Geothermal Resources Development in Tibet, China

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Conference Proceedings: Geothermal Resources Development in Tibet, China


Tibet is located in the eastern section of the global Mediterranean-Himalaya geothermal zone. High temperature geothermal resources are distributed throughout the region. However, the existing utilization is on a small scale. The Yangbajain geothermal power plant started geothermal electricity production from a 1 MWe testing unit in 1977. Consequent growth increased it to 24.18 MWe of installed capacity. It has produced a total of 26.81 GWh of electricity. Its electric supply is important for the town of Lhasa. Other tests of a 2 MWe plant at Langju and a 1 MWe plant at Nagqu did not last. Along with social economic growth and rising people’s livelihood, future energy shortage is indicated.

Developments were not able to satisfy local demand. In order to maintain the natural ecological environment, energy planning in Tibet involves now development of mainly renewable energy resources. Hydropower, for example, will be increased and future geothermal power generation from high temperature fields will provide important support, especially to overcome winter electricity shortage. In 2011, a 400 kWe pilot geothermal plant was commissioned at the Yangyi geothermal field and has been run successfully. New geothermal production wells are being drilled this year. Two power plants (each 16MWe) have been planned for the first and second stage of geothermal power generation at Yangyi.

Keyan Zheng and Meihua Wang

New Zealand Geothermal Workshop; Auckland, New Zealand; 2012/11/19

Geothermal Workshop, 2012

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Keyan Zheng and Meihua Wang. 2012. Geothermal Resources Development in Tibet, China. Proceedings of New Zealand Geothermal Workshop; New Zealand: Geothermal Workshop.

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