Research Projects and Publications

Energy and Food Security Using Geothermal Energy: A case study of Chumathang, Union Territory of Ladakh, India

Geothermal Engineering and Exploration

Author: Kunzes Dolma
Year: 2020
Supervisors: Juliet Newson, Árni Ragnarsson


Energy and food are the two essential requirements for the national security of any country. India is the third largest consumer of oil, the fourth largest oil refiner and a net exporter of refined products. India is dependent on the import of fossil fuel for meeting its energy demands which were 80% in 2018. 60 % of the electricity goes to meet the Heating Ventilation Air conditioning (HVAC) demands of the country. The dependence on fossil fuel can be reduced by using locally available renewable energy sources like wind, solar and geothermal. A solution is also required to the problem of energy access in remote areas where a reliable supply from the national grid is not available. This thesis investigates the feasibility of utilizing low enthalpy geothermal energy to provide energy and food security especially in remote areas. A case study of village Chumathang located at 3950 masl in Union Territory of Ladakh, India, shows the socio-economic impact of geothermal utilization in remote areas by using a low enthalpy geothermal and how it can solve the current problem of food and energy security. A 5 MW binary power plant will solve the electricity problem of the area which could replace the current installed 20 kW diesel generator providing reliable and clean energy. A commercial greenhouse of 1000 m2 would be able to supply year-round fresh vegetables. The case study shows that such projects lead to employment opportunities, prevent migration of people in search of jobs, adds to food and energy security of the region, improves the health of people. This is especially important for women in the region who bear most of the burden of domestic work and are most impacted by energy poverty. Such a model can be replicated in any low temperature geothermal remote areas where normally energy supply is not possible.