Archive for March, 2016


Who is looking at geothermal !!!!!!


Finland which supports its total energy share of 1.3% by wind is turning to geothermal. Wind power is the most popular energy resource among Finnish public. 260 turbines generates about 1005 MWe and public investment in wind energy is quite large. Fossil fuel is the main source of energy for district heating in Finland. But now the country is looking at geothermal as a energy source mix for district heating system. A district heating project is advancing in FINLAND by extracting heat from granites at 7 km depth! A press release states that geothermal district heating is new to the country and will revolutionize district heating system in Finland. This pilot project is located in Espoo and the project got full support from the ministry of Employment and Economy in the form of investment subsidy. The main goal of this project is capacity building and to increase the expertise in the field of geothermal heat production from deeper depths for future district heating and reduce dependency on fossil fuels and mitigate CO2 emissions. The project was also chosen as the best innovation project for district heating using geothermal of the year 2015. “The pilot project can offer a renewable, emission-free source of energy for district heat production, and it can be linked directly into the existing district heat network,” said Director of Renewable Energy of St1 Jari Suominen. This project is executed by Strada Energy and St1 Deep Heat. The technology used is fluid hammer operating system in combination with percussion technique that enables quick way to drill 7000 m total measured depth wells into granite. This shows that countries are going to any extent to tap the heat from the interior of the earth to reduce GHG emissions and provide clean and cheap energy to the millions. Geothermal systems work 365 days in an year with >90% efficiency. No batteries and storage devices are required and the geothermal power systems are stand alone unlike other renewables. Land requirement for geothermal is small unlike wind and solar PV systems. Back-up power is not required for geothermal.

Oil rich countries too are looking at geothermal to reduce CO2 emissions and lower extraction of fossil fuels there by extending the life of the reservoirs and to reduce domestic consumption of oil and gas by using geothermal energy.

India too has huge geothermal resources in the form of hydrothermal and EGS systems. Had such systems exists in Finland, then Finland would have supported the entire country’s energy need by geothermal. Technology, manpower and scientific expertise is available in India. Power secretaries were briefed about this source of energy. Power ministers and Chief ministers are briefed and were enlightened the advantages of using geothermal energy as a source mix. Army chiefs were briefed and defence ministers were briefed to support geothermal for greenhouse cultivation and electricity in places like Chumathang, Leh. Yet, policy makers and administrators have no clue of the operation of geothermal systems. In the case of geothermal power generation, capital investments are small compared to thermal projects where huge amounts are spent. When huge amounts are spent, a small percent of cuts will make people rich. When GGA is signed by a large number of countries during the CoP 21 meet in December 2015 in Paris, India is not seen anywhere near except an IGA Board Member being a party to this GGA.