Non Conventional Sources of Energy Upsc

Non-conventional sources of energy

Non Conventional sources of energy are the ones which are renewable, eco-friendly, pollution-free and they are alternative to conventional energy sources such as Coal, Petroleum etc. Examples are Wind, Solar, Hydro, Tidal-Wave, Biomass Energy etc.

Use of Non-conventional Sources of Energy

India heavily depends on Thermal Power, which uses Fossil fuels as its energy source. This creates huge environmental and as well as health effects to all the living beings.

The gases released by thermal power plant are Sulphur Dioxide (SO ), Carbon Monoxide (CO), Oxides of Nitrogen (NOx) and Ozone (O) and also Suspended Particulate Matter (SPM), Lead and Non-Methane Hydrocarbons.

Also, Hydropower Power, even though its Non-conventional energy sources, still its largely affects the environment as Huge forest were destroyed for the construction of dams.

Due to such environmental effects, the need of hour is Non-Convention Sources of Energy.

Solar Power

Solar Panel producing solar energy: Non-Conventional Sources of energy Upsc
Solar Panels for producing electricity By Abengoa Solar – Abengoa Solar, CC BY 1.0,

Solar Power is produced by using solar panel, which is a large number of Photovoltaic cell or solar cell which are arranged in a particular manner to yield maximum power.

The Terrace of homes and offices can be effectively used to produce Solar energy using Solar Panels and Solar inverters. These systems designed to reduce the electricity bills and also one could earn money by giving the excess electricity produced at Home or Office to the Local Power Distribution Centre or EB.

Solar Power is the fast-growing sector in India as India has a huge advantage over it. Tamil Nadu state has the highest installed solar capacity in India. (Kindly Check the Latest One)

Tamil Nadu’s total installed solar energy is 1697 MW.

The Solar thermal energy programme is being implemented by the Ministry of Non-Conventional Energy Source (MNES) and its main objective is market development, commercialisation and utilisation of heat energy in Industries, Institutions and domestic applications.

Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh are the major solar power producers.

Hydro power

Dams Producing Hydro Electricity By allen watkin, CC BY-SA 2.0,

Hydro Power is one, where the power is generated using the free-flowing water from the Hills, Dams etc. This is regarded as one of the most economical and environmentally friendly methods of power generation. Still it has its own disadvantages, as the construction of dams needs a large area and mostly forest is cleared build such reservoirs and also Hydropower is seasonal as most of the rivers in India are non-perennial.

This method contributes 7% of global power production and the cost of production is also relatively low which makes it a good renewable energy method.

In India, the nodal agency for Hydro Power production is NHPC Limited which is an Indian government hydropower board under the ownership of the Ministry of Power, Government of India that was incorporated in the year 1975 and the first hydroelectric power station in India is established in 1987 at Darjeeling.

Distribution of Hydro Electric Power

  • River of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Nagaland and Tripura accounts for 30.4%
  • Eastward flowing rivers of peninsular India – 20.9%,
  • Westward flowing rivers of the Western Ghats (South of the Tapti) – 10.5%
  • The Ganga Basin – 11.7%
  • Indus Basin – 16%
  • The rivers of central India – 10.5%

Wind Energy

Will Mill Producing Electricity By Matthew T Rader,, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Wind Mills are erected, to harvest the energy from the natural Air Flow using the Wind Turbines. It is a cheap source of power, plentiful, renewable, clean, eco-friendly and does not give out any unwanted gases such as greenhouse gas during its operation.

Apart from producing electricity, wind energy is used for pumping water and Sail propel ships.

As these Winds Mill occupy less space, a number of Wind Mill unit can be built in a small area. In India, Tamil Nadu has the largest installation, Muppandal-Perungudi area, near Kanniyakumari has the largest concentration of wind farm capacity in a single location in the world.

In 1986, development of wind power in India began. The first wind farm was set up in the coastal areas of Okha, Gujarat, Ratnagiri in Maharashtra and Thoothukudi in Tamil Nadu with 55 KW Vestas Wind Turbines.

The wind energy production capacity has increased greatly in the past few years and currently, India is the fourth-largest producer of Wind Energy in the World. The National Institute of Wind Energy (NIWE), Chennai was established in Tamil Nadu in 1998 as an autonomous institution under the administrative control of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.

CIWE main activities include resource assessment and testing & certification.

d) Biomass Energy

The Bioenergy are obtained by the bio-degradable materials such as Animal dung, Kitchen waste, Water Hyacinth, agricultural residue and other wastes etc. Biomass energy is a clean and cheap source of energy.

At the moment India has a high potential to obtain energy from biomass and it is estimated about 18 GW of power can be obtained from biomass in India. And Currently, 32% of the total primary energy used in India is obtained from Biomass.

Currently the energy derived from the biomass is mostly used for domestic purposes.

e) Tidal and wave Energy

Tidal Power Plant By Kches16414 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Ocean tides and Ocean waves are the two main sources of Ocean energy and it is estimated that India has 8,000-9,000 MW potential on its coasts. The gulf of Cambay or Gulf of Khambhat in the Arabian Sea in Gujarat is the most suited area for tidal energy with a potential 7,000 MW.

And Followed by by the Gulf of Kachch with potential of 1,000MW and Sunderbans with the potential of 100MW.

At present, a 900mw tidal power plant is proposed to be set up in the Gulf of Kachch region. Also, Wave energy potential in India is estimated to be 40,000 MW. A wave energy power plant of 150 KW(maximum) has been installed at V-izhinjam near Thiruvananthapuram.

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* * All the Notes in this blog, are referred from Tamil Nadu State Board Books and Samacheer Kalvi Books. Kindly check with the original Tamil Nadu state board books and Ncert Books.
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