Turkey's geothermal energy sector aims to more than double investments to $7 billion by 2020 from the current level of $3.2 billion, Ufuk Senturk, the president of Turkey's Geothermal Electricity Power Plant Investors Association (JESDER) told Anadolu Agency on Wednesday.
Speaking exclusively to AA, Senturk said that the electricity generation from geothermal in Turkey has experienced a massive rise in recent years and continues to grow year by year.
Turkey's geothermal sector has seen growth in power generation capacity from 30 megawatts (MW) in 2008 to the current 870 MW – equivalent to 19 percent of the country's potential for geothermal power production, currently estimated at 4.5 gigawatts.
"Turkey, the seventh country in the world with its 870 MW of installed capacity in geothermal, increased this capacity every year by 50 percent in the last five years," he explained.
According to Senturk, the contribution from geothermal power, as a national, local and environmentally-friendly energy source, needs to increase for the economy and such development should be backed by governmental support.
He added that on the associations' behalf along with with sector officials, they have made this known to public authorities.
The risks and costs are very high for geothermal investments especially for lower heat geothermal resources, falling second to investments in nuclear power, he asserted.
"For resources with heat under 140 degrees Celsius to contribute to the economy, we expect some regulations," he declared.
The larger share of investments is needed for geothermal drilling at $3 million per well, Senturk said. He explained that a 1,000-meter well requires investment of $300 per meter. But at further depths the cost rises. For example a well to a depth of 3,000 meters would require $1,000 per meter to drill.
Together with other expenditure, the cost of drilling a 4,000-meter deep well could reach $6 million, he said.
"The amount of investment in geothermal energy today is $3.2 billion. When the 1.75 thousand megawatts of geothermal power plant projects licensed and scheduled for 2020 are finalized, this investment amount will reach $7 billion," Ozturk noted.
He concluded that the purchase guarantee scheme for geothermal energy, currently set at $0.105 cents per kilowatt-hour, should continue for another five years after 2020 for the future of this energy source.
The country has pledged to develop 30 percent of its total installed capacity from renewable sources by 2023. The objective is to add 34 GW of hydropower, 20 GW of wind energy, 5 GW of solar energy, 1 GW of biomass and 1 GW of geothermal power.
By Ebru Sengul