Leh: A 3-day International Conference of “Geothermal and other Energy Resources of Ladakh Technological and Business viability” commenced today which was inaugurated by Vice President of India, Hamid Ansari at Leh.
The Conference was jointly organized by the Institute of Energy Research and Training and the Business School, University of Jammu in collaboration with MPRG University College London (UK). A galaxy of scholars, scientists and academicians from India and broad attended the Conference.
The Vice President of India while addressing Scientists, Academicians and Scholars fully supported the view that technology and human ingenuity would lead us to newer sources of energy as also to better utilization of existing sources and qualities.
He said, it is a recorded fact of history that all civilizations depended for survival and prosperity on their ability to access energy in sufficient quantities in the form of food and fuel. The advancement of the past two centuries highlights this truism.
Ansari said exploiting Geothermal Energy is not new to humankind. Ancient Romans built elaborate complexes in areas where they came across hot water springs. In our own country, hot water springs were traditionally use for religious and the IITs, especially at Puga valley in Ladakh and Tatapani in Chhattisgarh, he added.
The Vice president further said that though India has been one of the earliest countries to begin geothermal projects way back in the 1970s, geothermal energy has not emerged as a significant renewable energy option in the country. The preference, instead, he said is for wind energy and solar energy presumably on account of their easy availability, lower initial investment and proven technology.
Ansari said that it is estimated that there is a technical potential to produce about 10 thousand megawatts of geothermal power in the country. From the point of view of electrification of rural and remote areas, the Vice President said that there is even greater potential in terms of the impact of geothermal power where even small projects of 5 kilowatts can significantly change the economic situation and living standards.
The Vice President said that the national mission to ensure energy security thus propels us to look seriously at new and renewable energy options with a focus on grid interactive and distributed renewable power, rural and urban applications, and industrial and commercial applications of such renewable power.
Regarding heat flow and thermal gradients, Hamid Ansari said that India has several geothermal provinces characterized by high heat flow and thermal gradients, subsequent to the oil crisis of the 1970s, the geological Survey of India generated data of resources assessment for over 300 hot springs in the country.
Ansari said that the Puga valley geo-thermal field in Jammu and Kashmir has been estimated to have a temperature of 240 degree centigrade at a depth of 2000 meters. This makes evident its potential and said he is confident that this conference would debate ways and means of involving all stakeholders to make this the first viable and operational geo-thermal power plant.
He hoped that the regulatory and policy environment governing renewable energy in general and geo-thermal energy in particular would evolve, to enable us to realize the existing potential in Ladakh and deploy it for the public good.