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Energy has always been closely linked to man’s economic growth and development. We use energy for household use, agriculture, production of industrial goods and for running transport. Modern agriculture uses chemical fertilizers, which require large amounts of energy during their manufacture. The industry uses energy to power manufacturing units and the urban complexes that support it. Energy-demanding roads and railway lines are built to transport products from place to place and to reach raw materials in mines and forests. There is a growing need of energy consumption world over.

There are two types of energy: 1. Non-renewable energy and 2. Renewable energy

Non-Renewable Energy – Non-renewable, or ‘dirty’ energy includes fossil fuels such as coal, gas, and oil. Non-renewable energy is made by burning fossil fuels. These sources of energy are available in limited amounts and take a long time to replenish. These are formed since prehistoric times from plants and foraminiferans (animals) under the earth due to intense temperature and pressure. These energy sources are typically found in specific parts of the world, making them more plentiful in some nations than others.

Fossil Fuels – Fossil fuels are at present the major source of energy. These are found in the lithosphere (earth). Their demand is increasing with industrialization and urbanization. Fossil fuels include coal, oil, and natural gas. These are non-renewable, exhaustible, and finite resources.

  1. Oil and Natural gas – Oil and Natural gas reserves are confined to a few Countries and are limited. Most cars, trains and planes use oil and natural gas as energy. These may exhaust in 15 to 20 years. Natural gas is a comparatively pollution-free source of energy. The fossil fuels are essential for the modern technology-based human society. They are used in kitchens, industry, agricultural operations, thermal plants, automobiles, rail engines, planes, ships, communication, defence, medical purposes, heating, etc.
  2. Coal – Coal reserves are widespread and abundant. However, if not used ‘sustainably’ can be depleted more quickly than they can be renewed. They are found in many countries, including Japan, China, Russia, U.K., U.S.A., Poland, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, Libya, Indonesia, and India. In India, coal occurs in Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Jharkhand, Bengal, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, and Meghalaya. Coal may be used as such or converted into liquid fuel (oil) and Methane gas. Use of oil and coal pollutes the air and can endanger the environment and human health.

Besides energy, the fossil fuel yields many useful materials, such as petroleum products (gasoline, benzine, kerosine, paraffin, etc.). In view of its utility, every country is exploring its own fossil fuel. There is very unequal distribution of energy sources among different nations and among different economic sections of a nation. The developed (industrialized) nations form only 30% of the world’s population but utilize about 80% of the global energy and obtain this energy from fossil fuels.

Conservation Of Fossil Fuel:

Growing consumption and non-renewability of fossil fuel strongly necessitate the conservation of this natural resource. The following measures can help in this effort –

  • Use of oil should be minimized to save it for future use.
  • Personal automobiles should be used only when unavoidable.
  • Public conveyance should be availed of as far as possible.
  • Over-consumption of oil in automobiles should be checked by keeping the engines in a good working order.
  • Decrease in the consumption of oil will also reduce air pollution resulting from burning of oil.
  • More energy efficient appliances should be developed to reduce wastage.
  • All oil installations should be well protected from fire. Fire not only results in the wastage of oil and in pollution, but also leads to loss of life and property.
  • Search for new oil reserves, on shore as well as off shore, should continue more earnestly and effectively.
  • Alternative sources of energy, such as hydroelectric, nuclear, solar, wind power, etc. should be established.
  • Use of biogas plants should be encouraged.
  • More fuel wood trees and shrubs should be grown as a mass campaign.
  • Population growth should be controlled to check increase in energy requirement,
  • We should use less energy and avoid wastage of energy.
  • Lights and fans should be turned on only when needed.
  • Smokeless and fuel efficient chulhas should be adopted. This will not only save energy but will also promote health.
  • Public should be educated about the need and modes for energy saving.

Name : Dr. Shobha Shrivastava

Designation : Associate Professor

Department : Zoology

Email ID :