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Types of Power Resources



Conventional Power Sources

Conventional sources of energy are those which have been in common use for a long time.


Now let us look at the different Conventional Power Sources.


Fire Wood

Firewood is widely used for cooking and heating.


In India almost fifty per cent of the energy used by villagers comes from fire wood.

Fire Wood

Coal, Petroleum, Natural Gas

  • Coal, Petroleum and Natural gas are called Fossil Fuel.
  • Remains of plants and animals which were buried under the earth for millions of years got converted by the heat and pressure into fossil fuels.
  • The reserves of these minerals are limited and are likely to be exhausted soon.


  • Coal is the most abundantly found fossil fuel. The coal which we are using today was formed millions of years ago when giant ferns and swamps got buried under the layers of earth.
  • Coal is therefore referred to as Buried Sunshine.
  • It is used for domestic purposes, such as cooking.
  • Coal is also used in Iron and steel industries.
  • It is used to run steam engines.
  • Electricity is also produced with coal and this energy is called Thermal energy.
  • The leading coal producers of the world are China, USA, Germany, Russia, South Africa and France.
  • The coal producing areas of India are Raniganj, Jharia, Dhanbad and Bokaro in Jharkhand.



Steam Engine


Coal is used to heat water and the steam that escapes from boiling water is used to drive the train.

A Coal Fired Thermal Power Plant



  • Petroleum means rock oil. It is derived from Latin words –Petra meaning rock, oleum meaning oil.
  • Petroleum is found between layers of rocks and is drilled from oil fields located in off-shore and coastal areas.
  • Petroleum that is drilled from the earth is sent to refineries where they are converted into diesel, petrol, kerosene, wax, plastics and lubricants.
  • Petroleum which is very valuable to man is called black gold.
  • This resource is found in limited quantities and is fast depleting.
  • The chief petroleum producing countries are Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. The other major producers are USA, Russia, Venezuela, and Algeria.
  • The leading producers in India are Digboi in Assam, Bombay High in Mumbai and the deltas of Krishna and Godavari rivers.

An Off-Shore Petroleum Rig


Natural Gas

  • Natural gas is found with petroleum deposits and is released when crude oil is brought to the surface.
  • It is used as a domestic and industrial fuel.
  • Russia, Norway, UK and the Netherlands are the major producers of natural gas.
  • In India Jaisalmer, Krishna Godavari delta, Tripura and some areas off shore in Mumbai have natural gas resources.



Extraction of Natural Gas


  • The sharp increase in our consumption of fossil fuels has led to their depletion.
  • Burning of fossil fuels leads to pollution which is endangering our environment.
  • This being the case we are forced to look towards alternate means of energy sources.

Hydel Power

  • Rain water or river water is stored in dams and made to fall from heights.
  • The falling water flows through pipes inside the dam over turbine blades placed at the bottom of the dam.
  • The moving blades then turn the generator to produce electricity.
  • This is called hydro electricity or Hydel power.
  • The water discharged after the generation of electricity is used for irrigation.
  • One fourth of the world’s electricity is produced by Hydel power.
  • The leading producers of Hydel power in the world are Paraguay, Norway, Brazil, and China.
  • Some important Hydel power stations in India are Bhakra Nangal, Gandhi Sagar, Nagarjunsagar and Damodar valley projects.
  • Norway was the first country in the world to develop hydroelectricity.

Hydroelectric Power

Hydroelectric Power


Hydroelectric power plants capture the energy of falling water to generate electricity. A Dam is built to raises the water level of the river to create falling water. A turbine converts the kinetic energy of falling water into mechanical energy. Then a generator converts the mechanical energy from the turbine into electrical energy. Transmission lines Conduct electricity from the hydropower plant to homes and offices.



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