Natural Sources Of Energy | Renewable energy sources -88tuition

Natural Sources Of Energy | Renewable energy sources -88tuition



Energy is essential for performing any sort of activity. We know from experience that to do any work, we need energy. Scientifically, energy is also defined as the capacity to do work. Even work done via tools and machines necessarily requires energy.

Energy in this world is available in many forms and can be generated in various ways. Naturally, energy is available in the form of solar, wind, geothermal, etc. These forms of energy can be converted into electricity in different manners and this electricity can then be used to power devices and machines. Such sources of energy are also known as power sources.

What are natural sources?

Natural sources are sources that are available naturally on this planet. For instance, the gravitational pull can theoretically be used to generate electricity, making it a natural source. Similarly, wind power and solar power are both derived from natural sources since as we can all agree, there is nothing manmade about wind and sun.

Note that not all forms of energy can be effectively used. For instance, when an object falls from a height and strikes the ground, it loses a major portion of its energy as sound. Similarly, when a machine is running, it gets hot, and thus, not all power input is effectively used. Maximizing the efficiency of sources and machines is an important field of study.

Renewable energy sources

Solar energy

The sun has been releasing enormous amounts of energy ever since its birth several billion years ago. It is estimated that this process will continue for another 5 billion years and thus, we have a source of almost infinite energy in the form of the sun. The solar energy that reaches the Earth is only a fraction but is still enough to power entire continents under ideal conditions.

Hence, the sun is a wonderful natural source of energy. Today, solar energy is commonly used across homes and industries. For instance, solar water heaters make use of the property that black surfaces absorb more heat than bright surfaces. Solar cookers achieve cooking temperatures by using glass plates but are most effective at certain times of the day.

Solar Panel

Wind Energy

When the wind is blowing at a rapid pace, it carries enormous amounts of kinetic energy. A windmill uses this kinetic energy and converts it into electrical energy using generators. On smaller scales, wind energy can also be used to raise water from wells. Wind energy is a renewable and environment-friendly natural source of energy, but is only effective in areas where wind speeds generally exceed 15 km/h.

Wind Mill

Tidal energy

The movement of tides can also be used to generate electricity. Turbines installed at dams and in the oceans can be used to convert kithe kinetic energy of the water into electricity. This is another efficient and renewable source of energy but a drawback is that dams require very large amounts of land.

Non-renewable energy sources

Fossil Fuels

The utilization of coal for energy sparked the industrial revolution, leading to a surge in global energy consumption. This demand is mainly met by non-renewable fossil fuels such as coal and petroleum, which were formed millions of years ago and are present in limited quantities. As these resources are finite, it is crucial to conserve them. They will eventually be depleted if they are exploited at an unsustainable rate. To prevent this, we must seek out and develop alternative sources of energy. This is immensely important for the environment as well.


Thermal power plants

Thermal power plants generate electricity and hot water by burning large amounts of fossil fuels daily. These power plants are situated close to coal or oil fields for ease of transportation. The generation of electricity using thermal energy is a simpler process and it is more feasible to transmit electrical energy over long distances than transporting coal or petroleum. Therefore, these plants are often referred to as thermal power plants.

Nuclear Energy

Nuclear energy is released through a process called nuclear fission, in which a heavy nucleus (e.g. uranium, plutonium, and thorium) splits into lighter nuclei upon being struck by a slow neutron. This reaction releases a large amount of energy. Although the total mass of the resulting nuclei is slightly less than the original nucleus, the energy released in this way is enormous. The energy released by the nuclear fission of uranium is about 10 million times more than that released by burning a single carbon atom.

Qualities of good sources

The quality of a certain source of energy depends on various factors. In general, the source is said to be of high quality if:

  • It generates a larger amount of energy with a smaller amount of fuel input.

  • It is easily available.

  • It can be easily stored and transported.

  • It is affordable and environmentally friendly.

Difference between renewable and non-renewable sources

Renewable sources

Non-renewable sources these these

These sources of energy get naturally replenished over a short period.

These are sources that either do not get replenished or take too long to replenish.

Generally, these sources are non-polluting.

These sources are generally destructive to the environment, for

example, Solar energy, Wind energy, and hydroelectric energy.

Example: Fossil fuels like coal, petroleum, natural gas, and mineral resources like iron and copper


Energy is essential to our lives and is necessary for performing work. For instance, electricity is required to power our devices at home and in industries. This article discussed the concept of energy and the sources of energy, including wind, nuclear, and solar energy.

Solar energy arrives in the form of electromagnetic radiation and can be used in solar water heaters and solar cookers. Also, it can be directly converted into electricity using solar panels. Another natural source of energy is wind energy, which is converted into mechanical or electrical energy via windmills. To ensure our sustained survival, it is important to find renewable and environment-friendly sources of energy.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are hydroelectric power stations?

Hydroelectric power stations use dams to convert the kinetic energy of water falling from a height into electricity.

2. What are batteries?

Batteries are devices that store chemical energy and convert it into electrical energy when required. Thus, they are portable sources of energy that can be used as and when required.

3. What is electrical energy?

The energy associated with the flow of electric current in circuits is known as electrical energy.

4. What are capacitors?

Capacitors are devices that store charges and can be used as a source of electrical energy. They are made up of two dielectric materials separated by a small gap.