Geothermal Energy Potential of Turkey and its Sustainability

09.05.2022
Geothermal Energy Potential of Turkey and its Sustainability

Geothermal is the name given to the heat accumulated at different depths underground. It consists of a combination of the words geo and thermal. The word geo means earth and thermal means heat. Water, steam and gases containing many different elements, minerals form the geothermal flow. Geothermal energy is a renewable, sustainable, safe and environmentally friendly green energy source. It is primary energy as it does not go through any energy transformation. Since there is no combustion process, carbon emissions are close to zero.

Geothermal energy, which has been in our lives for a very long time, had started to be used for electricity generation in the early 1900s. In order to meet the increasing demand for power, trials had been conducted first in Larderello, in 1904, by Prince Piero Ginori Conti. Providing the necessary energy for 4 light bulbs had been recorded as the first successful attempt. In 1911, the first commercial geothermal power plant had been built on the same site.

With the new technological developments, the use of geothermal energy has become less costly and more efficient. The geothermal resources of the world are theoretically thought to be sufficient to meet the energy consumption of humanity. Geothermal energy may become more efficient with government incentives and new techniques to be found, and turn into an indispensable source for energy generation.

Geothermal energy is a preferred energy source because it is clean and safe. Turkey ranks the 1st among the European countries in terms of geothermal potential and the 4th in the world in terms of installed power. Currently, the top five countries generating electricity with geothermal energy are USA, Indonesia, Philippines, Turkey and Kenya.

What are the Areas of Use of Geothermal Energy?

There exist no risks such as fire, explosion or poisoning in the use of geothermal resources. It is also ecologically reliable as it does not harm the environment. The efficiency achieved with geothermal energy is over 95%. Its production facilities are at the lowest level compared to the production areas of other energy sources. Areas of use of geothermal energy can be listed as follows:

  • Electricity generation

  • Applications such as central heating, central cooling, greenhouse heating

  • Drying processes that require heat

  • Production of chemicals and minerals

  • Thermal tourism hot springs

  • Aquaculture

  • Production of drinking water containing minerals

How is Electricity Generation Made from Geothermal Energy?

There are a few number of different types of power plants for electricity generation with geothermal energy sources. Although there are design differences in the facilities, all power plants use similar methods during production. Power plants can be of 3 different types:

  • Dry steam power plants: The dry steam from the source is used directly to turn the turbines.

  • Flash steam power plants: The geothermal fluid coming from the source with high pressure is converted into steam and the rotation of the turbine is maintained.

  • Double cycle power plants: Hot geothermal fluid is used to heat and evaporate a second fluid. The evaporated second fluid is directed to the turbines.

What is the Geothermal Energy Potential of Turkey?

In Turkey, the region with the highest geothermal energy potential is Western Anatolia with a rate of 78%. Central Anatolia Region has a geothermal energy potential of 9%, Marmara Region 7%, Eastern Anatolia 5% and the other regions 1%. With this potential, Turkey is placed among the leading countries in the world in this regard. In Turkey, there exist approximately 1000 geothermal energy sources in the form of natural outputs and at different temperatures.

90% of the resources in Turkey are at low and medium temperature. Springs at this temperature are more suitable for direct use. Low and medium temperature sources can be used for heating, thermal tourism and various industrial applications. 10% of the resources in the country are suitable for indirect use, namely electricity generation.

Geothermal energy research has gained momentum with the new laws and the private sector initiatives. Exploration levels have reached from 2,000 meters to 28,000 meters. The probable heat potential of Turkey is 31,500 MWt. For electricity generation, on the other hand, this rate is at the level of 2,000 MWe. The amount of electricity generated by geothermal energy in Turkey has been measured as 15 MW in 2004. This rate has reached 1613 MW in 2020.

Geothermal energy is used in many of our provinces for heating purposes. Heating applications of thousands of residences in Afyonkarahisar, Ağrı, Ankara, Balıkesir, Denizli, İzmir, Kırşehir, Manisa, Nevşehir and Yozgat provinces are provided by this renewable energy source.

The sustainable use of geothermal energy, which is a local resource, is one of the important factors that will reduce the dependence of Turkey on foreign energy.

Is Geothermal Energy Renewable?

Accumulated in underground porous rocks and cracks; the geothermal resource formed by rain, snow, sea and magma waters is sent back underground after being used. This refilling of the used reserve is called reinjection. Reinjection is important for the sustainability of the geothermal resource. In many countries, reinjection is mandated by law. 

As Aydem Energy, we know the importance of renewable energy resources for the future of Turkey and the world, and we invest in the use of these resources. With the hydroelectric, wind, biogas and geothermal power plants in our structure, we offer you green energy.

We produce 38GWh of energy annually with our geothermal power plant located in Sarayköy district of Denizli. The installed power of our power plant, which has started production in 2008, is 6.85 MW. 

Hereby on this occasion, we would like to remind you of the “Green Tariff” services offered by our retail companies. With our green tariffs, you may choose the energy generated from renewable sources and reduce your direct and indirect carbon footprint.