Energy is a basic requirement for economic development. Every sector of the national economy – agriculture, industry, transport, commercial and domestic – needs inputs of energy. The economic development plans implemented since Independence necessarily required increasing amounts of energy to remain operational. The energy resources can be divided into two types- Renewable energy resources: It includes Biomass, Wind, Hydro-power, Geothermal and Solar sources. It can be used again and again. Non- renewable energy resources: It is that energy which is extracted from from the fossil fuels (coal, crude oil, natural gas) and uranium.
Energy is a basic requirement for economic development. Every sector of the national economy – agriculture, industry, transport, commercial and domestic – needs inputs of energy. The economic development plans implemented since Independence necessarily required increasing amounts of energy to remain operational. As a result, consumption of energy in all forms has been steadily rising all over the country. In this background, there is an urgent need to develop a sustainable path of energy development. Promotion of energy conservation and increased use of renewable energy sources are the twin planks of sustainable energy. The energy resources can be divided into renewable and non-renewable resources.
• Renewable energy resources: It includes Biomass, Wind, Hydro-power, Geothermal and Solar sources. It can be used again and again.
• Non- renewable energy resources: It is that energy which is extracted from from the fossil fuels (coal, crude oil, natural gas) and uranium. Fossil fuels are mainly made up of Carbon. It is believed that fossil fuels were formed over 300 million years ago, when the earth was a lot different in its landscape.
India is presently one of the least energy efficient countries in the world. We have to adopt a cautious approach for the judicious use of our limited energy resources. For example, as concerned citizens we can do our bit by using public transport systems instead of individual vehicles; switching off electricity when not in use, using power-saving devices and using non-conventional sources of energy. After all, “energy saved is energy produced”.
Power and Energy are two essential inputs for economic development and improving the quality of life in India. Development of conventional forms of energy for meeting the growing energy needs of society at a reasonable cost is the responsibility of the Government. This section focuses on the growth of both conventional and non-conventional form of energy in the country. Details of the schemes, policies, reports, statistics related to the sector are available. Special initiatives by the Union and state governments to promote the non-conventional/alternate/new and renewable sources of energy such as solar, wind and bio-energy, etc., are also mentioned.
Distribution of Minerals
Minerals occur in different types of rocks. Some are found in igneous rocks, some in metamorphic rocks while others occur in sedimentary rocks. Generally, metallic minerals are found in igneous and metamorphic rock formations that form large plateaus. Iron-ore in north Sweden, copper and nickel deposits in Ontario, Canada, iron, nickel, chromites and platinum in South Africa are examples of minerals found in igneous and metamorphic rocks. Sedimentary rock formations of plains and young fold mountains contain non-metallic minerals like limestone. Limestone deposits of Caucasus region of France, manganese deposits of Georgia and Ukraine and phosphate beds of Algeria are some examples. Mineral fuels such as coal and petroleum are also found in the sedimentary strata.
China and India have large iron ore deposits. The continent produces more than half of the world’s tin. China also leads in production of lead, antimony and tungsten. Asia also has deposits of manganese, bauxite, nickel, zinc and copper.
Europe is the leading producer of iron-ore in the world. The countries with large deposits of iron ore are Russia, Ukraine, Sweden and France. Minerals deposits of copper, lead, zinc, manganese and nickel are found in eastern Europe and European Russia.
The mineral deposits in North America are located in three zones: the Canadian region north of the Great Lakes, the Appalachian region and the mountain ranges of the west. Iron ore, nickel, gold, uranium and copper are mined in the Canadian Shield Region, coal in the Appalachians region. Western Cordilleras have vast deposits of copper, lead, zinc, gold and silver
Brazil is the largest producer of high grade iron-ore in the world. Chile and Peru are leading producers of copper. Brazil and Bolivia are among the world’s largest producers of tin. South America also has large deposits of gold, silver, zinc, chromium, manganese, bauxite, mica, platinum, asbestos and diamond. Mineral oil is found in Venezuela, Argentina, Chile, Peru and Columbia.
Africa is rich in mineral resources. It is the world’s largest producer of diamonds, gold and platinum. South Africa, Zimbabwe and Zaire produce a large portion of the world’s gold. The other minerals found in Africa are copper, iron ore, chromium, uranium, cobalt and bauxite. Oil is found in Nigeria, Libya and Angola.
Australia is the largest producer of bauxite in the world. It is a leading producer of gold, diamond, iron ore, tin and nickel. It is also rich in copper, lead, zinc and manganese. Kalgoorlie and Coolgardie areas of western Australia have the largest deposits of gold
The geology of Antarctica is sufficiently well known to predict the existence of a variety of mineral deposits, some probably large. Significant size of deposits of coal in the Transantarctic Mountains and iron near the Prince Charles Mountains of East Antarctica is forecasted. Iron ore, gold, silver and oil are also present in commercial quantities.