Causes and Prevention of Energy Crisis in India Essay pdf for UPSC
Energy crisis Essay in India: Energy Crisis and finding a viable solution to this problem have become a great issue in today’s world. India is not the only country facing an energy crisis, but the whole world is facing this situation. Energy intense economies of developing countries such as India, Brazil are following the footsteps of the developed world in energy production with rapidly increasing demand. But, excessive usage and curtailed production of energy have generated an energy crisis in the world. India is also facing a power crisis along with the world. It is an important topic for upcoming exams like UPSC, SSC, State PSCs. We’ve also provided Energy Crisis Essay pdf in 500 words.
Definition of Energy
Energy is the ability to do work, required for all types of activities. When it is said that a body has energy, it means that the body is capable of doing work. In the same way, an engine uses the energy of its fuel to carry on its activity like running a vehicle, factory, generating electricity, etc. A battery stores the energy used to play a radio or tape recorder. But, human needs natural sources of energy like coal, petroleum products, current of rivers and waterfalls to generate electricity for centuries.
Different Sources of Energy
In general, energy is extracted from a source of energy. There is a variety of sources like coal, petrol, diesel, kerosene, natural gas, hydroelectric power, windmills, solar panels, biomass etc. that provide us energy for different purposes.
There are two types of energy sources:
- Non-renewable Energy
- Renewable Energy
What is a renewable energy source?
Renewable energy sources are the source of energy that is constantly replenished.
Renewable energy sources are inexhaustible. These energy sources are not only environment-friendly but also available in abundance. Solar Energy, Wind Energy, Hydroelectric Energy, Geothermal Energy, Tidal Power of Ocean, Biomass, Hydrogen are various resources of renewable energy.
Renewable sources are often termed green energy and clean energy.
What is a non-renewable energy source?
The energy sources which cannot be replenished, are called “non-renewable” energy sources. Thus, these are limited resources that will eventually run out over time.
There are mainly two types of non-renewable energy resources: fossil fuels and nuclear fuels.
Fossil Fuels: Fossil Fuels are formed by the remains of animals and plants, buried underneath the earth billions of years ago. Over 85% of global energy demands are met from fossil fuels. Fossil fuels are of three categories: Petroleum, Coal, Natural Gas.
Nuclear Fuels: Radioactive atoms of a few elements such as radium and uranium act as a source of energy.
What is Energy Crisis?
An energy crisis is a global situation in which countries suffer from frequent disruptions in energy supplies due to limited natural resources that are used to power industrial societies. An energy crisis is also accompanied by rapidly increasing energy prices that threaten the economic and social development of a nation.
The energy crisis is a shortage in the supply of energy resources to an economy.
Various Causes of the Energy Crisis in the World
Here are some important reasons behind the Causes of the World Energy Crisis:
- Overconsumption of energy results in different strains on natural resources, like fossil fuels.
- Overpopulation is another cause of the energy crisis. As the world’s population is increasing, its demands for fuel and products are increasing too.
- Poor infrastructure of power generating equipment is another reason for the low production of power.
- Renewable energy resources remain unused in most countries. The problem of the energy crisis cannot be solved, if we don’t give renewable energy serious attention. Renewable energy sources can reduce the energy crisis as well as greenhouse gas emissions.
- There is a significant delay in the commissioning of new power plants in a few countries. A new power plant can fill the gap between demand and supply of energy. As a result, old plants come under huge stress to supply the daily power demand. When the power supply doesn’t match demand, it results in load-shedding and power breakdown.
- Wastage of energy is a serious issue towards conserving energy in most parts of the world. Simple habits like switching off fans and lights in no use, using daylight, walking instead of using transportation services for short distances, etc can show a way of saving energy.
- Natural calamities like the eruption of volcanoes, floods, earthquakes can cause interruptions to energy supplies.
- Wars between countries also hamper the supply of energy. It is especially seen in Middle East countries like Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, Kuwait, UAE, or Qatar. During the 1990s, the Gulf war was triggered as the price of oil reached its peak causing global shortages and creating major problems for energy consumers.
- Tax hikes, strikes, military coups, political events, severe hot summers or cold winters can cause a sudden increase or decrease in demand for energy supply.
- Greenflation: Countries are pushing hard for a green economy or renewable energy-dependent economy. And this transition is accompanied by strict regulations on traditional energy sources, mining etc. For example, China pledged for a 65% reduction in its emissions by 2030 & has put stringent regulations on coal mining. The U.K. already has become heavily dependent on wind energy. These tightened regulations are making investors obliged to under-invest in traditional energy as well as mining. As a consequence the supply of the elements like copper, aluminium and lithium is getting hurt, eventually, the price-rise of the elements is encountered. These elements are extremely important for renewable technologies like Solar, hydroelectric or wind energy. This unwelcomed phenomenon is termed “Greenflation“.
What are the causes of energy crisis in India?
Availability, of both coal and oil as resources of energy, are very limited and will be finished beyond a few decades. Around 85 per cent of the world’s energy supply is fulfilled from oil, coal and natural gas. Coal accounts for over 70% of India’s energy production. Moreover, these non-renewable energy resources create environmental problems by defecating carbons. In India, the situation of generally used non-renewable energy resources is getting harsh. Even if there are more coal was in storage, the increasing gap between the demand and supply of energy in India can never be bridged. In rural India, villagers are forced to spend from two to six hours gathering fuel for daily household cooking needs. Moreover, the Indian Government has taken many actions against deforestation and pollution. So, there is lesser reliance on firewood. Here are the basic reasons behind over energy crisis:
- Our over-dependence on limited and non-renewable sources of energy such as coal and oil deposits.
- The increasing gap between demand and supply of energy.
- The increasing prices of the energy and fuel, imported from other countries.
- Unavailability of proper infrastructure and lack of investment in using alternative and renewable sources of energy, such as solar energy, wind energy, bio-energy, etc.
Impact of Covid-19 on power sector in India
Covid-19 pandemic and Energy Crisis in India is directly coupled.
The Indian government issued the first lockdown in March 2020 to combat the increasing number of COVID-19 cases. The decision caused energy consumption in India to plummet drastically. However, once the lockdown relaxed, energy consumption started to recover. The companies, factories all over the country that faced a huge loss in 2020, are gearing up to recover the loss and thus pushing hard for more productivity and profitability, eventually causing huge energy consumption in the period.
The pandemic amplified the poor power infrastructure in India. The initial energy crisis in India has even widened due to two more factors.
- One of the factors is the rainy season just in the middle of the crisis. The rainy season and floods in the critical areas made coal transportation more difficult, causing a rise in the price of domestic coal production.
- The festive season in India amidst the crisis is the second factor that exacerbated the menace. During the festive season, power consumption tends to reach its peak.
What are the effects of energy crisis?
- Environmental Effect: The production of energy is produced by the burning of non-renewable fossil fuels affect the global resources of fossil fuels and the environment. The combustion of fossil fuels releases greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide. These gases generate global warming by preventing the release of the short rays of the sun by night. Thus, the energy production with the non-renewable sources during the energy crisis promotes global warming.
- Economical Effect: Increasing use of fossil fuels generate a price hike. This phenomenon creates a huge economic disturbance in India as well as across the globe. Besides, the failure of the energy markets, we had seen a crash in both the global economy and on the energy available. Even the generation of energy from renewable sources is not very simple and cost-effective.
- Moreover, the tourism industry is largely dependent on fuel prices. With the increase in fuel prices, there is an increase in the costs of tourism as well, creating a bottleneck in the tourism industry.
- Political Disturbances: The energy crisis makes the life of common people miserable, which creates some socio-economic disturbances in the respected country.
Solution to Energy Crisis
- The best possible solution is to use various types of renewable energies such as steam, solar, and wind. The major concern of non-renewable energy sources is to pollute the atmosphere and destroy other natural resources. Renewable energy sources are quite pollution-free in comparison.
- The use of energy-efficient products can save energy and prevent an energy crisis.
- Energy simulation software is being used by big corporates and corporations to reduce running business energy consumption and carbon footprint.
- The energy audit is a process that helps you to identify the overuse and misuse of energy and take necessary steps to improve energy efficiency. An energy audit can reduce your carbon footprint and save energy and money.
- There is a strong need for the implementation of public-private partnership models to play a key role in generating power and being more supportive to the environment.
- The central government must help states to solve water disputes.
Conservation of Energy:
In the situation of an energy crisis, we can start the conservation of energy in our homes. Here are some important tips for saving energy. These are only some of the habits that can save a lot of energy:
- Switch off lights, fans and other appliances when not in use. Water taps should not be left open.
- Use of solar cooker while cooking instead of cooking gas.
- The use of LED or CF light is much more power-efficient than traditional power sources like tube light or bulbs. Bulbs are being phased out in some countries.
- Fuel-efficient vehicles should be in use.
India’s Energy Consumption:
The International Energy Agency (IEA) has explored the opportunities and challenges ahead for India as it seeks to ensure reliable, affordable and sustainable energy for a growing population, in its India Energy Outlook 2021 Report.
- India’s oil demand: India’s oil demand is seen rising by 74%. According to the data, India needs 8.7 million barrels per day by 2040. If we take into account both the import of crude oil and the export of oil products, the net dependence on oil imports will increase to more than 90%.
- Gas Demand: India has the fastest-growing market for Natural gas. The demand for natural gas will be more than triple by 2040. India’s dependency on natural gas imports has increased from 20% in 2010 to around 50% in 2019 and is considered to grow more than 60% in 2040.
- Coal Demand: Coal is mostly used in India’s electricity sector. The current demand for coal in India is at 590 million tonnes and is set to rise to 772 million tonnes in 2040.
India’s current situation on Energy Crisis:
Coal shortage in India 2021
India’s energy consumption depends on coal (52%), gas (6.5%), hydro (12%), wind, solar and others (26%). In October 2021, there is a power crisis being generated in India as a critical low coal stock is detected. As a result, India is facing an electricity shortage. This coal shortage has impacted power generation in many states like Gujarat, Punjab, Rajasthan, Delhi and Tamil Nadu. Power consumption in the last two months has been increased by around 17%, compared to that of 2019. In the international market, coal prices have hit record highs due to the growing global demand. India is the world’s second-largest importer of coal after China, but it is hard to import coal because the transportation costs are getting elevated due to a higher demand for shipping and congestions at ports as the world economy is recovering slowly from the pandemic.
Steps taken by the Government of India to tackle energy crisis
- India has put stress on renewable energy sources to curb the energy crisis. India has focused on manufacturing solar panels under the Atma Nirbhar Bharat initiative.
- India’s largest floating solar photo-voltaic project has been initiated at its Simhadri thermal station in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh.
- NITI Aayog and World Resources Institute, India have launched Forum for Decarbonizing Transport, under Nationally Determined Contributions Transport Initiative for Asia (NDC-TIA) project.
- National Thermal Power Corporation Limited (NTPC) Renewable Energy Ltd (REL) is taking various advanced steps towards making hydrogen an alternative to fossil fuels.
- PM Narendra Modi has launched the first-ever National Infrastructure Masterplan “Pradhan Mantri Gati Shakti”. India announced to be energy independent by 2047 by replacing petroleum with other forms of energy and announced a National Hydrogen Mission, under this project.
- The Prime Minister of India also announced to increase renewable energy capacity to 225 GW from 87.7 GW.
- For a well-planned road map to achieve India’s clean energy goals, NITI Aayog is coming up with Energy Vision 2035.
- Automobiles are major consumers of petroleum products like petrol, diesel. So, an effort can be made by increasing the mileage standards of automobiles. This move can make a sincere effort to conserve energy.
- The Indian economy has a great dependency on agriculture. As a way forward, India has a more ingenious solution to produce ethanol and biofuel from sugarcane and vegetable oils. With these initiatives to solve the problem of the energy crisis, an ‘energy conservation approach’ in our daily life can be built.
Conclusion: Energy Crisis in India
Developing countries like India are getting entangled in the paradox of Climate change and the Energy Crisis. The Government of India needs to act fast to tackle the crisis, or else the energy shortages will ripple through the economy with severe consequences. Robust change in policies regarding the Indian power sector is the need of the hour and India will need a whole host of technologies to chart this new way and make sure that not a single citizen of India is left behind.
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In this article, you have learned what is energy crisis how can it be prevented.
You can read the Frequently Asked Questions regarding the topic: Energy Crisis in India for UPSC, State PSCs
The energy crisis is a shortage in the supply of energy resources to an economy.
Overconsumption of energy, Overpopulation, Poor infrastructure of power generating equipment, Wastage of energy, Natural calamities, Greenflation etc.
Shortage of non-renewable energy to an economy is termed as the energy crisis. The energy crisis could be prevented by the adoption of non-renewable energy sources with proper infrastructure planning and smoother policy implementation. The immediate way to prevent an existing energy crisis could be the import coal from other countries.
If you have any questions regarding this Energy Crisis Article, drop your question in the comment section.