered power project in Gujarat, 1,500 MW from Mappandal wind farm in Tamil Nadu, and 1,275 MW from Jaisalmer wind farm in Rajasthan. In Maharashtra, Brahmin, Dhalgaon and Chakla wind farms also generate electricity on a large scale. The National Offshore Wind Energy Policy 2015 was approved by the Government of India on 9 September 2015. India has an estimated wind power potential of 48000 MW. India ranks fourth in the world and second in Asia in terms of wind power installed capacity. The first three countries in the world before India are China, America and Germany.

The National Wind Solar Hybrid Policy was released in May, 2018, the main objective of which is to provide for the promotion of large grid connected wind solar photovoltaic hybrid systems. Through this efficient use of wind and solar energy will be made, as well as solar parks are being set up in the country. The world’s largest solar park has been built in Pavagadh, Karnataka.

Water energy

Today, hydroelectric power and dams built on rivers and ocean tides are also being seen as good sources of non-conventional energy around the world. China is the water leader among Asian countries. There are many hydroelectric power plants operating today in India too, which were built during the British rule – in the field of electricity development. Today, electricity up to four thousand MW is being produced in the country through small hydro power plants. The success of projects like Bhakra-Nangal, Damodar Valley, Chambal Valley, Hirakud cannot be denied. Hydroelectricity is created by constructing dams, stopping the flow of water from rivers and dropping it from a height with a strong current. Apart from rivers, non-conventional energy is also obtained from oceans, energy is found in two forms

1) thermal energy from the sun and
2) mechanical energy generated by ocean waves and tides

Ocean heat energy

It can be used for power generation as well as for other purposes. Marine mechanical energy is completely different from ocean thermal energy. In the formation of sea waves and tides, the attraction of the wind and the moon has a special significance. Dams are made to generate electricity from sea storms. The world’s first commercial tidal stream generator has been installed at Strungford Lake. In India, about 5 thousand kilowatts of electricity can be generated from the tides rising on the coast of Kutch, Hooghly and Cambay.

Geothermal energy

In many places under the upper surface of the earth, there are such rocks, under which high level of temperature is found. Due to this heat, we get sources of hot water on the ground surface and volcanoes eject hot lava. In modern times, scientists have been able to get energy from this heat. Geothermal energy is being produced in countries like USA, Indonesia, East Africa, Philippines etc. The potential for geothermal energy in India is about 600 MW. India has 113 hot water sources and 340 potential locations from where geothermal energy can be obtained. Puga Valley in Jammu and Kashmir, Manikarma in Himachal Pradesh, Tatapani in Chhattisgarh are the major potential areas where trials are being conducted.


Biogas is obtained from the excretory substances of living organisms (mainly cattle dung), whose chemical name is methane and the common name is cow dung gas. Microwebs are obtained by running the collected waste materials for its manufacture in a specially made digester at low temperature, which provides energy.

India has the largest number of cattle in the world. Hence, there are immense possibilities of alternatives to biogas. In order to promote biogas by the Government of India, National Project for Biogas Development in the year 1981-82, Unnat Chulha Abhiyan in the year 1983 and Biogas plants have been established in many cities of India (Port Blair, Coimbatore, Mumbai, Delhi etc.) . In the year 2019, the government has started the Gobardhan scheme to promote biogas.


Biofuels are vegetable or oily animal fats, which can be used as fuel when mixed with conventional diesel. It is extracted from the seeds of plants like Mahua, Karanja, Kusum, Dhupa, Undi, Jatropha etc.

The Central Government has planned to use Ratanjyot (Jatropha curcus) seed oil as an alternative to diesel with a view to reduce the burden of petroleum imports. Under this project Ratanjyot saplings will be planted in 8 different states of Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan in a total area of ​​4 lakh hectare.

Similarly, there are other sources of non-conventional energy sources in India; For example, hydrogen energy, gasohol, etc. The formation of the Hydrogen Energy Technical Advisory Committee in India itself in the year 1983.