Energy and Energy Crisis

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Energy is the amount of power required to do a work. It is required to run every sectors of economy whether it is Agricultural sector, Industrial Sector or Service sectors. Energy is a medium of prosperity for many countries such as Saudi Arabia, Quatar etc.

Sources of Energy 

Energy is obtained from variety of sources, which can be classified in to two groups. I. Contemporary Sources, and  II. Potential Sources

Contemporary Sources 

Those sources from which energy is used today and most of the energy requirements are fulfilled from which are called as Contemporary Sources.
Example:- Coal, Crude Oil, Uranium, Natural gases etc.

Potential Sources

Sources which are not in much use today but have potential to satisfy human beings in future are called as Potential Sources.
Example:- Solar Energy, Earth's interior heat, Tidal waves, Hydrogen, Ethanol etc.

World's almost 80% Coal and Crude are extracted in Northern Hemisphere while world's 80% potential Hydro-electricity sources are in Southern Hemisphere.

World Energy Consumption Pattern

Energy consumption is an indicator of the Standard of Living and Development of economy. Hence we can say that less developed countries have lesser per capita energy consumption than the developed countries, which consumes much higher energy. 
Countries Per Capita Energy Consumption
USA 40×India
Russia 25×India
UK 20×India
Japan 16×India
China 3×India
India 5×Bangladesh
India 5×Ethiopia

World Energy consumption has increased exponentially after the First Industrial Revolution and increasing till today. The Energy Demand is constantly increasing 5% per annum, which is even much higher for developed countries.

Sector Wise Energy Consumption Pattern

Energy Consumption for different sectors of economy, varies significantly Industrial (Secondary) Sector consumes highest Energy which is followed by Agricultural Sector and then Service Sector.
Since Industrial Sector required to run big machines to operate their business, hence it consumes highest amount of energy.
While the agricultural sectors requires little less energy than Industrial sector and service sector require even much lesser energy to operate it's business.
  • Industrial Sector>Agricultural Sector>Service Sector

Latitudinal Energy Consumption Pattern

The energy consumption of the countries of Middle and Higher latitudes are highest and mostly for non-productive work like heating and cooling.

Energy Crisis

It is situation in which demand of energy becomes more than that of supply. It makes oil prices unaffordable due to increase in prices.
Note:- Energy Crisis does not mean Energy Scarcity.

Causes of Energy Crisis

Energy Crisis occur due to mismatch in either Demand side or Supply side and even both.

Demand Side

  1. Over population.
  2. Over consumption.
  3. Weather Extremes.
  4. Elevation in Standard of Living.
  5. Industrialisation.

Supply side 

  1. Political Crisis (Ex-OPEC).
  2. Sanctions (Ex- By USA on Iran). 
  3. Over exploitation.
  4. Old/Outdated technology. 
  5. Wars (Ex- Iraq attacked on Quatar).
  6. Trade Union/Workers strike.
  7. Government Policies (Ex-Taxes).
  8. Increase in transportation costs.
  9. World Health and Economic Crisis.

Concerns of Energy Crisis

  • In the next 100 year, about all extractable sources of energy i.e. coal, crude oil, natural gases and uranium-235 etc. will be vanished from the Earth.
  • The oil dependency in coming years will be more than 91% according to World Energy Outlook Report.
  • The infrastructural load of mega cities causes further stress.
  • The set up cost of Renewable Energy sources of is very high.

Concerns in India

  • India is the Sixth largest country in the world in terms of Energy Demand.
  • Very high demand of energy but supply is not that great.
  • Very  low and stagnant local production of crude oil and more than 90% oil is imported.
  • Coal reserves are good but not much good in quality.
  • The India's share in Crude oil production in foreign countries is also very low.
  • India's projects in South China Sea by ONGC-Videsh and Vietnam Government is on risk due to Chinese aggression.
  • Uranium resources in the country is very less. Thorium is present but we can not use it because  we lack in technology to use Thorium to produce electricity. 
  • USA's Sanctions on Iran affected India's import of crude oil from Iran.

History of Major Crises in Crude Oil Sector in the World

  1. 1970:- Supply cut by OPEC lead to energy crisis lead to energy crises and rise in the prices.
  2. 1990:- The attack of Iraq on Quatar lead to disturbance in the region which resulted in major crisis of crude oil.
  3. 2005-08:- Supply cut by OPEC,  which increased the prices of the crude oil.

Possible Solutions of Energy Crisis

  • Best solution is to adopt renewable sources of Energy such as Solar Energy, Wind Energy etc. These not only reduces fluctuations in the supply of energy but also reduces Carbon emissions.
  • Diplomacy should be aligned with commercial interests to gain stability in demand and supply. 
  • Effective implementation of COP-21 goals and adhere to the INDC commitments.
  • Take use of more greener technology such as using energy efficient equipments like LEDs, efficient engines etc.
  • Reduce Energy wastage in form of heat. 
  • Take utilitarian measures such as use of Public Transport System for larger good to all.
  • Periodic energy audit should be performed to reduce Carbon emissions. 
  • Research and Development should be increased for improving renewable resources and making them more cheaper and accessible.
  • Use cabled wires, which reduces energy wastage, mainly in form of theft.
  • Use of electric vehicles which is much greener and generates much lesser Carbon emissions than diesel or petrol operated vehicles. 
  • Software based energy simulation should be made compulsory in big corporate buildings.

Steps Taken by Government of India to Tackle Energy Crisis

  • Strategic reserves of crude oil for emergency purposes in India as well as foreign countries by government . (recently a deal was signed to make a crude oil reserve in USA by India).
  • ONGC-Videsh bought shares in the Saudi Arabia's crude oil extractor company Saudi Aramaco, as well as it also done deals with Vietnam and Russia to extract crude oils.
  • Strategic nuclear partnership deals with USA, Russia, Australia and japan.
  • Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) Pipeline, Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) Pipeline projects.
  • Hydrocarbon Exploration Policy (HELP).
  • India and ..... founded International Solar Alliance (ISA), headquartered in Gurugram, India with major focus on  increasing  Solar Energy generation in India as well as in the world.
  • Government of India targets  to install 175 Gigawatts(GW) of renewable energy capacity by 2022, out of this 100 GW will come from Solar, 60  GW will come from Wind Energy, 10 GW from Bio-power and rest 5 GW from small hydro power projects. 
  • Deep Ocean Exploration Mission launched by Ministry of Earth and Sciences in Indian Ocean to find out prospects of any possible Mineral and energy resources.