Turkey could cut its gas imports by 20 percent using geothermal energy which could meet 30 percent of Turkey's heating needs for district heating, according to Danish Consul General Anette Snedgaard Galskjot in Istanbul in an exclusive interview with Anadolu Agency.
District energy is an energy system that can provide economic and sustainable energy to an entire city or whole district using surplus energy from power plants or renewable sources.
Galskjot cited the model used in Denmark as an example to emulate where savings of 40 percent or more have been made for households, a level considered extremely high.
In Denmark, 69 percent of the total population uses district heating while this percentage is close to 100 percent in Copenhagen, she said.
Denmark wants to make more advances in district heating and Turkey is also interested in developing this system more, she asserted.
Turkey has already made inroads with geothermal energy in Izmir and in neighboring towns as well as in Kırşehir and Afyon in the Central Anatolian region.
She drew attention to the example of a successful district system at work in Soma in Manisa province, an area that was traditionally heated through the local lignite-fired thermal power or natural gas. However, through the district heating technology added in this plant, 8,000 households are currently is heated.
These household users are paying 50 percent less than the previous heating systems in their houses. Galskjot said that inter-governmental relations between Denmark and Turkey and relations with Turkish local authorities are very good.
The Danish Energy Agency and Turkey's Energy and Natural Resources Ministry signed a strategic energy cooperation agreement in 2017.
"We are very enthusiastic about the Turkish government's interest in renewable energy and especially in district heating," she said, adding that a number of Danish companies are interested in doing business in Turkey.
To promote this system further in Turkey, she said that a District Heating System conference would be held on Nov. 27 in Izmir where representatives of both countries will discuss current developments, including the ability to utilize renewable energy for district heating in some regions.
There is a very big potential in Turkey to use renewables, which offers huge savings, security of supply, and less dependence on natural gas imports, which she said was part of Turkey's energy localization policy.
"They [renewables] are not a 100 percent alternative to using natural gas but they are a great complimentary and clean source in that sense," she underlined.
- "First heat law due to be out"
Within the context of the strategic cooperation agreement signed between the Danish Energy Agency and the Turkish Energy and Natural Energy Ministry that will run until December 2019, a draft of Turkey's first heating regulation is being debated.
The biggest outcome of this cooperation will be the heating act, which is set to regulate Turkey's heating through more defined regulations, responsibilities and management for district heating.
She said public consultation will take place before the law will come into force, which is expected to be in March-April, 2019.
By Nuran Erkul Kaya