The below mentioned essay provides an anatomy of the Energy Resources of India. After reading this essay you will learn about: 1. Introduction to Energy Resources 2. Types of Energy Resource in India 3. The Energy Strategy 4. Energy Scenario.

Essay # Introduction to Energy Resources in India:

Energy resources are very much important in the context of economic development of the country. With the growing industrialisation, mechanisation of agriculture, and the development of transportation sector, the demand for energy resources is increasing day by day.

Thus a positive correlation exists between economic growth and demand for energy. Moreover, consumption of energy for domestic uses and public lighting has also been increasing.

In India between 1952-53 to 1987-88 the GDP had increased annually at the rate of 3.7 per cent while the energy consumption had increased at the rate of 6.2 per cent per annum. Inspite of this, the per capita consumption of energy in India is low in comparison to that of developed countries. In India, more than half of the population does not possess the capacity to purchase commercial energy.


Again out of the total energy consumed, about half of it is obtained from non-commercial energy. In India the non­commercial sources of energy, mostly used by rural poor, are obtained from firewood, dung cakes and agricultural waste. But the commercial energy is obtained from oil and natural gas, coal, hydro-electricity and a little volume of nuclear energy.

Essay # Types of Energy Resource in India:

Oil and Coal:

In India the consumption of commercial energy is too much dependent on oil and coal. About 47 per cent of the demand for commercial energy is met through petroleum oil. With the growing oil crisis, the importance of coal has also been realised in the country. Coal has an advantage over other fuels as it can be suitably converted into other types of energy like electricity, oil and gas.

In India, the coal is the principal source of electricity, at present with the significant development of thermal power projects based on coal. About 60 per cent of the total electricity generated in India is available from these coal based thermal power projects. 


Power or electricity is considered as one of the major sources of commercial energy. Power contributed about 28.7 per cent of the total commercial energy consumption of the country in 1987-88. In India, the development of power is progressing at a considerable scale.


If we look at the installed capacity then the total installed generating capacity in India has increased from 2,300 M.W. in 1950 to 2,55,000 MW in 2015 (March).

Essay # The Energy Strategy in India:

Out of this total power generation in India about 60 per cent of it is generated through coal-based thermal power projects. The remaining 40 per cent of electricity is generated through hydro-electricity and atomic energy.

Considering the present power scenario of the country and the present energy crisis, proper steps should be taken for the proper utilisation of huge hydro-power potential of the country, which according to C.E.A. is equivalent to 75,400 M.W., along-with the development of non-conventional energy in the country.

The following elements are incorporated in the new energy strategy of the country:


(i) Accelerated exploitation of domestic conventional energy resources—oil, natural gas, coal, hydro, and nuclear power;

(ii) Proper management of oil demand;

(iii) Substitution of natural gas for oil products;

(iv) Conservation of energy;

(v) Exploitation of renewable sources of energy such as energy forestry and bio-gas, specially for meeting the energy requirements of the rural people; and

(vi) Intensify research and development on the emerging energy technologies.

In India, the shortage of energy is presently working as a major constraint of the industrial development. In view of the serious oil crisis faced at present due to soaring oil price, steps be taken for sustained increase in the production of coal.

Hydro-power potential should also be developed with a sense of urgency. Nuclear power, which is at present contributing a little more than 2 per cent of the total power generated, will have to be exploited with great vigour and urgency.

Moreover, in order to supplement the commercial energy produced in the country through the development of non-conventional energy, the Seventh Plan puts emphasis on “The development and accelerated utilisation of renewable energy sources wherever they are technically and economically viable, to improve the access to and availability of, renewable decentralised energy sources, particularly for the rural population and to reduce environment degradation resulting from deforestation.”


In order to realise these above mentioned objectives, the following efforts should be undertaken:

1. A large number of demonstration projects should be undertaken to popularise these new and renewable sources of non-conventional energy like wind, solar, bio-gas and bio-mass.

2. For developing indigenous technologies in this connection, the Government should support intensive R&D (Research and Development).

3. Attempts have to be made to create demand for this system through government intervention along with appropriate financial incentives as the initial cost of this system of renewable energy is very high.


4. An appropriate infrastructure for manufacturing, installation and servicing of this renewable energy system should be developed for its proper utilisation.

5. A large scale awareness programme should be undertaken to educate the people about the new technologies developed for the efficient utilisation of this system.

6. Lastly, substitution of non-commercial energy sources by commercial fuels should be discouraged and for that energy forestry should be developed.

Essay # Energy Scenario in India:

It is important to look at the present energy scenario of the country vis-a-vis other countries.


Latest finding from the Emerging Economy Report prepared by research and consultancy firm, Center for Knowledge Societies (CKS) shows that emerging economies could play pivotal roles in reducing the growing environmental anxieties worldwide. The report shows that most emerging economies remain for below the energy consumption as well as carbon emission levels of industrialised countries.

India’s per capita energy consumption of 12.6 million BTU and Indonesia’s (21.5) are almost negligible when compared to more economically developed nations like South Korea (170.2 m BTU per capita) and Taiwan (181.5 m BTU).

China’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emission of 2.6 thousand metric tonnes per 1000 people is far below the 10.16 thousand metric tonnes per 1000 people in Germany.

The report has also identified several new energy paradigms that can fundamentally alter the ways in which end consumers access and use energy. Therefore, the new paradigm can dramatically change the adverse environmental effects of increased energy demand in the emerging economies.

The report highlighted that energy scarcity can lead to energy efficiency. To some extent the outstanding and latent demand for energy of most emerging economies, which is never met, can contribute to energy efficiency, at least in economic terms.

It is to the credit of India’s growth process that its energy intensity has fallen over time. In comparison to the rest of the world, particularly the emerging economies of Brazil and China, the use of energy per capita in India remained moderate and it increased at a slower pace.


Table 5.3 will clarify its position.

Energy Use for Selected Countries

Table 5.3 reveals that total use of energy in India was 362 MMTOE in 1990 and then increased to 573 MMTOE in 2004 as compared to that of 1609 MMTOE for China, 205 MMTOE for Brazil, 1245 MMTOE for EMU and 2326 MMTOE for USA. The growth in the use of energy during the period 1990-2004 was 3.3 per cent in India as compared to that of 3.6 per cent in China, 3.2 per cent in Brazil and 1.4 per cent in USA.

However, the energy use per capita (KGOE) in India was 426 KGOE in 1990 increased to 531 KGOE in 2004 as compared to that of 1242 KGOE in China, 1114 KGOE for Brazil, 3906 KGOE for UK, 3990 for EMU and 7921 KGOE in the USA. Considering the huge size of population, the use of energy per capita in India is found to be moderate and its pace in also comparatively slower.

This could partly due to unsatisfied demand arising due to domestic capacity constraints. A large section of India’s population is still not in a position to buy and use any commercial sources of energy due to their poor economic capacity. Major portion of these energy resources are being used by a small section of rich and middle class people of the country.

Thus economic empowerment of this large section of poor people will lead to a huge demand for energy in near future leading to a serious energy crisis in our country. There is also enough evidence of wastage in use of scarce energy resources by the richer and middle class people of the country.


Sudden spurt in the use of private vehicles by these sections of population and the faulty vehicle policy pursued by the Government may lead to a serious energy crisis in near future in the context of shrinking national as well as global reserve of energy.

There is considerable room to improve energy efficiency, especially of motor vehicles and in the generation, transmission and end-use of electricity, commercially viable and economic attractive technology options in use in the developed world, should be considered and adopted.

Finally, wastage in the use of energy, especially in respect of petroleum and electricity needs to be immediately controlled both by pursuing the policy of imposition and awareness for attaining curtailment in consumption in the use of energy resources.

Thus under the present scenario of energy crisis, improving energy efficiency and demand side management measures like encouraging urban mass transport are quite important. Sustaining economic growth is critically dependant on significant supply augmentation and change in the composition of energy use.

Import dependence, for meeting the primary energy demand in the country, has been increasing over a long period since 1990-91 to 2006-07. In order to reduce incremental import dependence of country’s energy requirement in the medium term to long term entails a number of measures.

These include:


(a) Tapping India’s coal reserve with appropriate technology and reforms in the coal sector to increase competition

(b) Mitigating transportation constraints on availability of coal;

(c) Accelerating exploration of oil and gas within the country;

(d) Fully exploiting the nuclear and hydro-potential for power generation; and

(e) Expediting programmes for energy generation through renewable and non-conventional sources. Besides, a steps up of domestic production, the remaining deficit would have to be bridged by entering into strategic geo-political alliances to access the energy assets in the region. There is also a need for regulatory reform to implement open access in power sector to facilitate competition.

Finally, putting a curb on wasteful use of energy, especially in respect of petroleum and electricity is the urgent need of the hour. This needs to be attained by pursuing a rational policy of imposition and awareness for attaining the required curtailment in consumption in use of energy resources and also for pursuing a policy for conservation of energy in real and rational manner.