Category Archives: Energy

Dr Ritesh Arya “AGNEYODAGRA” Lava Energy featured in FORTUNE 2013

Soon, power from ancient rocks- Dr Ritesh Arya

Soon, power from ancient rocks- Dr Ritesh Arya     Jan 10, 2013, 06.37AM IST TNN[ Priya Yadav ]

CHANDIGARH: For the hill state of Himachal Pradesh looking for energy solutions, the future lies in the rocks buried beneath thousands of metres.

A drilling project in the cold desert of Ladakh in Chumathang area by the Geological Survey of India and DRDO on the sites identified by team of scientists from Norway Iceland lead by Dr Ritesh Arya during Agneyodgara Indor Puga Geothermal Expedition of 2011 has warmed the prospect of harnessing energy from millions of years old molten rocks.                                                           

In the future, metros like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Hyderabad too might be exploring the heat generated from the rocks buried in the earth to light up houses.

The Indian Army in Ladakh is already working towards growing vegetables in greenhouses warmed with geothermal energy in inhospitable terrain of Himalyas, where temperatures routinely dip to over minus 20 degrees Celsius. Not just this, the heat derived from the rocks will be used to warm houses and community buildings like schools.

Ritesh Arya, hydrogeologist and the man behind the country’s first geothermal energy project, has floated the idea globally. The man who made a record that went into the Guinness Book of World Records, by finding water at the highest altitude of over 14,000 feet, will be presenting the Agneyodgara  model at the World Future Energy Summit, scheduled to be held in Abu Dhabi next week.

“Apart from Himalayas we have identified Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Hyderabad as potential geothermal energy sites because of the geotectonic zones these cities fall in. They have granite rocks which means there was some volcanic activity here in the past. We hope to get temperatures of 200 to 300 degrees centigrade if we drill four to five kilometres deep into the earth,” says Ritesh Arya.

A project has been done in collaboration with the government of Norway that allocated 1.5 million krones to explore and tap geothermal energy in Himalaya.


The team compromising of scientists fromNorway,Icealnd and Indian Institutes and Universitires led by Dr Ritesh Arya had identified Chumathang,Puga,Manikaran,Tatapani as not only potential geothermal sites for power generation but also promotion of tourism activities. (Indian Norwegian venture proposes geothermal development in 3 locations in India – Dr Ritesh Arya)

“In Delhi the rocks are 500-600 million years old, in Mumbai, the rock belt is 50-60 million years old, while Chennai has the oldest rocks dating back to nearly a billion years. 10000MWe is the known geothermal potential of India but if Agneyodagra sites concept of developing Lava Energy at shallow depths proposed by Arya are developed then potential can run into giga watts from over 400 sites in the country,” says Arya, who presented his findings of providing SAFE,FREE, sustainable renewable Energy for all by 2050 in United Nations International Sustainable Energy Convention in Geneva early 2012 and was ranked among the top 10 innovators by Guardian.

The geothermal energy model being mooted is simple. “Drill deep into the earth, like now it is being done for oil. At about 4 km depth, the temperatures would be 200 to 300 degree centigrade. Pour the entire sewerage water of the city into these borewells, which will generate steam that in turn will rotate turbines and generate electricity,” says Arya, giving the urban model of geothermal energy.ergy.p

24×7 warm water discovered at Siachen Glacier by Dr Arya

24×7 warm water supply at Siachen Glacier

24X7 supply of warm water, and that too at Siachen Glacier? Sounds incredible, but it is true! Dr Ritesh Arya, world renowned geologist who holds the Guinness World Record for drilling a bore well in the high-altitude cold mountain desert of Ladakh, has now discovered the first geothermal source of warm water at Siachen Glacier base camp.

The source is very much active and the warm water has been sucked out after digging a bore well. Billed as one of the most significant discoveries in the field of geothermal exploration and development in Indian sub-continent, the source will help the Central Government save crores of rupees spent every year on ferrying fossil fuels to the icy part of the globe to enable the troops to melt snow to meet their needs. “It will be a boon for the Indian troops stationed at Siachen. They would now be able to get 24-hour supply of warm water which can be used for cooking, bathing, laundry, washing utensils, space-heating and raising plantations by using green house culture, but not for drinking. Scientists can do research to make it potable. It will help save a lot of fossil fuel, minimize pollution and save the glacier from environmental hazards”, Dr Ritesh Arya told Daily Post in an exclusive interview at his residence in Panchkula, on Wednesday.

The famed geologist had been asked by the Army last year to explore and develop geothermal source at Siachen Base Camp for the troops. Credited with the stunning discovery of potable water systems in Ladakh, Dr Arya said, “I discovered the geothermal source in October, 2011 but wanted to test its capacity during the months of winter. I visited the place on April 18 along with men of the Engineering Corps to conduct the test and the results are encouraging: warm water oozing out of the well even when the temperature outside is sub-zero”, he said. The temperature (15 degree C) at the source is not very high. With the help of further geo-scientific investigation and deeper drilling, it may be possible to get water bearing higher temperature. It may also help locate more such geothermal sources in the remote areas of the Himalayas.


A decade ago, Dr Arya had dug bore wells for potable water in the high altitude cold mountain desert of Ladakh, not only for Indian troops but also for the locals. The bore wells, drilled by him with the help of Engineers Corps of the Indian Army, have been serving as lifeline since 2000, providing 24-hour water supply even in winter (-40 degree C) to the troops as well as to the locals. These are still operational. “A good geothermal energy source has three basic requirements: a high thermal gradient — which means accessible hot rock — plus a rechargeable reservoir fluid, usually water, and finally, deep permeable pathways for the fluid to circulate through the hot rock. Though this initial discovery met the last two parameters the thermal gradient was not very high. But with more investigations and deeper drilling the initial parameter had also been met”, Dr Arya disclosed. Dr Arya suggests that efforts should be made by India and Pakistan to de-militarize the glacier.