The electricity generated by the energy of flowing water is called hydroelectricity which is a renewable resource of energy. Large hydropower plants like Bhakra Nangal, Damodar Valley Corporation and Kopili are called multi-purpose river projects.
Electricity generated from the heat of burning fuel minerals like coal, petroleum and natural gas is called thermal electricity and hence is produced using non-renewable fossil fuels. India has over 310 thermal power plants. Nuclear or atomic energy is also used to generate electricity.
India currently has 6 operational nuclear power plants in Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat. The increasing prices, shortage in supply and environmental concerns against using fossil fuels can severely affect our energy security.
The answer to the problem of energy security lies in using non-conventional sources of energy like solar energy, wind energy, biogas, tidal energy and geothermal energy. The secret of using solar power lies in photovoltaic technology. This technology uses panels made of photovoltaic cells that trap solar energy and convert it into electricity.
The use of solar energy in rural India can reduce dependence on firewood and cattle dung cakes. Wind turbines convert the energy of the blowing wind into electricity. The largest wind farm in India is in Tamil Nadu, spread from Nagercoil to Madurai. Animal, human and farm waste produce biogas on decomposition, which is a better fuel than kerosene, cattle dung cakes, firewood and coal. Biogas plants that operate on animal waste are called gobar gas plants in India.
Oceanic tides are used to generate electricity called tidal energy. The National Hydropower Corporation has set up a 900 megawatt tidal energy plant in the Gulf of Kutch that provides excellent conditions for harnessing tidal energy. The heat trapped in the depths of the earth is called geothermal energy. Experimental projects to utilise geothermal energy have been set up at the Parvati Valley near Manikaran in Himachal Pradesh, and the Puga Valley in Ladakh.