Let us discuss the position of the various sources of energy that are uses in India. Coal and other fossil fuels are widely used. Beside fossil fuels, the use of water, wind and nuclear energy energy is also growing fast.
Coal: Coal is not only the most important source of power, but also the most important mineral product of this country. Its production has been steadily increasing.
A large quantity of coal is obtained from the Gondwana system. The important mines of India, namely, Jharia, Raniganj, and Giridih are situated in this system.
Water: Waterpower or hydroelectric energy is fast becoming a serious rival to coal in India. India is a large producer of water-based energy or hydroelectric energy.
Hydro-electric development is taking place in almost all parts of the country. However, there are two main difficulties to be encountered:
- The initial cost of installation is very heavy. In some cases, even the cost of transmission also becomes very heavy owing to vast distances.
- The second difficulty is that of securing adequate consumption before many promising schemes can become successful.
Still, water-power offers immense possibilities. There are many falls in the Himalayas, from which electrical energy can easily be generated.
One special feature of our hydro-electrical development can be the utilization of this energy, by agriculture and small cottage industries, in the surrounding areas of the sources of water-power.
Nuclear Power plants: In these cases, the chief source of energy is uranium. They are supposed to be environment friendly since there is no emission of greenhouse gases. However, the high initial cost and the problem of safely storing the radio-active wastes are its disadvantages.
Other Sources: Wood-fuel is largely used for domestic consumption. The value of wind-power in India is very small, owing to the lightness of prevailing winds except along the seacoast and on the Deccan uplands.