Archive for April, 2016



VF Corporation, a Worldwide Apparel and Footwear Company with more than 30 brands, 60,000 associates and US$12.3 billion in revenue is heading towards Naivasha, Kenya. The reason…….availability of cheap electricity generated from Olkaria geothermal power plant. what an amazing and clever move by the Kenyan Govt. and VFC. It is a win-win situation. Plans are drawn by the Kenyan Govt. to set up major industrial park in the coming years near Naivasha.

An official of a textile company said” this place is strategically located where transmission lines are not needed and the electricity is very cheap”. A trade delegation from USA, China, Australia, The Netherlands and Bangladesh finds this place is mush attractive compared to Tanzania and Ethiopia. Ethiopia may provide cheap labour but the electricity is not as cheap as in Naivasha because of the low cost provided by geothermal power and elimination of transmission costs. This proves that geothermal is any day cheaper than other renewables like hydro, solar and wind. Nothing can came anywhere near geothermal power. The cost of power is low because the heat source is free and so the land requirement and minimum requirement of fresh water. How many of us realized this truth? Policy makers and administrators run behind solar PV that memorizes them but without any success. Sun Edison case in India cannot be forgotten. They bid for Rs 4.30 for unit and have no bank balance to even install the panel and started auctioning the bids. Who is fooling whom? Take the case of Puga and Chumatang geothermal sites. In spite of repeated requests and meetings and submitting DPRs, the govt. or the army are not interested in utilizing the geothermal energy for power generation to support their army establishments and cultivate food using greenhouse facilities using geothermal energy. Truck loads of diesel and food are transported for long distances to Leh to support army establishments. Under sea level conditions 1 L of diesel will emit 8 kg of CO2. At higher altitudes fuels burning efficiency is low and thus > 8 kg/L of CO2 is emitted. This has disaster effect on the ice caps of the Himalayas. Who cares!! What vested interest each one has is unknown. When countries like Kenya is establishing industries supported by geothermal power, why can’t India do it? Now that the present govt. promoting renewables, it will have a look at geothermal potential. Even the potential is 1000 MWe, it is worth it rather than talking about GW of power from solar pv. This is a wide talk in the air and people should know the ground truth. Very few have a knowledge related to geothermal in India. They were never consulted. several quacks with shallow knowledge are in the committees constituted by the govt. on renewables. And they are invited to give lectures in workshops. It is a pity. Scientists occupying high level post in govt. organizations like renewable energy institutes in Gujarat have no idea as how to calculate tariff structure for electricity generated by geothermal. They float numbers. By keeping right people at the right place, things will progress. What we need is low level committees with high level intelligence rather than high level committees with low level intelligence. Kenya realized it and one has to wait when India will follow!!!