Turkey rediscovers potential in geothermal energy

About 90,000 houses started using geothermal energy as well as 3,000 acres of greenhouses

About 90,000 houses started using geothermal energy as well as 3,000 acres of greenhouses

ISTANBUL - Turkey is rediscovering its geothermal energy resources.

Rich in geothermal resources, Turkey increased its drilling activities from 2,000 meters to 28,000 meters; and its utilizable heat capacity to 4,813 MWt by the end of 2012 with an increase by 46 percent in the last seven years.

According to Turkey's Mineral Research and Exploration agency (MTA) data, with its theoretical geothermal potential (31,500 MWt), Turkey ranks 7th in the world and 1st in the Europe.

The number of geothermal areas, which was 173 in 2005, reached 225 and 145,000 meters of drilling was conducted at those regions by the end of 2012. Turkey's visible heat capacity went up by 130 percent and recorded 7,000 MWt in 2012.

Green house heating which was 500 acres in 2002 became almost 3,000 acres at the end of 2012 with a 485 percent increase.

Only 30,000 houses were utilizing geothermal resources in 2002 while with a 198 percent increase, that number reached almost 90,000 houses at the end of 2012.

Electricity production from geothermal energy was 15 MWt in 2002 and became 162.2 MWt in 2012 with 661 percent increase.

Speaking to AA, Zorlu Energy Director General Sinan Ak said having more than 1,300 reservoirs, Turkey do not benefit properly from geothermal energy and Turkey being able to utilize its existing renewable energy potential was crucial at solving its energy dependency.

Ak said 65 percent of Turkey's hydroelectrical energy, 90 percent of its geothermal energy, 95 percent of its wind energy and 100 percent of its solar energy were waiting to be used for electricity production.

He said when Turkey's projected 31.500 MWt potential would be included to economy, a 10 billion USD saving annually would be realized at Turkey's energy expenses.

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