The Tibet Autonomous Region (China, southwest), houses rich geothermal resources capable of supplying power plants with a total installed capacity of at least one million kw, according to a Tibetan member of the Academy of 'China Engineering.
A preliminary investigation by the academician Dorji and his colleagues showed that the Qinghai-Tibet, located on average 4 000 meters, was a gold mine of geothermal resources.
"It goes against the traditional theory that these resources only exist in low-lying volcanic areas," said the geologist, the first Tibetan academician.
Tibet is rich in geothermal resources representative 80% of the country. Incomplete statistics show that the region has 700 geothermal areas, including 342 are exploitable and contain energy equal to 31,53 billion tons of coal.
Geothermal fields have been discovered along the tracks of the Qinghai-Tibet, the world's highest railway construction. Their operation will contribute to the economic development of areas along the railway line, said Dorji.
To date, three geothermal power plants built in Tibet have a combined installed capacity of 28,18 megawatt, and one of them, the central located Yangbajing produced over 100 million kwh of electricity per year.
Still, experts believe that the geothermal industry in the region still has enormous potential for exploitation, since this new energy helps to present 30% to the local electricity network.
Dorji added that the full exploitation of these rich resources would help generate more electricity and improve energy structure, the latter being a clean energy, safe and recycable.
"It will provide electricity and heat to the Qinghai-Tibet Railway and can be used in tourism as well as in medical care and fish farming," he said.
Research and development of geothermal energy on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau date back to 1960 years.