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Geothermal Energy in India



  May 04, 2024

Geothermal Energy in India



What is geothermal energy?

Geothermal energy is the heat derived from the sub-surface of the earth. This heat can be sourced from shallow ground to hot water and hot rock found a few miles beneath the Earth's surface, and even farther down to the extremely high temperatures of molten rock called magma. It can be harnessed to generate electricity or for heating purposes.

What is the current status of geothermal energy in India?

As of now, geothermal energy in India is still in the exploratory stages with minimal installed capacity. Despite having potential geothermal sites, India has not yet developed substantial geothermal power plants primarily due to technical challenges such as drilling deep wells and the cost associated with heat extraction.

What are the potential sites for geothermal energy in India?

India's geothermal energy potential is significant, especially in regions like the Western Himalayas, the Narmada Valley, and parts of Gujarat and Rajasthan. These areas have shown promising geothermal gradients and are considered suitable for geothermal projects.

What are the benefits of geothermal energy?

Geothermal energy is a sustainable and clean source of energy that provides reliable power while emitting minimal greenhouse gases. It can help reduce dependence on fossil fuels and is known for its low environmental footprint.

What government initiatives are in place to promote geothermal energy in India?

The Indian government, through the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), supports geothermal energy development via research, exploration, and potential development projects. Initiatives like the ‘Akshay Urja’ program are aimed at increasing the utilization of renewable resources, including geothermal, to diversify India’s energy mix.

How can geothermal energy contribute to India's GDP growth?

Integrating geothermal energy can reduce India’s reliance on imported fossil fuels, saving foreign exchange and enhancing energy security. As the geothermal industry develops, it can boost GDP by creating new jobs, fostering a skilled workforce, and building a domestic industry around renewable energy technologies.

What are the challenges facing the development of geothermal energy in India?

The main challenges include the high costs associated with the deep drilling required to access geothermal energy and the technical expertise needed to exploit it effectively. Additionally, awareness and investment in geothermal technology are still growing, which are crucial for its development.

What is the role of public-private partnerships (PPP) in developing geothermal energy in India?

Public-private partnerships are crucial for pooling resources, sharing risks, and enhancing expertise in large-scale geothermal projects. The government encourages PPPs to accelerate the development of geothermal infrastructure, which can lead to technological innovations and financial investments necessary for the sector's growth.

By addressing these key points, stakeholders and the public can gain a better understanding of the role and potential of geothermal energy in enhancing India’s renewable energy portfolio.


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