The Turkish Association of Geothermal Investors (JESDER) has said that it expects there to be a geothermal-based power generation capacity of 2000 MW by 2020, up from its current level of 1347 MW. Turkish energy policy is aimed at expanding renewable energy in order to reduce dependence on imported fossil fuels and reduce the country’s trade deficit. Geothermal energy for power and heat is becoming increasingly important.
JESDER said that there is an estimated power generation potential from geothermal sources in the western regions of Turkey amounting to around 3000 MW. Currently, geothermal energy has a 2.4 per cent share of total electricity production in the country. It also estimated the potential for heating residential and commercial properties such as hotels, swimming pools, and greenhouses at 30,000 MW.
JESDER said that the country has the opportunity to build up to 200-250 MW annually of additional geothermal capacity with investments of around $1 billion per year, with a payback period of around five years.
There are numerous geothermal sources in the western Turkish provinces of Denizli, Manisa, and Aydin, and special zones are already being built in which wastewater from geothermal power plants will be used to heat greenhouses.