PDPU looks to Iceland for geothermal inspiration

Vol 23, PW 22 (10 Sep 20) Midstream, Downstream, Renewables

With a population of just 360,000, remote Iceland in the North Sea is a global hub for the development of geothermal energy to generate electricity.

In Gandhinagar, this fact is not lost on the Centre of Excellence for Geothermal Energy (CEGE) at the GSPC-Reliance promoted Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University (PDPU). In April next year (2021), a single person CEGE delegation will attend a six-month Geothermal Training Programme (GTP) sponsored by the Tokyo-based United Nations University, the academic and research arm of the United Nations.

"Geothermal energy has huge potential in India too," Anirbid Sircar, CEGE director, told an online geothermal webinar on August 28, attended by (Dr) Gudni Axelsson, director of the Geothermal Training Programme in Iceland. Axelsson told the webinar that electricity generated from geothermal energy heats 90% of building space in sparsely populated Iceland.

"Indian sedimentary basins have low enthalpy resources that can establish eco-friendly energy infrastructure," said Axelsson. "In India, the direct application of geothermal energy can also be developed for space heating and cooling systems."

Sricar told the webinar that CEGE has successfully demonstrated the generation of electricity using low enthalpy geothermal energy at Dholera in Gujarat last year (2019). But with an annual budget of just Rs7cr ($1.05m), more funds are needed for CEGE to realise the full potential of geothermal energy in India, said a university source.