- State-run explorer Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) will be participating to generate electricity through Geothermal Energy at Puga, a remote valley located in Ladakh, off the road to Chumar on the de-facto border with China.
- Puga Valley is situated in the Changthang Valley in the south-eastern part of Ladakh, about 22 km away from the Salt Lake Valley.
- It is a region of great significance known for its natural beauty and geothermal activities.
- Puga is also visited for its hot sulphur spring.
- It will be India’s first geothermal energy project and also the world’s highest at 14,000ft.
- ONGC has started drilling its first well for the project and encountered high-pressure steam at 100 degrees Celsius with a discharge rate of 100 tonne geothermal energy per hour, considered as a good sign for the project.
- In the first phase, the company will drill 1,000-metre-deep wells to run a one-megawatt power plant as a pilot.
- The second phase envisages a deeper exploration of the geothermal reservoir and a higher capacity demonstration plant.
- The third phase would involve commercial development of the geothermal plant.
- It will boost Ladakh’s potential to emerge as one of the country’s clean energy bowl by expanding the area’s horizon beyond solar or wind power.
- The pilot plant provides power and heating needs of the nearby settlements of Tibetan pastoralist refugee settlements at Sumdo and nearby areas.
- A bigger plant will provide 24X7 supply for the far-flung settlements and the large defence establishment in the eastern sector, reducing their dependence on diesel for running generators.
- The plant can also play a vital role as a stabiliser for the 15-gigawatt solar/wind project being planned in the nearby Morey plains in the southwest.
Some of the prominent places where a power plant can be established based on geothermal energy are:
- Manikaran in Himachal Pradesh
- Jalgaon in Maharashtra
- Tapovan in Uttarakhand
- Bakreshwar in West Bengal
- Tuwa in Gujarat
Geothermal energy is the heat from the earth. This heat is used for bathing, to heat buildings, and to generate electricity.
- The word geothermal comes from the Greek words geo (earth) and therme (heat), and geothermal energy is a renewable energy source because heat is continuously produced inside the earth.
SOURCE: THE HINDU,THE ECONOMIC TIMES,MINT