Our CRO Dr. Vijay Chauhan, Along With Iceland’s Ambassador to India, Met With the Chief Minister of the Himachal Pradesh to Further Discuss Our Innovative Geothermal Cooling Project
28 July 2022 – On July 23rd, GEG ehf.’s Chief Research Officer (CRO) Dr. Vijay Chauhan attended an important meeting in Delhi along with Iceland’s ambassador to India, Guðni Bragason.
There, Dr. Chauhan had the opportunity to meet the Chief Minister of the state of Himachal Pradesh, Mr. Jai Ram Thakur, and to thank him and the state government for granting GEG permission to conduct our exploration studies earlier this year. These studies were performed in order to assess the geothermal resources within the Kinnaur region of the Himachal Pradesh for the ongoing apple cold storage project.
The main purpose of this meeting was to discuss the full scope of further development for GEG’s geothermal cooling project in the state. As horticulture and tourism make up the primary industries of the Himachal Pradesh, a wide variety of other cascaded applications of geothermal utilization were discussed, including: fruit drying, aquaculture, tourism, and heating homes.
Dr. Chauhan explained the advantages of exploiting the available geothermal resource within the Himachal Pradesh, such as increased food security in the region and increased revenue generation for local communities.
Following this crucial meeting, Chief Minister Thakur guaranteed that the state would provide all possible support needed for the success of GEG’s geothermal cooling project, including the utilization of the resource for other geothermal applications, as these can provide considerable benefit to the local community.
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.
This year, ThinkGeoenergy posted an eye-opening interview with GEG’s CRO, Dr. Vijay Chauhan, on our ongoing development plans for geothermal direct use in the Northern Himalayas region of India. This project will involve using geothermal cooling technology, or cold storage, powered by the low-temperature geothermal resources in the area.
This will allow for the longer-term storage of apples in the region for local farmers, strengthening their food security and therefore the social sustainability of the area. The GEG Cooling project is partly funded by the Icelandic Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Watch ThinkGeoenergy’s interview with Dr. Chauhan below to learn more about this exciting and innovative project!