According to reports, the Centre of Excellence for Geothermal Energy (CEGE) at the Gujarat-based Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University (PDPU), an industry-government initiative to create a talent pool for the energy field, has completed pre-feasibility studies in geothermal energy, becoming the only university in the country to foray into this renewable energy sector with State funds.
“We have so far conducted pre-feasibility studies for the entire State of Gujarat with the help of geological, geochemical and remote-sensing technologies and have identified five geothermal provinces. Further, geophysical subsurface investigations are ongoing to understand geothermal potential and release target locations for geothermal well drilling,” said B.K. Behera, professor at the Geothermal Energy unit of the university.
The PDPU, on the outskirts of the State’s capital Gandhinagar, started off in 2007 as an institution to address the future talent needs of the fast-growing petroleum and gas sector. It has now forayed into various technological fields, besides liberal studies, attempting to become a holistic temple of higher learning. Its president is Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani and it has members of Gujarat’s top bureaucracy working in the energy sector as well as honchos of leading companies in the power sector on its governing board.
In common parlance, geothermal energy is generated and stored in the Earth and the technology is about tapping this heat to produce electricity. According to the International Geothermal Association (IGA), as much as 10,715 MW of geothermal power is online in 24 countries and the projection is that this would reach some 18,500 MW by 2015.
Said Dr. Behera: “Geothermal energy has the potential to generate and deliver sustainable supplies of clean, renewable base load. A number of government and private sector companies in India are exploring the opportunities to develop this valuable resource.”
“Various geothermal prospects have been identified in the Himalayan belt, the Cambay basin and in central India. There is an urgent need to develop these identified geothermal prospects,” he added. The CEGE would provide an opportunity for companies around the world to contribute towards development of this sector.
The centre is aimed at providing expertise, equipment, services and operational support for geothermal activities in India, he says.
To begin with, regular international seminars, workshops and conferences have been planned for geothermal technology transfer and the implementation of the latest state-of-the-art technology. The PDPU on July 26 is organising an international knowledge seminar called, ‘Geothermal Energy-Initiative and Development.’
“This seminar is aimed at bringing various stakeholders in geothermal sector on one platform and understanding their perspectives for successful growth of this sector,” said Dr. Behera.