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Global JV to exploit geothermal energy

Rakesh Lohumi
Tribune News Service

Shimla, December 21
A consortium of technical and scientific research organisations of India, Norway and Iceland will implement a pilot project for the exploitation of geothermal resources of the north-western Himalayas for promoting tourism and generating clean energy.
The "Agneya Udgara IndNor Scientific" (energy from lava) project will be implemented as an Indo-Norwegian joint venture by the consortium , according to noted geologist Ritesh Arya, who is the Indian coordinator for the programme.

A team of experts from Norway and Iceland, where geothermal technologies are already well-developed and widely used, will come to India in February to visit various geothermal sites to prepare a blueprint for the project. The Norwegain partners have agreed to provide an initial amount of Rs 7 crore for starting work. A workshop will also be organised here during their visit.

The core of Himalayan ranges has abundance of geothermal sources as evident from the numerous hot springs in the region. Some places like Manikaran, Vahshstha and Tattapani and Chumathang, Panamic, Puga Sasoma, Marsmicla and Demchuk in the adjoining Ladakh have been attracting people, mostly pilgrims, but so far no effort has been made to harness the true potential of the these largely neglected resources.
Located in interior pockets the geothermal sites could be developed as tourist destinations with spa resorts and health centres based on traditional therapies as the main attraction to bring prosperity to areas which lack other economic resources, asserts Arya, who earned a place in the Guinness Book of World Records for striking ground water and drilling the highest borewell in the world in Ladakh.

The focus will be on research to develop sustainable green technologies based on geothermal sources to provide renewable energy across the north-western Himalayas. Deep boring will be required to tap the geothermal energy for generating power as temperature up to 200 degree Celsius is essential. The ultimate plan is to set up a geothermal study centre in Himachal for carrying out research and development to promote geo-tourism

The partner organisations include the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute(NGI), Institute for Energy Technology (Norway), Iceland Geosurvey, National Institute of Technology, Hamirpur, Centre of Advanced Study in Geology, Chandigarh, the Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam, Arya Drillers, , Stratoil and GreenEnergy.

 
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