Conventional sources of energy are the ones that are commonly used, and generally non-renewable sources of energy, which are being used since a long time. Examples of conventional sources of energy include oil, natural gas, coal, biomass, and electricity. The fossil fuels oil, gas and coal, provide more than 85 percent of energy consumed in the World as well as in Turkey. Conventional resources provide two-thirds of the country's electricity and almost all transportation fuels. Though conventionally sourced energy may have a lower initial cost than non-traditional energy sources such as solar or geothermal, the world's reliance on fossil fuels presents many challenges, including environmental damage, securing supply and resources and lack of sustainability. It is also becoming increasingly difficult to discover and exploit their new deposits.
Because fossil fuels are so valuable and they are not found everywhere, international politics is very much involved in producing and distributing fossil fuels. The dynamic world of conventional energy (focusing on oil, gas and coal energy) is a critical piece of the world energy portfolio. Our focus will be on recent trends, and perspectives on the future of conventional energy and how business interests are evolving to meet the interests and needs of new energy economies.
Oil and natural gas resources which require greater than industry-standard levels of technology or investment to harvest are known as “unconventional oil and gas” resources. The most common types of unconventional oil and gas resources are shale oil, oil sands, extra heavy oil, tight sands, coalbed methane, gas shales, and gas hydrates. Though these resources were historically overlooked in search of more economical, conventional reserves, the growing maturity of these plays in the world has led to increased investment in unconventional resource exploration. For example, shale gas is natural gas that is found trapped within shale formations. Shale gas has become an increasingly important source of natural gas in the United States since the start of this century, and interest has spread to potential gas shales in the rest of the world. In 2000 shale gas provided only 1% of U.S. natural gas production; by 2010 it was over 20% and the U.S. government's Energy Information Administration predicts that by 2035, 46% of the United States' natural gas supply will come from shale gas.
Electricity is another conventional source of power, which is playing a barometer of a nation's economic well-being. Availability of abundant electricity means unrestricted growth of industries, transport and agriculture.
Thermal-electric power plants, hydro-electric power plants, and nuclear power plants supply most of the electrical energy used in the world. These three methods of producing electricity are often referred to as conventional energy sources. This means that they are the more traditional or more commonly used sources of electrical energy.
The selection of electricity production modes and their economic viability varies in accordance with demand and region. Hydroelectric plants, nuclear power plants, thermal power plants and renewable sources have their own pros and cons, and selection is based upon the local power requirement and the fluctuations in demand. All power grids have varying loads on them but the daily minimum is the base load, supplied by plants which run continuously. Nuclear, coal, oil and gas plants can supply base load. Thermal energy is economical in areas of high industrial density, as the high demand cannot be met by renewable sources. These plants can also withstand variation in load and consumption by adding more units or temporarily decreasing the production of some units.
The huge challenge for energy policy is to enable energy supply to be secure, low carbon and affordable. The need for energy, together with the economics of producing and supplying that energy to the end user, are central considerations in power plant investment decisions and operating strategies. Inevitably, there will be a point at which higher efficiency and lower emissions come at a cost which cannot be justified. Where economic and regulatory conditions exist which shift this balance consistently in favour of higher efficiency and lower emissions, improvements become a normal part of running a competitive business. The trend over time has been towards improved power plant performance.
The development of supercritical and ultra-supercritical steam cycles, with progressively higher steam temperatures and pressures, combined with modern plant design and automation, provide significant potential for further efficiency improvements and the mitigation of CO2 emissions.
To improve the operating efficiency of the power plants policies considering; achieving the best-practice efficiency objectives in the design, operation and maintenance of power plants and electricity grids, developing advanced materials, co‑generation of heat and power, and more efficient CO2 capture technologies are all need to be deployed. Policy makers should incorporate the strategies to improve the overall efficiency of power generation.