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NOVOSIBIRSK, May 23. /TASS/. Scientists of the Novosibirsk-based Institute of Oil and Gas Geology and Geophysics are studying thermal waters in the north of West Siberia as an alternative energy source, said laboratory head Dmitry Novikov, who is in charge of the project.
"The total heating capacity of the West Siberian artesian basin is more than 200 mln Gcal per year," Novikov told TASS.
He said many northern settlements have infrastructure for the construction of geothermal power plants.
"Such power plants can be built in remote settlements in Siberia’s north," the scientist said.
He said deep wells had been drilled in many Siberian regions in the Soviet times in search for oil and gas.
"If no hydrocarbons were found, we got thermal water sources there," he said.
According to Novikov, the transformation of these wells into power stations will not require much spending.
Russia’s largest geothermal power plants are located on the Far-Eastern Kamchatka Peninsula and on the two Kuril islands (Iturup and Kunashir).