What are the Urban Problems Related to Energy of Sustainable Development

Energy is a essential need of a man where-ever he lives- urban of rural society. In urban areas the need of energy is increasing by leaps and bounds. Take the case of mega- urban dwelling places.

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Vehicles both petrol and diesel engine driven are seen flowing like floods. These vehicles run with the basic input called oil which is one form of energy what about the other sources of energy-renewable and non-renewable being used by urban population. The world-wide demand for energy will be more than double by the year 2020.

Moreover, countries use energy in an uneven mariner in the world. Some countries use more energy whiles many less. In developed countries the amount of energy used is much more compared to underdeveloped developing countries. Industrialised developed countries use energy for these purposes: (i) residential and commercial, (ii) industrial and (iii) transportation. In less-developed countries, most of the energy is used by individuals. Canada and United States use about twice as much energy as someone in France or Japan and over twenty-five times as much energy as a person in Africa.


The consumption of energy in India is more than Africa because it is the second populous country in the world with population touching slightly more than 110 crores.

In India, about 70% commercial energy is being generated through coal-fired thermal plants. Coal consumption by thermal plants is rising every year. There are about 40 thermal plants both big and small scattered all over the country. The Korba-Super Thermal Power

Station is the largest. It has installed capacity of 2,100 MW Power from the project goes into the western grid comprising the states of Madhva Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Goa. However, Bihar, West Bengal, Delhi, Gujarat and Haryana are some of the main producers of thermal power in India.

Before discussing the sources of energy those can be harnessed, let us have an idea of energy demand for residential, commercial, industrial and transportation sectors of both developed and developing countries of the world.


Urban-Residential and Commercial Energy Demand

As already explained, the amount of energy required for residential and commercial use varies greatly throughout the world.

The economics of energy consumption describe that a country with high GNP (gross national product roughly national income) use less per capita energy for residential and commercial needs, than a less developed country like Africa and India. 30 per cent energy used in North America and 90 per cent used in India is for residential and commercial purposes.

Reason is very simple. North Americans use air conditioning, refrigeration, water heating and space heating. So 75 percent energy is used in these gadgets. In India, almost all of the energy used in home is for cooking due to scarcity and high cost of fuel. About half of the energy demand in Africa is for cooking because they use an open fire instead of stoves. Using more efficient stoves instead of open fires could reduce these energy requirements by 50 percent.


Summarily North America and India could reduce energy consumption in many ways.

Urban-Industrial Energy Demand of Sustainable Development

Considerable variation is found in the amount of energy used for industrial processes. About 30 per cent of energy is used by USA for industries. In the former Soviet Union large deposits of coal, oil and natural gas reserves were available.

On account of this reason steel is processed from ore because energy is readily available. Spain and Italy lack large deposits of fossil fuel necessary for the extraction of oil and natural gas.

So both Italy and Spain produce steel from scrap steel because it needs less energy/Producing 1 metric ton of steel from iron or in the former Soviet Union uses as much energy as producing a metric ton of steel from scrap in Spain or Italy.

Large capital investment is required to upgrade the process of industrial production, because updated and upgraded machinery and equipment reduce industrial energy consumption. Many countries of the world cannot afford to convert their existing processes due to financial and other constraints.

Take the case of India, a nation with few coal deposits, still uses the outdated open hearth furnace to produce steel. This process needs double the worldwide energy for producing a metric ton of steel on an average. India being an underdeveloped developing country if unable to change the process to modern methods has to continue to use energy expensive methods.

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