Geothermal

 

Overview:

Geothermal energy supplies more than 10,000 MW to 24 countries worldwide and now produces enough electricity to meet the needs of 60 million people and another 22 countries will add to the list by 2010. This renewable energy source also has the potential to provide significant opportunities to do businesses both small and large. It is considered possible to produce up to 8.3% of the total world electricity with geothermal resources, serving 17% of the world population.

Global status and potential of geothermal energy

Capacity (GW) Market Size (billion $) Market Size
Growth Rate (%)
2008 Future Estimates 2008 Future Estimates
8
 

According to market studies, investment in geothermal energy is growing globally at 24% a year. This exceptional investing growth rate is expected to continue - and increase even faster - for the foreseeable future.

India - Capacity & Consumption Data

There are no operational geothermal plants in India. There is also no installed geothermal generating capacity as of now and only direct uses (eg.Drying) have been detailed.

Direct Uses

  • Total thermal installed capacity in MW: 203.0
  • Direct use in TJ/year: 1,606.3
  • Direct use in GWh/year: 446.2
  • Capacity factor: 0.25

India’s Need for Geothermal Energy

India has reasonably good potential for geothermal; the potential geothermal provinces can produce 10,600 MW of power. But yet geothermal power projects have not been exploited at all, owing to a variety of reasons, the main being the availability of plentiful coal at cheap costs. However, with increasing environmental problems with coal based projects, India is exploring clean and eco-friendly energy sources for its future needs; one of which could be geothermal.

Potential of Geothermal energy in India

From geological, geochemical, shallow geophysical and shallow drilling data it is estimated that India has about 10,000 MWe of geothermal power potential that can be harnessed for various purposes.

Potential Sites:

  • Puga Valley (J&K)
  • Tatapani (Chhattisgarh)
  • Godavari Basin Manikaran (Himachal Pradesh)
  • Bakreshwar (West Bengal)
  • Tuwa (Gujarat)
  • Unai (Maharashtra)
  • Jalgaon (Maharashtra)

The various assessment studies and surveys undertaken so far have resulted in the identification of 340 hot springs across India. The discovery of vast geothermal reservoirs at Puga in the north-west of the Himalayas and Tatapani fields on the Narmada in central India also augurs well for the country.

Potential Geothermal regions/sources in India

With India’s geothermal power potential of 10,600 MW, the following are the potential sources/ regions where geothermal energy can be harnessed in India.

Province Surface Temp C Reservoir Temp C Heat Flow Thermal gradient
Himalaya >90 260 468 100
Cambay 40-90 150-175 80-93 70
West coast 46-72 102-137 75-129 47-59
Sonata 60 - 95 105-217 120-290 60-90
Godavari 50-60 175-215 93-104 60
 

Business opportunities by scale of investments

Scale of Investment Type of Opportunity
Low
  • Consulting and installation for home-based geothermal systems
  • Training people for geothermal heat pump installations
Medium
  • Setting up medium scale geothermal plants
  • Setting up manufacturing plants for components and accessories for the geothermal energy industry
High
  • Setting up large-scale geothermal equipment and components manufacturing plants
  • Setting up large geothermal power plants or home-based geothermal installations
  • Involving in large-scale distribution of biofuels
  • Centralized grid-connected geothermal plants
  • Installing large-scale distributed (home or location-based) geothermal heat pumps.