Review of India’s Energy Resources
Commercial and Non- Commercial Energy Resources
(i) Coal and Lignite:
It has been considered as the major source of energy in India. It can be easily converted into other forms of energy such as electricity, gas and oil. The total estimate resources of coal are now placed at 1, 48, 79 million tonnes, but the mineable reserves are estimated to be 60,000 million tonnes i.e. on 40% of the total coal reserves. Lignite is brown coal with lesser amount of energy than black coal. In 1950-51, production of coal and lignite in India was 32.3 million tonnes which increased to 413 million tonnes in 2004-05.
(ii) Oil and Gas:
Demand for fossil fuels grew rapidly with the growth of the industrial sector and transport services. Crude oil production has constantly, been increasing since the beginning of economic plans in India. After Independence, the Government of India felt the need for oil exploration on an extensive scale, and therefore, the Oil and Natural Gas Commission (ONGC) was set up in 1956, an( in 1959, Oil India Limited (OIL) was established.
Total recoverable reserves of oil are estimated at 550 million tonnes and those of gas are estimated at 500 billion cubic tonnes, Production of crude oil is estimated in 200 05 at about 34 million tonnes. Coal and other fossil fuels play the most important role in the generation of the thermal power.
(iii) Hydroelectric power:
It plays an important role in the filed of power development in country, our country has made considerable progress in the field of hydroelectricity power generation.
(iv) Atomic or Nuclear Power:
India has also developed nuclear power. Uranium and thorium are both sources of nuclear power generation. India’s uranium reserves have been estimated to be of the order of about 70,000 tonnes, which is equal to 120 billion tonnes of coal. Similarly, our thorium reserves of 3, 60,000 tonnes would be equivalent to 600 billion tonnes of coal.
(b) Non-commercial Energy Sources:
It is required for cooking purposes. The total fuel wood consumption has been estimated at about 223 million tons in 2001- 02.
(ii) Agricultural wastes:
It is used how for cooking purposes. Agriculture wastes are also used as feed and fodder for animals, roofing materials in Katcha houses. It has been estimated that for fuel alone, the consumption of agricultural wastes was around 65 million tons in 2001.
(iii) Animal dung:
The dried dung of animals is commonly used as fuel in rural India. Out of the total estimated production of 324 million tonnes of animal dung, nearly 73 million tonnes (22.5%) is burnt as fuel every year.