As Science has made progress and civilization has advanced, human-being’s control over nature has been more and more supreme. Human-being has harnessed the forces of nature into his service.
Heavier, gigantic, and more complicated tasks are accomplished by the use of motive power or energy.
Power really means any kind of force. However, in modern times the word is used to stand merely for such mechanical energy as is used for driving engines and machinery.
In fact, mechanical energy is now so extensively used. H.P is being used in various countries of the world for all purposes including railways, factories, shipping, light, etc.
Power is the fuel of the productive furnace. The supply of cheap fuel in a country is important for the rapid promotion of industries, development of transport facilities, for lighting cities and towns, for coal-mining, ore refining and for several other sundry purposes.
Cheap motive power is one of the secrets of successful industrial development. India is gifted by Nature in respect of power resources. The distribution of the natural resources of a country for generating energy mainly determines the establishment of industries in particular places. This is particularly true of those industries, in the case of which the cost of fuel for power and heat largely enters into the cost of production of the finished commodity.
The countries of the world supply their power mainly from coal, wood-fuel, oil, petroleum, wind, and water. The coal has occupied a pre-eminent position so far. In recent times, nuclear energy is emerging as a promising source of electrical energy.
It is true that the coalfields are the regions where manufacturing is most largely carried on, and consequently they are densely populated.
Hence, the application of electricity to industries became important.
Electricity is not an additional source of power. It is a modern means of making available already existing sources. This energy or current can be utilized in many ways:
- it serves to transmit messages by telegraph or telephone,
- it is used for lighting purposes,
- it is employed to extract metals from their ores, or
- it causes a wheel to revolve an electric motor that can work any kind of machine.
The current can be transmitted through a wire for many miles at very small cost. The electrical energy is either distributed to surrounding points or transmitted to a distance.