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Depending on content of carbon coal is classified in descending order as Anthracite (80 to 95%), Bituminous (40-80%), Lignite (40-55%) and Peat (< 40%). The moisture content in them goes on progressively increasing with highest in peat. Anthracite has the best heating value and it is found in Jammu and Kashmir only. Bituminous is the most common type of coal found in India. It’s name is derived from bitumen released after heating. Bituminous coal is used in making coke (coking coal), gas coal and steam coal. Coking coal results from the heating of coal in the absence of oxygen which burns off volatile gases. Coking coal is mainly used in iron and steel industry. Lignite is also called brown coal. Peat represents the first stage of coal formation and is of the most inferior quality.

Coal deposits in India occur in two geological strata: (1) Gondwana Coal formation — It is from Permo-Carboniferous age i.e. 600-300 million years old. It accounts for 98% of total reserves and 99% of total production. It is generally of bituminous rank. It is found in river valleys of Damodar, Mahanadi, Godavari and Wardha, Indravati, Narmada, Koel, etc.; (2) Tertiary Coal fields — These are from Eocene-Miocene period i.e. around 50 million years old. In these coal fields lignite predominates. It is found in Neyveli, Tamil Nadu (largest deposits) and extra-peninsula includes Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Kachchh. ENERGY RESOURCES

State-wise highest coal reserves are as follows:

State                            Percentage

Jharkhand                   28%

Odisha                         25%

Chattisgarh                  17%

West Bengal                10%

Madhya Pradesh         7%

Andhra Pradesh          7%

Maharashtra                7%

Others                         Remaining


  1. Poor Quality of Coal: Indian coal has low carbon, high ash content and low caloric value. It is mostly non-coking coal. Above factors reduce energy output of coal and complicates the problems of ash disposal.
  2. Obsolete method of Mining: Most of the coal is taken out from underground mines with outdated technologies. This causes high cost of extraction and high wastage.
  3. Uneven Distribution of Coal: Concentrated in few states resulting in high transport cost.
  4. Fires and water logging, negligible safety measures for workers.
  5. Open cast mining turns area into rugged, ravenous and barren land. Coal dust spreads on to plants and inhaled by all people living around causing health hazards.
  6. Negligible safety measures for workers.
  7. Coal mining has been stagnated due to regulatory hurdles, bureaucratic red tapism, non optimum functioning by both public and private mining companies, and corruption.


In India, petroleum or crude oil is found in sedimentary rocks of marine origin during Tertiary period. Crude oil is supposed to be formed due to burning of plant matter and living organisms under accumulation of mud, silt and sand. Over the years, due to heat and pressure it underwent chemical changes to form crude oil and natural gas.


  1. Western Coast offshore oil fields or Mumbai High — Bombay High oil fields is the largest oilfield in India producing 65% of total production. In 2012, another discovery block D-1 was announced which may double the output of oilfield. Bassein is also rich and important oilfield.
  2. Gujarat Region — Ankleshwar, Cambay — Luni Region near Vadodara, Ahmedabad-Kalol region. Offshore oil is found in Aliabet near Bhavnagar.
  3. Rajasthan — Both oil and gas have been recently found in Mangla (Barmer), and Jaisalmer.
  4. East Coastal Region — It extends over Krishna-Godavari and Kaveri basins. In K-G basin, D-6 block has both oil and gas has been found. In Kaveri basin, Narimanam and Kovilappal are important oil fields.
  5. North-east Region — This is the oldest block. Oil was found in 1890 in Digboi area. Digboi, Nahoratiya in Assam, Nigru in Arunachal and Borholla in Nagaland have oil reserves. It is second largest production region.


20% of India’s Crude Oil demand is produced domestically and 80% oil and gas requirement is imported. India imports oil from South Arabia, Kuwait, UAE, Iran, Oman, Sudan, Russia, etc. Imports from Iran are decreasing. ONGC and ONGC Videsh Limited, Oil India Limited (OIL), Reliance, Essar, Cairn India Ltd, etc. companies are engaged in production and exploration. ONGC alone has almost three fourth production capacity.


Refining capacity of the country has increased spectacularly. Indian Oil Corporation is the largest company. HPCL and BPCL, are other public sector companies. The private sector Reliance Industries has world’s largest refinery complex at Jamnagar. Public Sector refineries are located at Guwahati, Digboi, Numbligarh, Bangaigaon, Haldia, Vishahapatnam, Tatipaka, Chennai, Narimanam, Kochi, Mangalore, Mumbai, Raigad, Bina, Koyali, Mathura, Panipat and Bhatinda. Most of the refineries depend on imported crude petroleum.


Apart from use as fuel, and lubricant, petroleum acts as raw material for many products like aviation fuel, synthetic rubber, resins, benzene, polystyrene, acrylates, detergents, aromatics, gasoline, dyes, paints, explosives, printing ink, greases, paraffin, wax, etc.


Natural gas is emerging as environmentally safe and cheaper option than petroleum. It is found in association with petroleum. Out of total reserves, 75% lie in Bombay High and Bassein oilfields. Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL) is entrusted with transportation and allocation of natural gas. Private Sector participation is also increasing such as Reliance Industries’ production and transportation from K-G basin to Mumbai. Largest share of natural gas is consumed in the production of chemical fertilizers (40% share), about 30% in power generation and 10% in LPG i.e. cooking gas. Natural Gas production and import both have fallen short of demand to the extent that many gas based thermal power plants are not able to function optimally.

The new unconventional sources of natural gas include shale gas, coal bed methane, tight sandstones and methane hydrates. As technologies to extract them evolve, such as hydraulic fracturing for shale gas, they will supplement the conventional energy sources.


Biofuel, or fuel derived from non-fossil plant sources is being seen today as a cleaner alternative to diesel. Biofuel development in India centres mainly around the cultivation and processing of Jatropha plant seeds to give biodiesel and producing ethanol from sugarcane. Ethanol can be blended with petrol for automobiles. Similarly, biodiesel can be blended with high speed diesel for transport vehicles, generators, railway engines, irrigation pumps, etc. Large volumes of such oils can also substitute imported oil for making soap. In its National Biofuel Policy the Government of India has set a target of a minimum 20 per cent ethanol-blended petrol and diesel across the country by 2017. Bio-diesel plantations would be encouraged only on waste community/government/forest lands, and not on fertile land. Minimum Support Price (MSP) would be announced to provide fair price to the growers. Minimum Purchase Price (MPP) for the purchase of bio-ethanol by the Oil Marketing Companies (0MCs) would be based on the actual cost of production and import price of bio-ethanol. In case of biodiesel, the MPP would be linked to the prevailing retail diesel price. The National Biofuel Policy also envisages bringing biodiesel and bio-ethanol under the ambit of “Declared Goods” by the Government to ensure their unrestricted movement.



Thermal electricity is generated by using fossil fuels like coal, petroleum and natural gas. Thermal energy contributes 67% of total energy production (installed capacity in 2012). The significance of thermal electricity is as following:

  1. It can be generated anywhere provided transport facilities for coal, diesel or natural gas are available. No geographical conditions such as for hydroelectricity or solar energy.
  2. Fossil fuels for energy production are relatively easily available than hydroelectricity or nuclear energy and economically viable than New Renewable Energy Sources.
  3. It takes lesser time to construct a thermal power station.

But thermal energy is not eco-friendly as it releases CO2 into atmosphere and second due to limited reserves and rising demand, the cost of thermal energy is rising. In India, Maharashtra is the largest producer of thermal electricity producing 17% of the total. Gujarat, UP, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu follow it. Also the western zone is the largest producer of electricity followed by northern, eastern and southern zone.

In order to boost thermal power production, government has promoted Ultra Mega Power Plants (UMPP), each with capacity of 4000 MW or above. These are established or proposed at Sagan, Mundra, Krishnapatnam, Tilaiya, Surguja, Girye, Tatiya, Tadri, Sundargarh, Sakhigopal, Ghogarpalli and Cheyyur.


Presently hydroelectricity accounts for 39,000 MW or 18% of the total installed capacity in India. It should be noted that small hydropower projects less than 25 MW are counted under New Renewable Energy Sources for the purpose of statistics. Hydroelectrocity is renewable, cheap, clean and environmentally benign source of energy. Central Electricity Authority (CEC) has estimated hydel power potential at 84,000 MW at 60% load factor. However, following factors influence the development of Hydroelectric Power (HEP):

  1. There should be perennial flow of water, falling from sufficient height and sufficient quantity of water. These factors limit the HEP potential of many rivers and areas.
  2. It is very capital intensive activity.
  3. It requires technological capacities.
  4. They are mostly associated with multi-purpose river projects which inundate large area forests and have seismic risk.

In India, Himalayan Rivers have rich HEP potential than peninsular rivers. North eastern States have significantly large HEP potential. In terms of installed capacity, Andhra Pradesh (3200 MW), Karnataka (3000 MW) as well as Maharashtra, Kerala, Odisha, Punjab, Tamil Nadu are outstanding states.


Nuclear Energy is obtained from Uranium and Thorium. Uranium is found in the Singhbhum and Hazaribagh in Jharkhand, Gaya in Bihar, Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh. It is also found in copper and zinc mines of Udaipur in Rajasthan. Recently uranium deposits were found in Tummalapalle, Cudappah in Andhra Pradesh, Bhima river valley in Karnataka, Domiasiat in Meghalaya. India has vast deposits of thorium amounting to 30% of world reserves. The placer deposits of thorium are found as monazite sands in lakes and sea beds. State-wise thorium reserves are found in Andhra Pradesh (3.74 million tonne), Tamil Nadu (2.16 mt million tonne), Kerala (1.1 million tonne) as well as in Odisha, West Bengal and Bihar.

In India, a total of 20 nuclear power plants having total installed capacity of 4780 MW are operational. Although they represent only 2.26% of total power capacity, their production is set to increase in future, as India has planned another 20 nuclear power plants while four are under construction.


  1. Tarapur, Maharashtra
  2. Rawatbhata near Kota, Rajasthan
  3. Kalpakkam, Tamil Nadu
  4. Narora, UP
  5. Kakrapara, Gujarat
  6. Kaiga, Karnataka


  1. Jaitapur, Maharashtra
  2. Kudankulam, Tamil Nadu
  3. Mithi Virdi, Gujarat
  4. Kovvada, Andhra Pradesh
  5. Haripur, West Bengal
  6. Kumharia near Faridabad, Haryana

While nuclear energy is non-polluting and relatively abundant source of energy, it is associated with safety concerns of radioactive leakages and nuclear proliferation.



India being a tropical country is soaked in sunshine and has almost 300 solar days. Solar energy can be used in both thermal (water heating, air heater, dryers, cookers, etc.) and photovoltaic technology. Solar photovoltaic (SPV) technology converts sunlight into electricity. The potential for solar energy production in India is unlimited. India plans to add 20,000 MW of solar power by 2022 through Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM) under National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC). At present costs of solar as well as wind based technologies are very high and energy conversion efficiency is low compared to conventional technologies. Continuous improvement in technologies and decreasing costs with increasing use in coming future will decrease the cost of all renewable energy sources including solar energy.


India has 5th largest installed wind power capacity in the world. India had around 18,000 MW installed capacity by 2012. It is mainly spread across Tamil Nadu (7100 MW), Gujarat (2800 MW), Maharashtra (2300 MW), Karnataka, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh are leading States. According to Ministry of New and Renewable Energy India has wind power potential of 49,130 MW at 50 m Hub heights to 103788 MW at 80 m Hub height.


It is estimated that India possesses around 8000 MW of tidal energy potential. Gulf of Khambat, Gulf of Kachchh and Sundarbans are potential sites.


Its potential is estimated at 40,000 MW. One experimental plant (150 KW) has been set up at Vizinjam near Thiruvananthapuram.


It can be exploited near hot water springs. Puga valley, Ladakh in Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh have potential.


Biogas is clean source of energy. Its development is being slowed due to non-availability of cow dung, space, water, etc.


This is new development. According to Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, there exists potential of 1700 MW from urban waste (municipal solid waste) and 1300 MW from industrial waste. It uses organic waste to produce energy.


Following is the present status of energy production and availability in India as in


  1. Total Installed Capacity:
Sector Electricity Production (MW) Percentage of Total
State 86,700 42%
Central 62,800 29%
Private 61,000 29%
Total 2,10,000 100%


  1. Resource-wise electricity production:
Fuel Electricity Production (MW) Percentage of Total
Coal 1,21,000 57
Gas 19,000 9
Oil 1,200 0.5
Total Thermal 1,40,000 67
Hydro (renewable) 39,000 18
Nuclear 4,780 2.26  
Renewable     Energy


26,000 12  
Total 2,10,000 100  



  • Solar Photovoltaic
  • Wind Power
  • Small Hydro Power (up to 25 MW)
  • Biomass Power
  • Biomass gassifier
  • Urban and Industrial Waste Power

At present, India on per capita basis consumes under 6% of what the USA consumes and under 41% of what China consumes and will be 2031-32 consume just under 15% of current USA consumption levels and 3qual to China’s current per capita consumption. Also 300 million Indians do not yet have access to electricity which includes around one third of rural population and 6% of urban population. Besides the present supply of electricity too is intermittent and unreliable interrupting irrigation, manufacturing and other activities.



  • Energy Security broadly means continuous availability of energy in varied forms in sufficient quantities at reasonable prices. India can be said to be energy secure when all our citizens, irrespective of their ability to pay, are ensured lifeline energy and well as their effective demand for safe and convenient energy to support economic growth are met at competitive prices all the time with a desired confidence level considering shocks and disruptions that can be reasonably expected.
  • This definition stems from the fact that growth cannot be inclusive and sustainable unless all citizens have access to safe and convenient energy for their basic needs because traditional fuels such as wood or dung cakes cause indoor air pollution and lead to adverse impact on health, particularly that of women and children. Energy demand is a function of multiple variables such as accessibility, affordability and usability. The price of energy and people’s ability to pay, play an important role in expected levels of consumption. Energy is required in different forms such as heat and light. Different fuels can be substituted by each other. However, such substitution often involves cost or loss in the quality of service. Further, interruptions in energy availability lead to increased cost in an industry. Thus, energy security should also guard against all reasonable shocks and disruptions affecting energy supply. One can have a buffer stock to guard against disruption in supply. However, buffer stocks are expensive to carry. The size of the stock should balance the cost of carrying it and the cost of disruption of supply.
  • Requirement of energy in the country will keep on rising with development and growth. We are short of most of energy resources. Long term demand estimates of commercial energy requirement in India leaves no option of choosing along alternate domestic energy resources but exploiting all available domestic energy resource to the maximum as long as they are competitive. Our country is not endowed with sufficiently large oil and gas resource. The abundance of coal resource in the country is a virtual myth because most of currently known mineable coal may run out in 45 to 50 years. Poor availability of atomic minerals has restricted the development of atomic energy. Technological breakthrough is still elusive for good solar insulation convert in usable form of energy. Population pressure could hold back development of all our hydro potential. In any case our hydro resources are also limited and can meet less than 10 per cent of our projected electricity requirement for year 2030.

How do we achieve energy security?

  • Ensuring energy security requires dealing with various risks. India’s growing dependence on energy imports exposes its energy needs to external shocks. These could either be supply risk, market risk or technical risk. Supply risk relates to when supply is not available even when you have the money to pay for it. The threat to energy security arises not just from supply risks and the uncertaintyof availability of imported energy, but also from possible disruptions or shortfalls in domestic production. Geo­political situations within the country or in the international waters could also disrupt supply. Even if there is no disruption of supply, there can be the market risk of a sudden increase in energy price. Even when the country has adequate energy resources, technical failures may disrupt the supply of energy to some people. Generators could fail, transmission lines may trip or oil pipelines may spring a leak.
  • Risks can be reduced by lowering the requirement of energy by increasing efficiency in production and use; by substituting imported fuels with domestic fuels; by diversifying fuel choices (gas, ethanol, or emulsion tar sands etc.) and supply sources; and by expanding the domestic energy resource base. Risks can also be dealt with by increasing the ability to withstand supply shocks through creation of strategic reserves, the ability to import energy and face market risk by building hard currency reserves and by providing redundancy to address technical risks.
  • Expanding domestic resource base, acquiring energy asserts abroad, laying pipelines for importing gas, building LNG terminals, improving and augmenting port facilities, enhanced diplomacy for continuance of energy import for bridging the gap between demand and indigenous supply are some of the measures for ensuring continuous supply of energy in the country. It may also be necessary to build reserves of foreign currency for enhancing our ability to import energy.
  • Maintaining a reserve, equivalent to 90 days of oil imports for strategic-cum­-buffer stock purposes and/or buy options for emergency supplies from neighbouring large storages such as those available in Singapore address short-term price volatility. A strategic stockpile of nuclear fuel should also be built to counter the risk of disruption of international fuel supply.
  • Since national oil companies of different countries control eighty per cent of global hydrocarbon reserves, oil diplomacy establishing bilateral economic, social and cultural ties with hydrocarbon exporting countries could reduce supply risk. For the purpose of providing guidance in coordinating our external interface on energy security matters, it is necessary to have an institutional mechanism in the form of group of ministers, comprising of the Finance Minister, Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Minister of Coal, Minister of Power and the Minister of State for New and Renewable Energy and the Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission. Such mechanism would also provide overall authority for the conduct of structured energy dialogues with selected countries.  ENERGY RESOURCES
  • Nuclear energy theoretically offers India the most potent means to long-term energy security. India has to succeed in realizing the three-stage development to tap its vast thorium resources to become truly energy independent beyond 2050. Our uranium reserves are limited and can support only 10,000 MW of power plant using Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors (PHWRs). These plants generate electricity and also convert part of the fuel into plutonium. The spent fuel from these plants can be reprocessed to separate Plutonium and the second phase involves use of plutonium and depleted uranium in Fast Breeder Reactors (FBR). An FBR produces more plutonium than what is put in and thus breeds plutonium. After some years, there is enough plutonium to start another FBR. This way we can provide up to 500,000 MW of capacity of FBRs. The third phase involves using the fast breeder reactors to convert Thorium which is only a fertile material into fissile material U233 which can be used on fuel in reactors. Given India’s huge reserves off thorium we have the potential to provide a much larger nuclear power capacity for a few hundred years, in the third phase. This large potential can only be realized over time. With the domestically available uranium and without any additional import beyond Kudankulam I and II plants under construction we can set up no more than 48,000 MW of nuclear plants by 2031 and only about 2,08,000 MW by 2051. With additional import of 30,000 MW of uranium based plants by 2020, we can reach 4,70,000 MW of nuclear capacity by 2050 if the three-stage programme is fully developed.
  • Now that NSG restrictions have been lifted we should import uranium and also acquire uranium-mining assets abroad. Import of light water reactors would be of considerable importance in the short run, as it would allow accelerating the pace of build up of fast breeder reactors. With the success in three-stage domestic development, we can also multiply capacity manifold without the need for additional fresh uranium. This would accelerate the pace of development of nuclear power for significantly increasing the role that nuclear energy can play in our long-term energy security.
  • One of the toughest challenges is to provide electricity and clean fuels to all, particularly rural populations given their poor paying capacity, the limited availability of local resources for clean cooking energy, and the size of the country and its population. The considerable effort spent on gathering biomass and cow-dung and then preparing them for use is not priced into the cost of such energy. These fuels create smoke and indoor air pollution, are inconvenient to use, and adversely affect the health of people, particularly women and children. Easy availability of a certain amount of clean energy that is required to maintain life should be considered as a basic necessity. India cannot be energy secure if her people remain without secure supply of energy for lifeline needs. Ensuring this would require targeted subsidies as many households are unable to pay for safe, clean and convenient commercial energy to meet their lifeline needs.
  • In case of renewable energy sources, at present the cost of these technologies such as solar, wind, etc. is very high and energy conversion efficiency is low as compared to conventional technologies. Due to intermittent nature of these energy flows, there is a need for hybridization with systems more under human control and not as dependent on nature. If these technologies became more sophisticated and their usage increases, the cost of production of renewable sources will decrease. In case of other renewable such as biofuels, the competition for land and water currently used for growing food crops would also need to be addressed appropriately.
  • For energy conservation, Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) tries to reduce energy intensity of Indian Economy by working on conservation and efficiency measures, as laid out in Integrated Energy Policy of India. It is implementing (i) Bachat Lamp Yojana (distribution of CFL lamps), (ii) Standards and Labeling Scheme for appliances (Minimum energy performance standards for energy saving); (iii) Energy Conservation Building Code and Energy Efficiency in existing buildings scheme, etc.


It focuses on following areas:

  1. Making energy markets competitive
  2. Encouraging investment in domestic energy capacity
  3. Transparent regulatory and tax structure
  4. Managing targeted subsidies for electricity
  5. Energy conservation and efficiency
  6. Ensure energy security by — lowering the requirement of energy; substituting imported fuels with alternatives; expanding domestic energy resource base; maintaining strategic reserve equivalent of 90 days of oil imports; building stockpile of nuclear fuel to counter risk of disruption of international fuel supply; and acquiring energy assets abroad.


A threat or disruption in the energy security is called energy crisis. Basically it is a threat to availability to energy resources at affordable cost.

Energy Security refers to continuous energy availability for the economy at all time at prices that can be compared to what the countries of the world pay for energy.


  • Organized labour strikes
  • Embargoes by the governments e.g. West led embargo on Iran earlier Iraq.
  • Over consumption
  • Infrastructure damage from severe weather e.g. 2008 Central Asian Energy Crisis caused by abnormally low temperature and low water levels in an area dependent on hydroelectric power.
  • Political events — regime change, monarchy collapse, military occupation or a coup may disrupt oil and gas production and create shortages e.g. 2011 Libyan regime change for democracy.
  • Ageing infrastructure, bottlenecks at production centres and port facilities.
  • Natural and manmade disasters — Fukushima, terrorist attacks.

Ultimately, demand outstripping limited supplies and environmental impact are likely to be major factors in an energy crisis. The reserves of coal, oil and gas are limited, besides being the agents of global warming, hydroelectricity is capital intensive and environmentally sensitive. Nuclear energy is expensive and potentially hazardous as exemplified by Fukushima, Chernobyl, Long Island disasters.


  • In 1973, OPEC raised prices of oil from $ 1.5 to $ 7 per barrel.
  • In 1979, Iranian revolution disrupted the oil production.
  • In 1990, price hike due to gulf war, embargo on Iraq.
  • 2003 onwards, increased demand has till 2012 shoot the prices.
  • 2008 — Central Asian energy crisis due to cold weather.
  • 2011 — Arab Spring.
  • China experienced energy crisis due to diesel, coal shortages, damage to power networks, etc. in 2005 and 2008.
  • Many developing countries including India, Pakistan, Bangladesh are experiencing severe energy crisis.
  • Fukushima nuclear crisis 2011 has led to stronger opposition to use of nuclear energy. Thus further limiting the energy options.


  • Diversification of Sources: In overall energy profile of the country, the proportion of non-conventional and renewable sources of energy should be increased so as to offset any supply disruption or cost hike related energy crisis. For example, India has opted for nuclear energy generation efforts with target of 30 KMW by 2030. In USA, new techniques of shale gas extraction have been devised.
  • Renewable Sources of Energy: Solar, wind, hydrogen, ocean, biogas, geothermal energy etc., Green energy increasing R&D on developing cheaper techniques and increasing use leading to decreasing production cost are needed. Renewable sources are the only safe, clean and abundantly available source of energy to tide over long term energy crisis.
  • Energy Efficiency: Efficiency mechanisms such as megawatt power can encourage more effective use of current power generating capacities. megawatt power is a term used to describe the trading of increased efficiency, using consumption ‘efficiency to increase available market supply rather than by increasing plant generation capacity. Smart Grid technology with the help Information Technology aims for efficient transfer of electricity. Japan focused on developing energy efficiency and bring down energy demand after 70s oil shocks. India introduced BEE (Bureau of Energy Efficiency) standards, for electrical equipments.
  • Decreasing demand through sustainable living, reducing over consumption, public transport, reducing world population, etc.


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