Comparision of conventional energy resources


Conventional energy is obtained from the conventional energy resources such as coal, diesel, gas and nucleus. These are non-renewable resources and may exhaust in few decades if consumed at the current rate. The burning of fossil fuels produces harmful gases such as nitrous oxide, carbon monoxide, sulphur-di-oxide etc and pollutes the environment. The comparison of various factors of power production from the conventional resources is listed below.

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Thermal power plant

Nuclear power plant

Diesel power plant

Gas turbine power plant

Capital cost

High but less than nuclear power plants Very high Low Less than thermal power plant


Super thermal power plants of 7500 MW are available. Higher than thermal power plants. Few KW to 50 MW Gas power plants combined with thermal power plant can have a capacity up to 35MW

Safety consideration

Less than when compares to nuclear power plants Extremely high due to the radiation risks Less Less

Impact on the environment

Emission of green house gases pollutes the environment. Has no impact on the environment on normal function. Accidents may lead to major disaster due to radiation. Emission of as nitrous oxide, carbon monoxide, sulphur-di-oxide etc occurs. This can be controlled by proper precautions Emissions occur due to the burning of natural gas or other fuels but can be controlled.


18 -24% 15 – 20% 40 – 45 %
Maximum efficiency can be obtained only during full load operation.
Efficiency of a simple gas plant is very less. Combined gas plants can offer an efficiency of 50 – 55%.

Operating cost

High Low Very high due to the cost of fuel.


Maintenance cost

High Very high Less maintenance. But high maintenance cost due to the cost of the part. Maintenance cost is low. But frequent turbine maintenance may occur.


80 – 100 years 50 – 60 years 5 – 10 years Less due to frequent turbine maintenance

Water requirement

High Extremely high Water is required only for cooling of the diesel engine. Virtually no water requirement.

Area required

More Area required for installation of the plant is less. But for cooling and safety requirement more area is covered. Less Less

Starting time

More More Can start instantly. Takes a few minutes.

Cooling system

Large Due to very high temperature produced due to the atomic fission cooling system is very large. A small system for cooling the diesel engine is required. Very small cooling system


Thermal power plants are located away from the urban area due to the pollution risks. Located away from a populated area where more water is available and disposal of wastes is easy. Can be located anywhere and at any location. Located at remote locations within the industries and along with the thermal power plants.

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