Non-conventional energy – UPSC GS1 Geography

What are the different non-conventional sources of energy? Do you think they have been adequately utilized in India? Critically examine. (200 Words)
Non-conventional sources of energy are those which have not been use that frequently in the past unlike conventional sources like coal, oil etc. Different types of non-conventional sources of energy includes solar power, wind energy, biogas, tidal energy, shale gas, coal bed methane, geothermal energy etc. All these sources are renewable or inexhaustible and do not cause environmental pollution
Despite Indian physiography being favourable towards non-conventional with a vast resources of these the share of non-conventional sources to the total energy hovers around 10% which shows their under-utilization. India have not been able to reap the benefits of non-conventional energy owing to following reasons: –
– lack of advanced technology which is required to avail the energy as sources like solar, wind, geothermal requires advanced technology.
– Shortage of capital along with lack of interest shown by foreign investors owing to differences over some laws. Further lack of political will complicates the matter.
– High Cost-benefit ratio of the energy produced from these sources compared to conventional sources and easy availability of conventional sources like coal etc. go against the non-conventional sources
– Delay in land acquisition process have also created hurdles as some of the nonconventional sources like solar, wind power requires huge land area.
Of late the government is moving towards non-conventional sources owing to present energy starved status of the country along with increasing demand for energy and environment concerns. Recent deals with countries like USA, Germany etc. in the field is a step forward in the direction of tapping these non-conventional sources.
Further the Make in India campaign will also help along with initiatives like floating solar cells on canals, rivers which were also praised by the UN General Secretary Ban-Ki-Moon.
It is high time that the country should move forward to non-conventional sources in a larger way by collaborating with technologically advances countries along with making the business environment conducive for foreign investment in the country in order to fill the demand-supply gap without having an imprint on the environment.

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