In mid-January, a delegation from Iceland visited India to discuss cooperation on geothermal matters. A memorandum of understanding between ÍSOR and CEGE, Center of Excellence for Geothermal Energy, in Ahmendabad, was signed with the aim to strengthen their cooperation in the geothermal sector.
The Icelandic delegation consisted of Bjarni Richter and Ólafur G. Flóvenz from ÍSOR, Gunnar Ingi Gunnarsson from Verkís, Ingimar Haraldsson from the UNU-Geothermal Training Programme and Guðni Jóhannesson, Director General of the National Energy Authority in Iceland. The Icelandic Embassy in Delhi organized the visit. The purpose of the trip was on one hand, meeting the Indian Ministry to discuss ways of a long awaited cooperation between Iceland and India in the geothermal sector; and on the other hand participating in the 3rd International Conference on Geothermal Energy, organized by the Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University.
Geothermal energy is detected in about 300 locations in India, mostly low and medium-temperature. The most promising areas are considered to be in the Himalayas, where ÍSOR has previously worked on a small developmental project funded by a Norwegian organization. Moreover, the Tattapani area in central India is considered substantial.
Ahmedabad is the largest city of the Gujarat state in India. It is India's fifth largest city with about 5.6 million inhabitants. There is a well-equipped engineering college specializing in oil industry, the Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University. The university hosts now the Center for Excellence for Geothermal Energy (CEGE), which organized the geothermal energy conference. The Icelandic delegation, including the ambassador, Þórir Íbsen, gave presentations. The conference was very interesting and highlighted the state of geothermal energy in India. Besides, the members of the Icelandic delegation were invited for a tour to the town of Dholera, where about 50° C of water is extracted from a set of 300 m depth and used in heat pumps for air-conditioning, cooking and bathing needs.
The photo below was taken by the Icelandic Embassy in Dehli, at the conference and the signing of the memorandum of understanding on geothermal cooperation between the two countries.