CAN TURKEY BE A “GEOTHERMAL POWER”?

19 OCAK 2009

CAN TURKEY BE A “GEOTHERMAL POWER”? Turkey has advantages regarding renewable energy…

Fossil fuel reserves are being depleted around the world. Global warming is threatening all balances. Global and regional balances make the cheap and safe movement of uninterrupted natural gas increasingly difficult. Environmental problems are pointing to increasingly larger dangers. Energy is becoming a more difficult matter. Turkey has a great potential regarding geothermal energy. In terms of geothermal resources, Turkey is Europe’s number one, and the world’s number seven country.
 
Until recently, Turkey took no important steps regarding geothermal energy, but in recent years, in an attempt to reduce its dependence of petrol and natural gas, a search has begun among basic resources to close the energy gap.
 
50 million dollars in geothermal…

If Turkey uses its geothermal resources productively, at least 1.5 million houses currently heated by natural gas can switch to being heated by thermal waters. There will also be the possibility to produce 23.8 billion Kwh of electricity. Turkey currently uses a mere 5% of its geothermal resources, but this figure could rise far further soon. Of an estimated 31,500 thermal Kw (Tmw) of geothermal power, around 28 MW of electricity is produced with 3,600 Tmw.

Work continues on the construction of a 45 MW power station. Aside from the reality that Turkey’s geothermal heat potential is at 50 billion dollars, it is exciting that the current number of 125,000 houses that are heated with geothermal energy can soon reach 1 million, and 1.5 million in the longer term. If Turkey’s geothermal potential is tapped, it could create 250,000 new jobs. Deputy Head of the Turkey Geothermal Association, Professor Şakir Şimşek, says that thus far drilling has been carried out at around 600 locations, but that this figure is 26,000 in Japan. The Mining Exploration and Search directorate (MTA), connected to the Energy Ministry, is taking its own steps to open the sector to private investors.

118 investors applied to an MTA tender for six geothermal fields in October. According to Prof Şimşek, geothermal waters can be carried as far as 60 kilometres away. They are a heat source for 90 percent of Iceland, and constitute a system that can be comfortably used in places like Izmir, Denizli and Aydin. Geothermal vapours can reach 110 degrees. Those that reach 85 are used to produced electricity; those between 55 and 85 are used in greenhouses, and those between 35 and 55 are used for heating and thermal tourism.

It is an energy source that can be used 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. The first search for geothermal energy was launched in Turkey by the MTA in 1962 in the Izmir region of Balcova. Today, the equivalent of 25,000 properties is heated here. Until today, the MTA has discovered 459 wells and, following 205,000 m of drilling, 187 fields. This has meant that, combined with natural vents, 4000 Mwt heat energy is ready to use. The MTA and private sector have carried out nearly 250,000 m of drilling, and there needs to be at least 1,500,000 m of further drilling. Research for this field came close to stopping in 1990, but works were accelerated from 2004 and the annual drilling increased from 2,000 metres to 20,000 metres.

Combined with the private sector, this figure doubled to 40,000 metres. In the 40 years from 1962, Turkey’s visible heat capacity rose to 3100 MWt, but since then this figure rose 30 percent in just four years to 4000 MWt. This was thanks to 60,000 metres’ worth of drilling at 100 locations, bringing 900 MWt of heat energy. This figure represents 22 percent of the total number of wells opened since 1962. 15 new geothermal fields, four of which were deemed suitable for electricity production, were discovered, bringing the total to 187.

Besides the search work, a law has been passed to secure investments and induce incentives: the “Renewable Energy Law”, and “Law 5686: Geothermal Resources and Waters Containing Natural Minerals”. What can be done with Turkey’s geothermal potential? - 1,000 MWe (equivalent to 8 billion Kwh electricity a year, meeting the needs of 3,000,000 houses) (US$80m net income) - Heating for the equivalent of 500,000 properties (preventing the import of 1 million cubic metres of natural gas. A saving of US$400m in foreign currency). - 30,000 hectares of greenhouse heating; 30,000 jobs; US$600m net income. - 400 thermal facitilies; 1,000,000 bed capacity; 250,000 jobs; US$5bn net income. - A total net income of US$6.8bn per annum.

The economic return from geothermal fields and wells put to tender by the MTA and their contribution to employment Electricity Net Income Minimum 110 Mw (800 million Kwh per annum) Will meet the needs of 330,000 properties. US$80m million net income. Property heating or greenhouse management Employment 30,000 properties Or 2000 Hectares of Greenhouses, US$40 million net income 2000 people Thermal tourism facility employment Net income 100 facilities / 100,000 bed capacity 25,000 people US$ 500m net income In the first stage, 6 fields suitable to electricity production in Aydın and Manisa were put to tender.
 
• Field • Temperature ° C • Minimum power • Aydın-Sultanhisar • 146 °C • 20 Mwe • Aydın-Bozköy • 143 °C • 10 Mwe • Aydın-Atça • 124 °C • 5 Mwe • Aydın-Serçeköy- Umurlu • 131 °C • 25 Mwe • Manisa-Caferbeyli • 168 °C • 20 Mwe • Manisa-Alaşehir-Kavaklıdere • 213 °C • 30 Mwe A total of 110 Mwe (800 million Kwh annually) of electricity will be created by environmentally-friendly green power, meeting the needs of 330,000 properties. In the second stage, fields suitable for heating will be put to tender. • Balıkesir, Çanakkale, İzmir, Kırşehir, Kütahya, Manisa ,Van • 10 field tenders • İzmir, Denizli, Afyon, Nevşehir, Manisa • 13 well handovers • Property heating / greenhouses • 3,000 properties • or 2,000 hectares • Employment • 2,000 people • Contribution to the economy • US$ 40 million In the third stage, fields suitable to thermal tourism will be put to tender.
 
• Ankara, Çanakkale, İzmir, Kırşehir, Kayseri, • Karabük, Konya, Mersin, Siirt, Bursa • 17 field tenders • İzmir, Bolu, Afyon, Erzurum, Samsun, Sivas, Yozgat • 14 well handovers • Thermal tourism facilities • 100 facilities/100,000 bed capacity • Employment • 25,000 people • Contribution to the economy US$ 500 million per annum The MTA’s geothermal targets: - Increasing our geothermal potential by investigating the deep extensions to existing geothermal systems; - Determining deep locations of the crust in Turkey containing rocks of high temperatures that do not have pores or sustainability, and mapping and preparing an inventory for these.

- Sustaining the continued production at existing geothermal fields, protecting their renewable qualities, and providing scientific and technological support to meet these aims. Note – Turkey’s first geothermal power station was established in the town of Sarayköy, near Denizli, in 1984. This facility, managed by Elektrik Üretim A.Ş., was handed by tender over to Zorlu Enerji Elektrik Üretim A.Ş. Turkey’s electrical production potential from geothermal sources is estimated at 500 MW. With geothermal waters, properties can be heated at costs 50 percent cheaper than natural gas and 60 percent cheaper than coal.
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