The energy industry or energy sector involves energy generation, energy distribution and energy sales that serves the power industry or power sector and other industries like agriculture, oil and gas, petrochemical, mineral and mining, gemstone, metal, alloy, etc . The energy industries or energy sectors includes alternative energy or renewable energy and non-renewable energy industries. The renewable energy industry generates and distributes energy from renewable energy sources for use by individuals and businesses in sectors other than energy sectors. The same is true for the non-renewable energy industry that produces non-renewable energy from non-renewable energy sources. The nonrenewable energy generated from nonrenewable energy sources are made available for distribution to industries and people that use them.
Types of Energy Industries or Industries That Make Up Energy Industries
The energy industry is a made up of the following industries or sectors which comprises of different energy companies.
The oil and gas industry or oil and gas sector refers to the petroleum industry (petroleum sector) and natural gas industry(natural gas sector). Generally, oil and gas industries or oil and gas sectors are classified into three (3) subsectors which are the upstream, midstream and downstream sectors. These sub-sectors play different roles within the oil and gas sector.
i. Upstream Sector
Upstream sector of the oil and gas industry is involved in the exploration and production of oil and gas. It also involves oil and gas lifting or oil and gas transport. By exploration, these are oil and gas services and activities aimed at locating and discovering oil and gas deposits in oil and gas fields which have crude oil and natural gas either on land or underwater. Besides the exploration, the upstream sector also involves the actual drilling, operating and maintenance of the oil wells from which crude oil is obtained underneath the earth while natural gas are found on the surface during the drilling process. Some school of thoughts are of the view that the upstream sector also include production of unconventional gas (e.g coalbed methane, coal gas, coal seam gas or coal-mine methane) as well as liquefied natural gas(LNG) which is made up of mainly methane. Hence it should be noted that unconventional gas and liquefied natural gas are forms of natural gas.
ii. Midstream Sector
The midstream sector is involved in the refining of crude oil or petroleum using fractional distillation in oil refineries to obtain different petroleum products such as petrol, kerosene, diesel, etc.
iii. Downstream Sector
The downstream sector is involved in the marketing of petroleum products or marketing of oil and gas products. The generation of gas for power generation which can be used for electricity and other uses are part of the downstream sector.
The electrical power industry is involved in electric power generation, electric power transmission, electric power distribution and electric power sales for home and industrial uses. Power is needed by the manufacturing industry and service industry for the production of goods and services respectively.
Coal industry is involved in the coal extraction, coal distribution and sales of coal for various uses apart from being used in generation of electricity.
The nuclear power industry is part of the energy industry in which nuclear energy generated from particles within the nucleus of atoms are undergo fission and fusion reactions or radioactive decay. Nuclear energy beside other uses can be used in generating electricity for residential and industrial uses.
Renewable energy otherwise called alternative energy is a sustainable energy that includes solar energy for solar power, wind energy for wind power, hydro energy for hydropower or hydroelectric power, geothermal energy for geothermal power and biomass energy otherwise called bioenergy. Generally, alternative energy refers to energy obtained from other sources other than oil and gas. Renewable energy are called sustainable energy, green energy and clean energy because they ensure a safer environment hence called eco-friendly or environmentally friendly types of energy. Renewable energy industry produce, distribute and sell renewable energy as well as alternative fuels.
Having highlighted the different energy industries it is also important to note that all the energy sectors are typical examples of modern energy. However, a typical example of traditional energy is firewood which is still in use by some developing, underdeveloped or poor countries.
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