The geothermal sector in Turkey, which is developing very dynamically, is very likely to reach the objective of 1,000 megawatts (MW) capacity well before its target of 2023, said Natalia Khanjenkova, managing director for Turkey and Central Asia at the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) on Tuesday.
Speaking exclusively to Anadolu Agency, Khanjenkova said Turkey has big potential for geothermal energy.
"I understand the estimates are between 2,000 - 4,500 MW which are significant resources. This, combined with a strong regulatory framework and very good job done by the government, create the framework that helps investors in the geothermal sector. Another critical factor is the very vibrant private sector that is eager to invest," Khanjenkova said.
The EBRD’s geothermal investments in Turkey were initiated in 2010 through financing the Tuzla Geothermal Power Plant (GPP) followed by five more GPP projects. These were financed through the EBRD’s partner banks in the country. In 2015, the EBRD provided $200 million to the Guris group to finance Efeler, the largest GPP in Turkey with 170 MW capacity.
Khanjenkova also clarified that the EBRD is financing not only geothermal investments in Turkey but also renewable energy projects in general.
"If we look at the way that the geothermal capacity has being put online, it increased over the last five years six-fold and is now at 697 MW. We have supported 280 MW of this amount and we are extremely proud. Looking at the way that the sector is developing, it is going to reach the objective of 1,000 MW well before 2023," Khanjenkova said..
Also commenting on Turkey's geothermal energy potential, Adonai Herrera-Martinez, energy efficiency and climate change associate director at the EBRD, said Turkey is distinctive compared to other countries which have geothermal sources.
"What makes Turkey distinct among the other countries is actually the vibrancy of its private sector. The official target for 2023 published in the National Renewable Energy Action Plan (NREAP) for Turkey, which the EBRD helped develop, is 1,000 MW and we expect that number to be achieved as early as 2018," he explained.
Martinez also encouraged the resources in Central and Eastern Anatolia to be utilized.
"To achieve the sector’s full potential two key elements should be in place. One is significant financing support and second is reducing exploration risks. We are currently working with five different companies in locations ranging from Simav and Bergama to Nevsehir," he said.
Herrera-Martinez also addressed the EBRD's new initiative to help reduce early stage risks during the exploration period.
"To address the challenges faced by the sector in terms of exploration risks and early stage financing requirements previously indicated, the EBRD has developed its Early Stage Geothermal Framework called PLUTO. With PLUTO, the Bank aims at accelerating geothermal development by sharing the risks of early stage development with investors in greenfield areas. With support of the EU grants PLUTO provides technical assistance to apply best global practices at exploration stage and concessional financing to reduce the equity burden borne by developers," he added.
By Ebru Sengul