Today there is a power shortage all over the world. So geothermal energy will no doubt be a great option for the world.
Geothermal Power Is An Alternative For Coal
About two weeks ago, due to a shortage of coal in the country, more than half of the country's coal-based power projects were on the verge of closure. Whether the country would sink into darkness or not, such a serious situation had arisen. In the 21st century, even though the global coal power empire has shrunk, in Asian countries like India and China, it is an important component of the country's energy mix. Especially for power generation.
India is the world's second largest coal importer despite having about 60 per cent coal-fired power generation and large reserves of domestic coal. India has recovered from the Covid-19 epidemic and is improving its economy. Similarly, the already weakened economy was plagued by power shortages and imports of coal. Against the backdrop of climate change, carbon emissions, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, there has been a lot of talk from experts over the past few years about reducing coal dependence. Not only that, in the near future, the decision to phase out some old coal-fired power projects is also expected from the Ministry of Energy. However, this is not easy.
The central and state governments will have to pay the price for the loss of additional revenue and many who depend on the industry will lose their jobs. Immediate measures can be taken to increase domestic production, reduce the use of coal from industries like steel and cement to power generation. However, there is a need to find long-term solutions with the aim of generating clean energy. Although renewable energy sources such as solar and wind seem to be gaining ground, their use is limited by the changing seasons. Other options, such as hydropower and nuclear, also have limitations.
India's Geothermal Energy Source
Today, the time has come again, geothermal energy is the answer to the search for a debt in the womb of the earth that will be clean, sustainable and low cost. This energy is clean, renewable, sustainable, carbon free environment friendly. It can be formed from deep, underwater reservoirs under the earth's surface. Geothermal energy can reduce dependence on fossil fuels such as coal or oil. The technology is currently used for power generation in about 26 countries. These countries are generating more than 15-20% of their electricity from geothermal sources. Iceland is the leader in generating 62% of electricity through geothermal media.
According to Geothermal Rising, an international geothermal organization, only 15.6 gigawatts (1 gigawatt - 100,000 kilowatts) of energy, or about 6.9% of the world's total capacity, has been generated so far. However, the potential can be increased up to two Gigawatt.
India has seven geothermal regions and numerous geothermal springs. It has the potential to develop geothermal projects commercially. Cambe Graben in Gujarat, Tattapani in Chhattisgarh, Manikaran in Himachal Pradesh, Ratnagiri in Maharashtra and Rajgir in Bihar and Puga and Chumathang in East Ladakh are among the most favorable. In the same way that most power plants in India, which use heat from coal to generate electricity by rotating turbines through steam generated from it, geothermal power plants also use heat from hot water reservoirs or use heat from under the earth's surface.
Geothermal Energy Source Location
The average availability of geothermal power projects is 90 percent or more. However, the availability of coal project is only 75%. In addition, geothermal energy is the only renewable source available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It does not require storage and is not affected by day-night or seasonal changes like solar and wind. This makes geothermal energy a long-term sustainable source. Of course, geothermal power generation, like all other sources of energy, has some challenges.
Geothermal energy sources are location-specific, and although less expensive during construction, may initially increase in cost during project construction. Besides, why a small amount; But it also produces gases that are harmful to the environment. Earthquake changes during excavations create the possibility of earthquakes, given that the risk is minimal. However, all these disadvantages can be minimized through proper management, strategic framework based on in-depth study and use of advanced technology.
Oil and gas companies already have the technology, knowledge, information and skilled and trained staff, engineers, who are required for the exploration, drilling and development of geothermal projects, which can be brought together under this project. Some of the existing wells may be revived. However, if there is sufficient heat in the ground, the well is technically strong, etc., then these wells can be revived for geothermal production using proper technology, which can reduce the cost.
ONGC, under the leadership of the Ministry of Renewable Energy, has set an initial target of one megawatt for the country's first geothermal project in Ladakh in three phases. The success of this project could be a major step towards achieving India's goal of 450 gigawatts of renewable energy by 2030. But for this, India needs to develop a structured and strong strategic framework, with an in-depth assessment of the pros and cons of using geothermal energy. Efforts are being made to create a conducive environment to attract trained workers, as well as to frame rules.
India is currently consulting experts from countries like Iceland and Indonesia. Not only that, the recently concluded 'India Energy Forum-2021' conference has also discussed this issue with world-class experts. Geothermal power generation will help increase India's energy security and energy self-reliance by reducing India's dependence on coal. It will also reduce the cost of importing fossil fuels to the same extent and India's contribution to achieving the global goal of net zero emissions by 2050 will definitely be significant.
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