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 and the Local Drilling Team Have Managed to Obtain the Required Threshold Temperature for Cooling Following the Official Start of the Drilling Process in the Himachal Pradesh!
06 September 2022 — GEG ehf.’s Chief Research Officer (CRO) Dr. Chauhan has been on location in Northern India with a local drilling team, in order to begin operations on our geothermal cooling (GeoCool) project. The direct use project will utilize the resource within the Himachal Pradesh to provide a cold storage solution for local apple farmers’ produce.
This will ideally contribute towards increased food security in the region, and will support the overall economy. The collective efforts of GEG’s geothermal cooling project in India greatly reflect our commitment to social sustainability in all of our projects. This project has also been supported by a grant from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Iceland, through their Business Partnership Fund for the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) — also known as the Sustainable Development Goals Partnership Fund.
Last week, GEG and the team of local experts delivered the necessary equipment to the project site and stationed the drilling rig in the target area. Following this, the drilling work could finally begin.
With operations officially kicking off on 31 August, GEG is proud to report back that on the first attempt the tapped resource has already proved to be extremely fruitful. The temperature measured at the surface of the first drilling site was 78 degrees C, and close to the boiling point going towards the bottom of the drilled well. This is very exciting news for the future of our cold storage project.
Our CRO’s discovery during the early survey and exploratory work, that the project area’s potential was even greater than his initial estimation, appears to have been accurate so far.
This week, GEG and the dedicated local drilling team are already pushing on to the next drilling site. Check out our LinkedIn page for more updates on the India geothermal cooling project, and to see more photos of the ongoing work in the area as operations continue to progress!
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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.
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:
Exciting Discussions on Geothermal in New Delhi, with GEG ehf. at the Forefront
On the 21st of February, GEG and the Government of Iceland held an introductory meeting at the National Cooperative Union of India headquarters.
02 March 2022 — Early last week, our very own CRO Dr. Vijay Chauhan and India’s Ambassador of Iceland Guðni Bragason met at the National Cooperative Union of India (NCUI) headquarters in New Delhi, India, to give an introduction of the community benefits of geothermal direct use applications. Dr. Chauhan is currently on location in India to perform the early survey and exploratory studies for GEG’s innovative new geothermal cooling project, and the NCUI meeting marked an important milestone in the progress of this project.
Meeting with key NCUI individuals, including Chief Executive Dr. Sudhir Mahajan, Dr. Chauhan was able to present our cold storage project, which will be taking place in the Himachal Pradesh in Northern India. The GEG Cooling project will allow for the geothermal-powered refrigeration of apples for local farmers in the area, which will be an important contributor towards food security. Ambassador Bragason emphasized the importance of renewable, geothermal energy in local communities and for their food production.
Direct engagement with communities and local stakeholders is an important aspect of GEG ehf.’s project development, as well as to strive towards environmental and social sustainability in all the work we do. This introductory meeting in New Delhi represents this mission, and serves as an exciting point in the early work being performed in India to push forward GEG Cooling.
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.
GEG is proud to announce that we have won an ISK 30 million grant from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in Iceland.
We will be exploring if low-temperature geothermal energy could be used as an energy source for the cold storage for apples. The grant is provided by the Business Partnership Fund for the United Nations’ Global Goals, to Icelandic GEG. The project is to be completed by the end of 2023.
According to Snorri Einarsson, CTO of GEG, the intention is to use that energy to run a steam-powered cold room. “We want to use that technology to run cold storage for apples. The direct use of geothermal energy for cooling is a cheaper way to cool the apples than to use electricity, ” he says.
According to Vijay Chauhan, CRO of GEG, “there are no cold storage in the district as of today. Therefore, farmers are often forced to sell apples at lower prices during the harvest season instead of being able to store them in refrigerators and sell them over a longer period of time, thus creating more value for society.”
The project is linked to four of the seventeen United Nations Global Goals: the Sustainable Energy Goal (7); the goal of good employment and economic growth (8); the goal of greater equality (10) and the goal of climate action (13).