Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal has directed to draft an Action Plan keeping in view the research work of Vijay Chauhan, to explore the possibilities of exploiting geothermal resource potential of Himachal Pradesh so as to generate alternate power in the State. He congratulated Vijay Chauhan, IIT Mandi student for completing a research work on Existing Geothermal Heat Sources in Himachal Pradesh and its Usage as a Sustainable Source of Energy in the Coming Years to revolutionize energy generation in the State.
Chief Minister said that Himachal Pradesh happened to be a part of the Himalaya Geothermal Province which ranges from Laddakh to its north eastern part Assam, covering an area of more than 1,500 sq. kms., and encloses over 150 thermal manifestations. He said that country as a whole had an identified geothermal power potential estimated at 10,600 MW. He said that thermal manifestations around Puga in Jammu and Kashmir, Parbati and Kullu valley in Himachal Pradesh were known for their high temperatures evident from the existing hot springs in the area. He said that thermal manifestations occurring at Tattapani, Puga, Beas, Parbati, Sutlej, Bhagirathi and Alaknanda constitute sub-province of Himalaya Geothermal Province where heat source available was best suited for developing power projects as well as for direct utilization besides initiating a hot dry-rock feasibility study. He said that with the exploration of geothermal energy potential every household in the area would be getting adequate power to meet their domestic power requirements and would also be economical.
Chief Minsiter said that the province had varied agro-climatic zones suitable for cultivation of different varieties of fruits etc. but in the absence of appropriate food processing infrastructure the food stuff was being imported from other regions. He said that with the exploitation of local geothermal resources the region could be one of the major food producing and processing regions in the country. He said that besides agro-based industry, large cold storage facilities could also be commissioned to store the perishable farm produce. He said that the existing data on geothermal resources indicates that both power and direct applications were possible over the entire area of the Himalaya Geothermal Province and by using locally available geothermal resources would enable to adopt Clean Development Mechanism and reduce dependency on conventional power sources and also mitigate global climate change.
Chief Minister said that the State had vast hydel power potential of 23,000 MW for exploitation, out of which only about 25 percent had so far been harnessed while it was likely to reach 50 percent in a couple of years. He said that the State was endeavouring to exploit the entire identified hydel potential within current decade. He said that additionally the State was also exploring possibilities to set up Thermal Power Plant, Solar Energy Plant and Wind Energy Plant to add to the existing hydel power potential available in the State so that a strong alternate energy supportive system was in place to meet any emergency. He said that with the change in life style and better living conditions of the people demand for power had grown tremendously. He said that the State had enough potential not only to meet its domestic power requirements but also supply power to the neighbouring states and a strong power backup of alternate energy would be useful. He said that the State was working on all possible alternate energy system and prepare action plan to tap the potential to the optimum. Dhumal directed the authorities to take benefit of the research work carried by young IITian research scholar Shri Vijay Chauhan and come out with an appropriate Action Plan so that non-conventional energy system was strengthened in the best interest of the State and its people.