Geography India - Energy Resources



  • Major sources of energy in India are classified as −

    • Conventional sources (e.g. coal, petroleum, and nuclear power).

    • Non-conventional sources (e.g. solar energy, hydro energy, geo-thermal energy, etc.)

  • Fossil fuel or conventional sources of energy are found exhaustible in nature and also not environmental friendly; on the other hand, the non-conventional sources of energy such as solar energy, wind energy, geo-thermal energy, tidal energy, etc. are renewable sources of energy and they are also environmental friendly (as they do not pollute environment).


  • About 80% of the coal deposits in India is of bituminous type and is of non coking grade.

  • The most important Gondwana coal fields of India are located in Damodar Valley region.

  • Raniganj, Jharia, Bokaro, Giridih, and Karanpura are major coalfields of Jharkhand-Bengal coal belt.

India Coal Field
  • Jharia is the largest coal field followed by Raniganj.

  • Other important coal mines are Singrauli (partially in Madhya Pradesh and partially in Uttar Pradesh); Korba in Chhattisgarh; Talcher and Rampur in Odisha; Chanda–Wardha, Kamptee, and Bander in Maharashtra; Singareni in Telangana; and Pandur in Andhra Pradesh.

  • Tertiary coalfields are largely located in Darangiri, Cherrapunji, Mewlong, and Langrin in Meghalaya; Makum, Jaipur, and Nazira in upper Assam; Namchik – Namphuk in Arunachal Pradesh; and Kalakot in Jammu and Kashmir.

  • The brown coal or lignite are found in the coastal areas of Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry, Gujarat, and Jammu and Kashmir.


  • Hydrocarbons of liquid and gaseous states varying in chemical composition, color, and specific gravity are collectively known as petroleum resource.

  • Petroleum industries produce various by-products; for example, fertilizer, synthetic rubber, synthetic fiber, medicines, vaseline, lubricants, wax, soap, and cosmetics.

  • Crude petroleum normally occurs in sedimentary rocks of the tertiary period.

  • For the systematic oil exploration and production, the Oil and Natural Gas Commission was set up in 1956.

  • Digboi, Naharkatiya, and Moran are important oil producing areas in Assam.

  • Ankaleshwar, Kalol, Mehsana, Nawagam, Kosamba, and Lunej are the major petroleum producing regions in Gujarat.

Mumbai High
  • Located 160 km off Mumbai, Mumbai high, an offshore oilfield was discovered in 1973. Production of petroleum at the field was started in 1976.

Energy Resources
  • Krishna-Godavari and Kaveri basin on the east coast are significant regions of petroleum production.

  • Oil extracted from the wells remains in crude oil form and contains many impurities; hence, it needs to be extracted in oil refineries.

  • Based on destination, there are two types of oil refineries — oil-field based (e.g. Digboi) and market based (Barauni).

  • To transport and develop the market for natural gas, the Gas Authority of India Limited was set up in 1984 (it is a public sector undertaking).

  • Though natural gas reserves have been located along the petroleum reserves, but some exclusive natural gas reserves are found along the eastern coast of Tamil Nadu, Odisha, and Andhra Pradesh; as well as around Tripura, Rajasthan, and off-shore wells in Gujarat and Maharashtra.

Nuclear Energy

  • Essential minerals used for the generation of nuclear energy are uranium and thorium.

  • Geographically, uranium ores are found at many different locations along the Singbhum Copper belt.

  • Other important uranium reserve regions are also found in Udaipur, Alwar, and Jhunjhunu districts of Rajasthan; Durg district of Chhattisgarh; Bhandara district of Maharashtra; and Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh.

  • Thorium is mainly obtained from monazite and ilmenite, which is largely found along the coast of Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

Monazites kerala
  • Palakkad and Kollam districts of Kerala have the world’s largest monazite deposits (as shown in the image given above − larger view in insat image).

  • Atomic Energy Commission was established in 1948 and the Atomic Energy Institute at Trombay was founded in 1954.

  • However, the Atomic Energy Institute at Trombay was renamed as Bhabha Atomic Research Centre in 1967.

  • The important nuclear power projects are located at Tarapur (Maharashtra); Rawatbhata near Kota (Rajasthan); Kalpakkam (Tamil Nadu); Narora (Uttar Pradesh); Kaiga (Karnataka); and Kakarapara (Gujarat).

Solar Energy

  • Solar energy is 7% more effective than coal or oil based plants and 10% more effective than nuclear plants.

  • The western part of India has greater potential for the development of solar energy.

Other Sources of Energy

  • The Ministry of Non-conventional Sources of Energy is responsible for the development of wind energy in India as the major source of renewable energy.

  • Ocean currents are the store-house of infinite energy. Hence, India has great potential for the development of tidal energy.

  • Natural hot springs and geysers are being used since medieval period, but in the present world, these could be potential sources of renewable energy.

  • Manikaran, a hot spring in Himachal Pradesh is a major renewable source of energy in India.

India Geysers
  • Bio-energy is the energy derived usually from the biological products, such as agricultural residues and other bio-waste.

  • Bio-energy can be converted into electrical energy, heat energy, and gas for cooking.

  • Okhla in Delhi presents a good example by producing bio energy from municipal waste.