How’d You Like Them Apples? Iceland Ministry for Foreign Affairs Consultant Gets an Up Close and Personal Look at Our Ongoing Geothermal Cooling Project Development in the Himachal Pradesh.
27 October 2022 — Last month, GEG ehf. had the honour of hosting Erik Arling, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Partnership Fund consultant from NIRAS for the Iceland Ministry for Foreign Affairs, at our project site in India. Arling is responsible for reviewing grants for the SDG Fund, the same fund through which GEG was awarded our grant early last year for our geothermal cooling project.
A five-day trip was held to carry out a review of this apple cold storage project, now called GeoCool, in the Kinnaur district of the Himachal Pradesh. This in-depth review was followed by a warm welcome from the local villagers, and GEG along with Arling was able to have a positive discussion with them regarding the project.
The group also went on a site visit to the Satluj (Sutlej) River basin, where the first successful drilling had been carried out just last month. Visits to several other prospective areas with geothermal resource potential were carried out as well.
It is GEG’s hope that the initial success at our first drilling location will continue throughout the region to many more sites, ideally increasing the societal benefits of the project.
This visit from a delegate from the Foreign Ministry was highly acknowledged by the local apple farming community, signifying the importance of the cold storage development project.
Thanks to this trip, Arling also had the unique opportunity to visit the local apple farms and to interact with the growers during the apple harvest, as his trip coincided with the peak season. Throughout this experience, the direct social impacts of GEG’s funded project could be seen in real time by the Ministry.
GEG ehf.’s CRO Has Been Actively Involved in Stakeholder Engagement in the Kinnaur District of Northern India, Ensuring That Our Commitment to Complete Social Sustainability is Upheld Throughout Our Geothermal Cooling Project
31 May 2022 — GEG ehf. has been excited to announce the success and ongoing progress of our efforts in India. At the end of March this year, our Chief Research Officer (CRO) Dr. Vijay Chauhan completed the on-site survey and exploratory work for the GEG geothermal cold storage project located within the Kinnaur district.
This project’s main aim is to provide a long-term storage solution for local apple farmers to increase food security in the region, and to reduce the reliance on larger industry players.
Throughout the early on-site work, Dr. Chauhan worked closely with community members and local workers, even conducting a workshop on the project prior to the start of any survey work. Participants included local graduate students, farmers whom the project will directly affect and involve, and leading professionals within the tourism industry.
Carrying this focus on stakeholder engagement, Dr. Chauhan also participated in an interview with one of the leading social activists and teachers in Kinnaur during the final days of his on-site work.
The interviewer, Mr. Rahul Kavil Kirti Negi, has amassed a strong sense of trust within the public and has garnered a good amount of support following his campaign on the environmental impact of hydroelectric power plant development in the area.
Interviewed alongside Dr. Chauhan was Mr. Rajeev Mehta, a local farmer and entrepreneur. Mr. Mehta has a high level of interest in and knowledge of renewable energy development, as he has a background in civil engineering and has been greatly involved in the growing tourism industry in Kinnaur. Mr. Mehta’s support of geothermal energy development in the region comes from his belief in its positive impacts overall.
Mr. Negi’s interview of Dr. Chauhan and Mr. Mehta primarily involved a discussion on the objective of geothermal energy development in the Kinnaur region, and its contribution to local economies – particularly within the agricultural sector. Dr. Chauhan explained how truly economical and environmentally sustainable development can be achieved by utilizing geothermal energy for direct use applications (ex: cooling, drying, and/or heating for homes).
The social sustainability of the development project increases in conjunction with how relevant these direct use applications are to the conditions and needs of the region. The interviewees also explain that there is a negligible land footprint with geothermal development as compared to that of the ongoing hydropower development in the region. Hydroelectric power development in Kinnaur has in fact been cause for significant environmental concerns among the local community.
Increased public awareness through workshops and interviews like Mr. Negi’s has greatly helped GEG build a greater sense of support and trust in this project’s development among local communities. The full posting of the video (not in English) is included here, where comments and opinions from the public can also be seen.
Development projects like the one in Northern India are only as successful as their degree of social responsibility. Without the inclusion of and involvement of the nearby affected community, a project cannot be deemed truly “sustainable” – despite its positive environmental or ecological benefits.
This is a dedication held by GEG ehf. and a practice we plan on applying to all of our other ongoing as well as future geothermal developments.
As we move onto the next phase of our geothermal cooling project in India, new updates and insights will be accessible on our LinkedIn page as well as in the News page on our website.
GEG’s Chief Research Officer is On-site in the Kinnaur District This Month Making Significant Progress in Early Survey and Exploratory Work
31 March 2022 — At the end of last year, GEG ehf. received final permission from the State Government of Himachal Pradesh in India to begin conducting the survey and exploration studies for our geothermal cooling project (GEG Cooling) to provide a cold-storage solution for local apple farmers. This project marks a significant effort towards GEG’s goals for increasing food security and sustainability in local communities.
Over this past month, our Chief Research Officer (CRO) Dr. Vijay Chauhan has been working in the Kinnaur district (Northwest Himalayas region) in India to fulfill this exciting next step in the GEG Cooling project. Following the highly successful introductory meeting at NCUI, Dr. Chauhan went on to perform the project’s early work alongside several stakeholders and local experts.
A workshop was held with local graduate students from various STEM fields, farmers, and leading tourism industry professionals, where Dr. Chauhan informed participants on the project activities and aims. Dr. Árni Ragnarsson also presented virtually on types of geothermal utilization in Iceland.
The team in India’s field work has so far involved a structural survey, identification of the areas for a seismic profile, geochemical studies, and seismic studies. The structural survey was completed on 16 March, and the geochemistry was started soon after. Following this was the current seismic study, begun on 20 March, that has so far spanned several days.
During these in-depth and often thrilling exploration activities, many new hot springs were discovered and investigated by Dr. Chauhan and the rest of the team. Dr. Chauhan stated that they “have identified the areas for seismic profile” and that the area’s “potential is even larger than” his earlier estimation.
All of this is very good news for GEG and for the great potential this cooling project in the Himalayas could have for dramatically improving the social and environmental sustainability in the area. The photo gallery below has even more photos of this exciting ongoing work, all taken by Dr. Chauhan. As the survey and exploratory work is completed, our LinkedIn will have more updates so that others can follow along on this journey.
Follow us to keep updated and read more about our GEG Cooling technology here.
Full photo gallery of the survey and exploratory work performed in March 2022:
09 December 2021 — We at GEG Power are excited to announce that last month we received final permission from the State Government of Himachal Pradesh in India to begin conducting the survey and exploration studies for our innovative GEG Cooling project on cold-storage solutions for local apple farmers.
The first survey is expected to begin as early as January 2022. You can read the full article here on ThinkGeoEnergy, the leading information provider on the global geothermal energy sector.