INDNOR project to look into geothermal potential in the Indian Himalayas

Manikaran, Himalayas, India (source: flickr/ mvcorks, creative commons)
Alexander Richter 23 Feb 2011

A recent workshop on Geothermal Energy in the Northwest Indian Himalayas, launched the Agneyodgara INDNOR project, a joint venture of India, Norway and Iceland. The project is to look into the effective tapping of geothermal energy in this region.

A recent “one-day workshop on “Geothermal Energy in the Northwest Indian Himalayas”, organized by the Civil Engineering Department of the National Institute of Technology, Hamripur, made a significant headway in giving a practical shape to a project started by India, Norway and Iceland, jointly.

The Agneyodgara INDNOR Project, a joint venture of three countries, has been launched for the effective tapping of geothermal energy in this region.

Since some areas of Himachal Pradesh are having many sources of geothermal energy, the state is going to be befitted by this project.

Dr RS Banshtu, convener of the workshop, said the main purpose of organising the workshop was to create awareness among scientists and students about the geothermal energy as part of the INDNOR project for the study of this source of energy in the Northwest Himalayas.

Several scientists from the Department of Civil Engineering, NIT, Hamirpur, CAS in Geology, PU, Chandigarh, Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam, and Arya Drillers, a drilling company, are associated with the project.

Foreign partners in the project are NGI and IFE from Norway and ISOR from Iceland.

The scientists shared vital information regarding the subject after visiting various geothermal sites in Leh (Ladakh), Manali and Manikaran as part of the pre-project studies.

The scientists also deliberated upon the geothermal potential and its utilisation in the Himalayas. Though the result of the studies done would be brought out after the completion of the project by the end of this year, the preliminary studies indicate the vast potential but improper use of geothermal energy at various locations across the region.

Dr Ritesh Arya of Arya Drillers gave his suggestions for developing Manikaran and Manali as the future geothermal tourist destinations by building beautiful spas and swimming pools by tapping the sources of hot springs on the lines of Blue Lagoon of Iceland to boost the tourism in the area.

Dr Kirsti, Dr Jiri, Dr Bjarni and Dr Arni, foreign scientists associated with the project, emphasised that the Himalayas had a vast potential of geothermal energy which was going waste and stressed upon the need to tap it scientifically.

The scientists from Iceland gave more practical suggestions in the effective implementation of the project since their country is among the top five leading countries in the world to use the potential of geothermal energy in the region. Iceland has utilised this energy for various purposes like heating houses, maintaining temperature in greenhouses to produce fruits and vegetables, building swimming pools and spas for tourists, besides generating electricity.

The organisers of the workshop are confident that fruitful deliberation in the workshop provided important inputs for the effective tapping of geothermal energy.”

Source: Tribune India