IIT Bombay discovers geothermal energy source among geysers of Maharashtra’s Western Ghats
This discovery by IIT Bombay could lead to the use of geothermal energy for generating cheap, clean and base power generation systems.
A recent study by IIT Bombay’s Professor Trupti Chandrashekhar of the Earth Science Department concluded that the potential of geothermal systems could be utilised for commercial purposes.
The study was conducted along the 350 km stretch on Maharashtra’s 720 km coastline. Professor Chandrashekhar was assisted by IIT Hyderabad, Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Petroleum Technology of Amethi and the University of Florence of Italy.
This stretch falls under the west coast geothermal province, which is one of the seven geothermal areas of India. With more than 60 hot water springs across 18 locations, water bursts at temperatures between 40 and 72 degree Celsius.
In a conversation with The Print, Professor Chandrashekar says,
“The west coast geothermal province serves as a ready platform for developing natural greenhouses (similar systems are in place at Turkey, Russia, Hungary, China and Italy), dehydration units for perishable food products (widely used in West Asia and the Schengen region), aquaculture centres and natural health spas (Wairakei, New Zealand, and Blue Lagoon, Iceland).”
She added, “This can promote the growth of secondary and tertiary industries along with their associated direct and indirect jobs. In addition to these uses, the heat from the earth can also be utilised for space cooling and space heating.”
Geothermal energy comes under the banner of ‘green energy’ as this form of energy is derived from the heat of the earth. The energy is extracted through pumps that are dug deep into underground wells, reports The Better India.
If tapped efficiently, this energy could be used in terms of geothermal electricity. Professor Chandrashekar said, “The mid- and long-term development plan [for the region] could be centred on the use of geothermal energy for generating cheap, clean and base power generation systems, beginning with the drilling of 10-to-15-metre-deep exploration pits along the identified locations.”
She added that a good energy mix is the need of the hour and said, “A source of geothermal energy can serve as a base load to power an eternal source of green energy.”
Geysers in the Konkan region of the Maharashtra coast have been quite popular among the local residents for its medicinal and religious significance.