Some of the chief sources of energy are coal, gas, oil, electricity thermal and hydel), atom, the sun, etc. Energy is the motive force and the back-bone of modern industry.
t has been estimated that during the last sixty years man has consumed more energy than he has ever done since the dawn of history. It has also been estimated that the existing sources of energy (coal, gas, oil, etc.) may exhaust in the near future and the world shall have to face the greatest energy crisis.
The prices of oil have risen by three or four times the previous Ones During the last five or six years, the price of crude oil jumped from 2-50 dollars a barrel to nearly to 32 dollars a barrel.
The oil producing countries used it as a political weapon to put pressure on the U.S.A., the West European countries and others who supported Israel to have the Arab-Israel dispute settled on the terms of the Arab states.
They not only reduced the production of oil and its products but also increased greatly their prices This produced the worst type of energy crisis all over the world. India has been badly hit by this crisis.
India’s foreign exchange bill has gone up to Rs. 3500 crores which are very heavy America has threatened to use military force to resolve the crisis if the Arabs continue their oil policy indefinitely. the Arabs have threatened to blow up their oil fields if recourse is taken to war by the U.S.A. So the deadlock continues and the industrialization of the world has received a serious setback.
If this is the condition of industrially and technologically developed countries of the world, the plight of India, an underdeveloped country can be well imagined. She is one of the poorest countries of the world in terms of energy consumption.
The energy crisis has been responsible for the low production in almost all sectors. No further economy or reduction in the use of crude oil is possible. Our minimum demands of diesel for transportation and agriculture, of naphtha for fertilisers, cannot be further minimised.
What other alternative sources of energy are available for us? Oil is very costly and the deposits of coal and gas may be exhausted soon. Should we not then turn to nuclear and solar energy for our immediate needs? India is at present producing 4.11 million tonnes of crude oil a year. This is less than one-fourth of her present needs.
The main item of our energy policy should be to replace the imported fuels by the indigenous ones because we cannot pay the heavy foreign exchange bill nor can we slow down our production. So it would be a sound policy to revert to coal and electricity as the chief sources of energy for running machines.
Of course, whatever little oil we have should be reserved for railway engines and the Naphtha based fertiliser. The method to be evolved for using atomic energy and solar energy in a controlled manner may yet take some time.
In the meanwhile, we should depend upon other uses. The amount of imported crude oil must be reduced at all cost. Stress should be laid on setting up new thermal power stations.
But there are hopeful signs of our overcoming the present problem of energy crisis. According to one estimate, the total energy generation is expected to go up by about 25% in the current year. Domestic production crude oil is expected to go up by two million tonnes. Explorations for oil in Bombay High have yielded highly encouraging results.
It is expected that about two million tonnes of oil will be produced by wells. We have already exploded a nuclear devices. If our capable scientists can find out a method of using the atomic or solar energy for peaceful purposes, it would add another feather in their cap and help us tide over the present energy crisis.