What do you Understand by Term Energy?
The term ‘Energy’ is derived from the greek ‘energon’ meaning work. It is utilized by every one in the world. We use energy in our day-to-day life, in our homes, at work, in industry, and in agriculture. The prosperity of a country has come to be measured by the energy it consumes. In India, the important sources of energy are still cowdung and firewood, as these are freely and cheaply available. About 40 per cent of India’s energy requirements comes from these two sources. The rest is from petroleum, coal, electricity, nuclear energy etc.
There has been considerable emphasis on commercial production of energy in India, since Independence. As you have already learn that it is better to utilize cowdung as a fertilizer and for the generation of biogas. The use of wood for producing energy should be discouraged because for wood, the forest have to be cut. It has already been stated that forests play an important role in the preservation of the ecosystem and so it is necessary to conserve our forests.
Each ecosystem is driven by energy. It has already been stated that we use energy in every part of our daily life. Science and technology have helped to convert energy from the naturally available forms into forms that can perform various tasks. Heat energy is converted into electrical energy and used to operate many modern machines and appliances. Electric energy is converted into heat for domestic purposes, such as cooking and heating. In fact, energy is a very vital part of the whole ecosystem.
We know that energy is transformed from one form to the other. We consume food to enable us to use our muscle energy for physical work. Physical work is employed to produce other forms of energy for human use. There is energy all around us with the sun being the primary source of all energy.
Solar energy, as we know, converts carbon dioxide and water into organic compounds, which store the trapped solar energy, in the form of chemical energy. This kind of chemical energy is transformed into coal, oil and natural gas, which is again converted into heat energy to be used for a variety of purposes.
The vast expansion of industry and agriculture sectors depend largely on available energy sources. About 88 per cent of world’s present energy production comes from coal, oil and natural gas. Apart from depletion of these resources, there is added problem of pollution which is inevitable. Other sources of energy are hydro energy and nuclear energy which contribute to the balance of commercial energy.