The energy industry includes companies involved in producing, exploring, refining, and transporting consumable fuels like coal and gas. These businesses are frequently engaged in developing or providing drilling equipment and oil rigs. They might also be in charge of energy-related services like seismic data collection.
Other companies look to harvest renewable sources of energy such as solar and wind power. This is a developing industry that is increasing in popularity as more and more people realise the effect of fossil fuels in worsening the impact of global warming.
Let’s discuss more energy sources in detail so that you will understand them properly.
What is the energy sector?
Energy companies are primarily concerned with producing or distributing energy through sources such as fossil fuels or renewable energy. Over the past century, the energy industry has been a significant driver of industrialisation, generating power for the rest of the economy.
Types of energy
Energy can take many different forms. Each form can be changed or transformed into another.
Chemical energy is the energy stored in the bonds of chemical substances (atoms and molecules). Chemical energy is released in a chemical reaction, most typically in the form of heat. Chemical energy is used in fuels such as wood and coal, for example, by burning them.
Electrical energy is the energy generated by transferring electrons in an electric conductor.
It is one of the most popular and helpful kinds of energy. An excellent example is a flash of lightning.
Other forms of energy can also be used to produce electrical energy. Power plants, for instance, use a sequence of transformations to turn chemical energy stored in fuels like coal into electricity.
The energy that a substance has due to its motion is mechanical. Machines, for instance, work with mechanical energy.
The energy that a substance or system has due to its temperature, i.e. the point of moving or vibrating molecules, is thermal energy. We use the sun’s rays to cook food, for example.
The stored energy within each atom is referred to as nuclear energy. Nuclear energy can be generated by fusion (the act of combining atoms) or fission (the practice of separating atoms). The nuclear approach is the one that is most commonly used.
The essential raw material for generating nuclear energy is uranium. Uranium is mined in several places across the world. It is turned into tiny pellets to obtain enriched uranium, a radioactive isotope. Such pellets are then placed into long rods and inserted into the power plant’s reactor. Within the reactor of an atomic power plant, uranium atoms are ripped apart with a controlled chain reaction. Fissile materials include plutonium or thorium.
In a chain reaction, atom-splitting particles collide with and divide uranium atoms. The particles created by a chain reaction split other atoms. In nuclear power reactors, control rods are put in place to keep the division controlled so that it does not occur too quickly.
As a result of the chain reaction, heat is emitted. This heat is used to heat the reactor’s core, which boils heavy water. Instead of burning fuel, nuclear power plants use the energy produced by the chain reaction to convert the energy of atoms into thermal energy.
The heavy water from the reactor’s core is pumped to another part of the plant. To produce steam, it warms another set of pipes loaded with water. The steam in this second pair of pipes rotates a turbine to generate power.
The energy stored from an object in a gravitational field is gravitational energy. Water pouring down a waterfall is an example.
Importance of energy sources
The importance of energy sources is a topic that will continue to be discussed in the following decades as more people discover the benefits of using renewable energy rather than electricity from non-renewable sources.
Fossil fuels, which come from beneath the ground and require thousands of years to develop, are examples of non-renewable energy sources. Renewable energy sources renew swiftly and can meet a region’s long-term energy requirements for many years to come.
In today’s society, energy is vital. It is necessary to generate electricity and is a critical input to every sector (e.g. residential, transportation, and manufacturing). In other words, energy services are required in all cultures to provide basic human requirements, including lighting, heating, and mobility.
As a result, energy is more than just a commodity; it is a strategic commodity and the lifeblood of today’s economy.