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Norway offers aid to tap geothermal energy

Chandigarh: The Norway government, in collaboration with Indian universities and a consortium with Indian universities and a consortium of companies, has allocated 1.5 million krones (about Rs 7 crore ) to find the source of geothermal energy of hotsprings in Ladakh.  The Himachal Pradesh, and Puga in has failed to take any initiative in exploring and tapping the energy source.

The project, expected to propel economic prosperity in the region, has spread much cheer among researchers and academicians, “The estimated geothermal potential of the Ladakh  region is more than 200 MW in Chumathang  Puga axis, This resource, once developed, will meet the energy requirement of Ladakh for centuries to come,” claimed Rithesh  Arya, Indian Coordinator and partner.

Under INDNOR, a Joint scientific project to promote Indian Norway Scientific cooperation, Norway Research Council on has announced grants to ‘AGNEYODGARA’, which in Sanskrit means energy from lava, and is consortium of three Nordic research  organizations from Norway. The Organizations Norway Geotechnical Institute, for Energy Technology and Iceland Geosurvey  have tied up with National Institute of Technology, Hamirpur, Centre for Advanced studies (CAS) in Geology, Chandigrah, Satluj Jal Vidyut Yojna (SJVNL) and companies Arya Drillers, Stratoil and Green Energy to study sustainable development of geothermal energy in North Western Indian Himalayas. “Development of geothermal resources has the potential to supply the region with electric power, heat and cold, which may increase industrial efficiency and productivity in sectors such as agriculture, food processing and tourism,” added Arya.

Besides meeting energy requirement, the geothermal springs of Ladakh and Himachal are best suited for tourist destinations with beautiful spas and pools, Other uses of geothermal springs for space heating and green houses will be emphasized to increase agricultural production and animal husbandry activities like fisheries and poultry. Use of geothermal sources for refrigeration and storage will also be explored.

Traditional geo medicinal values of these hot springs will be used to developed geothermal hospital and Amchi treatment will be encouraged for treating local problems mainly associated with joint pains. All this will lead to socio-economic development of the region besides providing clean, green and cheep energy to the difficult areas of Ladakh and ultimately decrease dependency on fossil fuels.

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