Archive for May, 2016


Make in Naivasha

As discussed and published in various forums, it is now happening……geothermal is taking off in a big way and the phrase ‘ power from your backyard’ is going to be a reality soon. For those “novice to geothermal’ the GEA has published a basic documents in its annual report. Those bureaucrats who are under the impression that “mining earth’s heat will cool the earth shortly and thus is not permitted and illegal” should read this document and see documentary on volcanoes that are erupting now . In fact I had to answer such innocent (should I call ignorant) questions on several occasions with the state govt. bureaucrats while I was explaining geothermal systems and its advantages and why India, like other countries, should take initiative to develop its geothermal resources. Now the world has gone several steps ahead and huge grants were granted for R & D in enhanced geothermal systems. About US$10 million has been granted for integrated Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) research and development in USA, reports a new item from the Geothermal Energy Association. Nearly 12 research institutes were awarded this grant. When we can reach Mars and mine the sea bed, drilling 3 to 4 km into the earth’s crust is not very difficult now. France did it, Australia did it, Germany did it for geothermal. Drilling technology together with the technology in creating heat exchanger in the granites have advanced and these two major processes are being mastered now. As reported earlier, countries like India have high heat generating granites like those occurring in Australia and Europe, that are huge clean energy source for future. The global geothermal installed capacity is going to jump to 13452 MWe in 2018 from the current 12013 MWe.  With EGS in place countries energy supply is endless. Right now the world is focussing on East African Rift Geothermal systems (EARG) ……………………… is going to grow in a big way and the estimated power is around 10,000 to 20,000 MWe. East Africa-America initiative is taken off now for geothermal and world can participate in this initiative………provided you have the requisite expertise!! This is no nonsense programme. Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania are the geothermal hot beds now. The EAR is propagating into the Tanzania craton initiated by a mantle plume sitting right below the centre of the craton. High heat flow values (~75mW/m2) are recorded over the craton that comprises granites and its equivalents. These granites have tremendous capacity to light the rural Tanzania with grid connected electricity in the near future. Each cubic kilometre of such granite has the capacity to generate about 42 x 1015 kWh of electricity. Kenya with its expertise in geothermal development will have major role in supplying major infrastructure facility to make Tanzania energy independent and save millions of hectors of forest that is being used traditionally as energy source. Geothermal energy will further save about 6 million metric tonnes of CO2 emission(0.13 tonnes CO2 per capita) in Tanzania and protect the ice-cap over the Mt Kilimanjaro. The forthcoming ArGeo C5 conference is going to be a hot geothermal platform for discussions on geothermal development in East Africa with participation from all the Heads of Govt. from Africa. Soon East Africa is going to be energy independent and free from carbon emissions. Perhaps, we can once again see thick ice cap over Kilimanjaro!! When oil rich countries are looking at geothermal energy resources to reduce CO2 emissions and to conserve oil reserves by reducing domestic consumption, other non OECD countries will definitely develop this source to reduce oil imports to increase its GDP and become energy independent. EGS will do this trick in the coming decade.

Kenya has accelerated its geothermal development activities and embarked on “Make In Kenya” slogan. It is not just a slogan like what India is doing, it has implemented a policy to attract industries to establish their factories within the Kenya rift valley where cheap electricity is available. Thus VF Corporation, a Worldwide Apparel and Footwear Company with more than 30 brands, 60,000 associates and US$12.3 billion in revenue is establishing its manufacturing facilities in Naivasha, Kenya. This was done within in a month. All the major geothermal companies are flocking around the rift valley, extending from AFAR depression to Tanzania. Earth’s heat is available for free!! The Indian bureaucrats who stated that “mining earth’s heat will cool the earth shortly and thus is not permitted and illegal” should go and witness and feel the heat– both natural and industrial heat. Earth’s heat can support supply of base load electricity. And now that EGS is taking off, India with its huge granite resources should be able to generate energy equivalent to 3.133 x 1022 BTU (British Thermal Units). The advantage India has is the extent of granite basement, depth at which the granite occur, top thermal insulation and stress pattern. Power generation estimates from the granites from several states in India has been made and published. Geothermal companies around the world are keen in confirming these numbers for the sake of investment. When this happens in the near future, India’s billion young minds will glow with ideas ….The future is bright.