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Difference between Conventional and Non Conventional

Energy can be defined as the capacity or ability to do work. It plays an important role in our day to day life as it is required in every field like industry, transport, communication, sports, defence, household, agriculture and more. There are plenty of energy sources to get energy. These energy resources can be classified as Conventional and Non-conventional sources of energy. Let us see how they differ from each other!

Conventional sources of energy:

Conventional sources of energy are the natural energy resources which are present in a limited quantity and are being used for a long time. They are called non-renewable sources as once they are depleted, they cannot be generated at the speed which can sustain its consumption rate. They are formed from decaying matter over hundreds of millions of years.

These resources have been depleted to a great extent due to their continuous exploitation. It is believed that the deposits of petroleum in our country will be exhausted within few decades and the coal reserves can last for a hundred more years. Some common examples of conventional sources of energy include coal, petroleum, natural gas and electricity.

Non-conventional sources of energy:

Non-conventional sources of energy are the energy sources which are continuously replenished by natural processes. These cannot be exhausted easily, can be generated constantly so can be used again and again, e.g. solar energy, wind energy, tidal energy, biomass energy and geothermal energy etc. The energy obtained from non-conventional sources is known as non-conventional energy. These sources do not pollute the environment and do not require heavy expenditure. They are called renewable resources as they can be replaced through natural processes at a rate equal to or greater than the rate at which they are consumed.

Based on the above information, some of the key differences between conventional and non-conventional sources of energy are as follows:

Conventional sources of energy Non-conventional sources of energy
These sources of energy are not abundant, present in limited quantity, e.g. coal, petroleum, natural gas. These sources of energy are abundant in nature, e.g. solar energy, wind energy, tidal energy, biogas from biomass etc.
They have been in use for a long time. They are yet in development phase over the past few years.
They are not replenished continuously. They are formed over a million years. They are replenished continuously by natural processes.
They are called non-renewable sources of energy. They are called renewable sources of energy.
They can be exhausted completely due to over-consumption except for hydel power. They cannot be exhausted completely.
They pollute the environment by emitting harmful gases and also contribute to global warming. They are environment-friendly, do not pollute the environment.
They are commonly used for industrial and commercial purposes. They are used commonly used for household purposes.
Heavy expenditure is involved in using and maintaining these sources of energy. Using these sources is less expensive.
They are used extensively, at a higher rate than the non-conventional sources. They are not used as extensively as conventional sources.
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