Tuesday 16 March 2021


India’s First Geothermal Development Project


Geothermal energy is heat within the earth. The word geothermal comes from the Greek words geo (earth) and therme (heat). Geothermal energy is a renewable energy source because heat is continuously produced inside the earth. People use geothermal heat for bathing, to heat buildings, and to generate electricity.


         Recently on 7th February 2021, India’s First Geothermal Development project was announced in Ladakh.


Some facts on Ladakh and Jammu & Kashmir

        Jammu & Kashmir is now a union territory of India with a Legislature. Population of Jammu & Kashmir is 1.22 Cr. On the other hand Ladakh is also a union territory with no legislature. Ladakh is the largest union territory in India. The population of Ladakh is 2.90 Cr.


About the Project

         The Geothermal Development Project will help the potential of natural geysers touching the Puga valley area. Puga valley is the point where this project will be developed. This Puga valley is located in 170 km East of Ladakh. The Agreement of this Project was signed between the Government of India and the Oil & Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) a Government run Public Service Undertaking. So before we going to discuss about Geothermal energy, first we have looked on the structure of the Earth.


Structure of the Earth

Geothermal energy, form of energy conversion in which heat energy from within Earth is captured and harnessed for cooking, bathing, space heating, electrical ...

    The Structure of the earth comprises with 4 core.

(1)         Crust- 8 to 40 kms from the earth surface

(2)         Mentle- 2,900 kms from the earth surface

(3)         Outer core- 2,250 kms from the earth surface

(4)         Inner core- 1,300 kms from the earth surface

        Earth’s Mantle has a thickness of 2,900 kms (1.800 mi) making up about 84 % of Earth’s volume. In the Mantle, the temperature range from approx. 200 degree Celsius.


What is Geothermal  ?

Geothermal energy is heat derived within the sub-surface of the earth. Water and/or steam carry the geothermal energy to the Earth's surface. Depending on its characteristics, geothermal energy can be used for heating and cooling purposes or be harnessed to generate clean electricity.

            Geothermal means literally, thermal energy contained within the Earth. Generally speaking, geothermal energy is any form of thermal energy extracted from or store in the ground for later use. Thermal energy is the energy that determines the temperature of the matter and the geothermal energy is present in the rocks and fluids beneath the earth.

        Iceland is the example where they use geothermal energy to produced power.


How is Geothermal energy produced ?

           To produce the geothermal energy, there drilled wells which is deep or more holes into underground reservoirs approx. 1.6 kms. These wells tap steam and not water to drive the turbines. The turbines are in turn linked to electricity generators. The geothermal electricity production was done first in Italy in 1904.


Types of Geothermal energy plant

(1)         Dry steam plants that takes the stream out of fractures in ground and uses it to directly drive a turbine.

(2)         Flash plants, here they pull deep, high pressure hot water into cooler low pressure water. Then the stream is resulting from this process is used to drive the turbine.

(3)         Binary plants, here the hot water is passed by secondary fluid with a lower boiling point then actual which makes it turn into vapor, then this drives the turbine.


Facts about Geothermal energy

§  The largest producer of the Geothermal energy is in the Geysers north of San Fransisco in California, USA.

§  This geothermal energy is also generated in more than 20 countries in the world.


Potential of Geothermal Energy in India

(1)         Puga Valley – Ladakh union territory

(2)         Godavari river basin

(3)         Tatapani – Chhattisgarh state

(4)         Bakreshwar in West Bengal

(5)         Unai in Maharashtra state

(6)         Jalagaon in Maharashtra state

(7)         Rajgor and Myanmar in Bihar

          In India, exploration and study of geothermal field, started in 1970. The Geological Survey of India (GSI) has identified 350 geothermal energy in the country in various locations. The most promising of there in Puga Valley of Ladakh.  The estimated potential for energy in India is about 10000 MW. Puga Valley is located near Line of Control near Pangong Tso lake, Ladakh.


Project announcement and phases of project

         In its first step towards making the strategic location of Ladakh Carbon neutral for clean power. The Union territory administration of Ladakh signed a MoU with ONGC energy Central in the presence of Lieutenant Governor Radhakrishna mathur at Leh. The objective of this step is to become carbon neutral.


The project will be started with three phases

(1)         In the first phase ONGC would drill up to 500 meters to top the steam and hot sulphur water that spews out of the geysers. In this phase 1 MW power will be generated.

(2)         Drilling would be a bit deeper to explore the potential of geothermal energy.

(3)         A commercial plant would be setup in this phase. The estimated power supply would be of 250 Mega Watt in the third phase.

Benefits of the Project

(1)         This would be providing round the clock power supply in the territory.

(2)         Hot water from the spring would come handy for space heating.

(3)         Establishing hot swimming pools would be good as a tourist attraction.

(4)         Ladakh would be self-sustaining economy and it would spread the Government’s Vocal for Local calls.

(5)         The establishment of this kind of plant would open new work avenues for local people.

YouTube link - Geothermal Energy 

Friday 12 March 2021

, , ,

Most important information about Similipal Biosphere reserve in 2021


Similipal Biosphere Reserve

Located in northeast India, the Similipal Biosphere Reserve lies within two biogeographical regions: the Mahanadian east coastal region of the Oriental realm and the Chhotanagpur biotic province of the Deccan peninsular zone. ... The highest peak in the Similipal hill range is Khairiburu (1,168 metres).


     Massive wildfire out broke in Similipal Biosphere Reserve in Odisha since last week of February 2021. Hot February of the year triggered a massive wildfire.


About the Similipal Biosphere Reserve

       Similipal is a National Park and a Tiger Reserve in Odisha. This is located in the northern district of Odisha, Mayurbhanj, 197 km from Bhubaneswar and 330 km Kolkata. 

The Similipal Tiger Reserve is one of the first tiger habitats to come up in India.

The Similipal Biosphere reserve derived its name from “Simul” (Silk Cotton) tree.

The Similipal Biosphere is a part of the Mayurbhanj Elephant Reserve.


History of the  Similipal Biosphere Reserve- The tiger sanctuary

      This Tiger Reserve and National park was a hunting ground for the surrounding royal kingdoms in the northern region of Odisha. In 1956 the Similipal Tiger Reserve made and in 1973 this.

 Tiger Reserve comes under the Project Tiger of the Government of India. After that in 1979 the Government of Orissa declared this Similipal as Wildlife Sanctuary.

 The whole WildlifeSanctuary is covers with an area of 2,800 sq.kms. After one year the Government of Orissa proposed 303 sq.km area of the Wildlife Sanctuary as SimilipalNational Park.

 In 1986, the area of the National Park increased to 845.70 sq.km. The Government of India declared this whole area of Similipal as a Biosphere Reserve in 1994.

 The UNESCO World Wildlife  programe added the National Park to its Biosphere Reserves since 2009.

Similipal National park 

      The Similipal National Park is the 7th largest National Park in India. Its name is derived from the Simul tree which Scientific name is Bombax Ceiba.

 The Similipal Biosphere Reserve is considered as  -Tiger Reserve and National Park. The Similipal Biosphere Reserve is the Asia’s 2nd largest Biosphere reserve.

The Biosphere reserve is a part of Mayurbhanj Elephant reserve.

Similipal National Park and Tiger Reserve + Hadgarh Wildlife Sanctuary + Kuldhia Wildlife Sanctuary = Mayurbhanj Elephant Reserve.

The Similipal Biosphere Reserve is the home to 3,000 species of plants and 94 species of orchids.


Vegetation in  the Biosphere Reserve

   Northern tropical moist deciduous dominantly covers this biosphere reserve. There also some semi-evergreen patches.

 Sal is the dominant and most important tree species in the reserve. There we also found some plants that have medicinal and aromatic ingredients and properties.

 In this reserve there are extensive grasslands, that are grazing grounds for many of the herbivores.



This biosphere is famous for tiger, hill mynah and elephant. The highest tiger population is found in this biosphere reserve. 

There are also other kinds of  mammals in this reserve like leopard, wolf , wild goat , gaur, elephant, barking & spotted deer, languor, bear mongoose, flying squirrel, porcupines, sambar, pangolin and four horned antelopes. 

Around 230 species of birds like the grey hornbill, Indian pied hornbill, Indian trogon, red jungle foul, Malabar pied hombill, hill mynah, peafous, and crested serpent eagle are found in this biosphere reserve

Around 29 species of reptiles are found in this reserve. Among them King Cobra, Python and Tricarinote hill turtle are important reptlies in this biosphere reserve .


The ecosystem of the Reserve

     The regions of the forest  is home to a variety of tribes. Among them kolha, santhala, bhumija, bhatudi, gonads, khadia, mankadra and sahara are the important tribes.

 Most of them are settled agriculture. They living style is based on agriculture. Supplement their income by collecting firewood and timber from the forest.

 However the tribes like khadia, mankadia and sahara are indigenous hunter gatherer communities living primarily off the forest, collecting forest produces. They are fully dependent on forests and forest products .


What causes the fire at Similipal ?

  There are lot of factors associated to this question -

1.   Natural factors such as lighting or even soaring temperature can lead to fires.

2.   Man-made factors are also responsible to fires – It is being alleged that poachers deliberately set the forest on fire so they can poach wild animals on the other part of the forest.

3.   Forests are also set on fire by the villagers to clear the dry leaves on the ground for easy collection of mahua flowers.