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Zorlu Jeotermal in Denizli
Zorlu Jeotermal in Denizli

There is almost 2 gigawatts of geothermal power in Turkey, and it could be greatly expanded if the problem of its carbon dioxide emissions can be solved.[1][2] Geothermal power in Turkey began in the 1970s in a prototype plant following systematic exploration of geothermal fields. In the 1980s, a first power plant has grown up out of the pilot facility. Turkey is ranked seventh richest country in the world in geothermal potential.[2] The small-sized geothermal power plant was expanded to the country's biggest one in 2013. 55 power plants operate in Turkey as of February 2019.[3] Its theoretical geothermal potential is 60GW [4] and potential is 4.5GW [5] As well as the electricity sector in Turkey, geothermal heat is used directly. At the end of 2019 Turkey had 1.5 GW installed capacity, the fourth largest in the world after the United States, Indonesia and the Philippines: and for heat is second only to China.[6]


The high geothermal potential is due to geology such as the Western Anatolian Graben systems. However "many of Turkey’s existing geothermal plants are situated on reservoirs where the carbon content of non-condensable gases (NCGs) in the geothermal fluids are high",[5] therefore care must be taken to avoid excessive carbon emissions.

Carbon-dioxide emissions

The CO2 emissions from new geothermal plants in Turkey are some of the highest in the world, ranging from 900 to 1300 g/kWh[7] but gradually decline: lifecycle emissions are still being researched as of 2019.[1]

Direct use of heat

Turkey is second to China in direct use.[6]


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In 1965, the state-owned Turkish Mineral Research and Exploration Co. began with the first geological and geophysical surveys in southwestern Turkey. The Kızıldere geothermal reservoir, a field on the western branch of Büyük Menderes Graben, was discovered in 1968 as a geothermal field suitable for electricity generation. The first power plant was built as a prototype facility in 1974 with 500 kW installed capacity. The generated electricity was distributed to the households in the vicinity free of charge. The state-owned Elektrik Üretim A.Ş. (EÜAŞ) enlarged the installed capacity up to 17.4 MW in 1984. However, the average actual power was around 10 MW. In 2008, the power plant was transferred to Zorlu Energy in the frame of privatization. Zorlu Energy obtained the right of operating lease for 30 years, and increased the capacity from 6 MW to 15 within a short time. The company invested US$250 million to expand the facility. In December 2013, the Kızıldere Geothermal Power Plant reached an installed capacity of 95 MW making it Turkey's biggest.[8][9]

As of 2005, Turkey had the 5th highest direct usage and capacity of geothermal energy in the world. Turkey's capacity as of 2005 is 1,495 MWt with a usage of 24,839.9 TJ/year or 6,900.5 GWh/year at a capacity factor of 0.53. Most of this is in the form of direct-use heating however geothermal electricity is currently produced at the Kizildere plant in the province of Denizli producing 120,000 tons of liquid carbon dioxide and dry ice. As of 2006 and 2010, there were two plants generating 8.5 and 11.5 MWe respectively, in Aydın.[10]

The direct-use heating has been mostly district heating serving 103,000 residences (827 MWt and 7712.7 TJ/year). There is also individual space heating (74 MWt and 816.8 TJ/year); 800,000 m2 of heated greenhouses (192 MWt and 3,633 TJ/year); and 215 balneological facilities, 54 spas, bathing and swimming pools (402 MWt and 12,677.4 TJ/year).[11] It is stated that at least 1.5 million houses, currently heated by natural gas, can switch to being heated by thermal waters.[12]

As of 2005, 170 future geothermal prospects had been identified with 95% in the low-to medium enthalpy range suitable for direct-use applications (Simsek et al., 2005).[13]

In 2010 the installed geothermal electricity generation capacity was 100 MWe while direct use installations were approximately 795 MWt.[14]

Turkey reaches milestone 1,100 MW of installed geothermal power generation capacity in December 2017. Turkey is fourth largest in the world in 2018 when it comes to installed capacity after United States

Power plants in operation

Suppliers of binary-cycle technology; such as Atlas Copco, Exergy and Ormatare; are prominent in the market.[6]

Public opinion

There are concerns about possible hydrogen sulphide in the air and heavy metals in the water.[6]


Geothermal is financially risky[15] and "public finance is more beneficial if it addresses early-stage risks."[5] The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is investing $275 million in geothermal energy.[16]


An international conference is currently held annually.[17]


It has been estimated that 30% of Turkish residences could be heated geothermally,[18] and 2GW electricity generation capacity is targeted for 2020.[19] Hot rock geothermal fields in the east have not been fully explored.[20]

See also


  1. ^ a b "Characterizing the declining CO2 emissions from Turkish geothermal power plants" (PDF). World Bank. Retrieved 26 March 2019.
  2. ^ a b DAWOOD, KAMRAN (2016). "Hybrid wind-solar reliable solution for Turkey to meet electric demand". Balkan Journal of Electrical and Computer Engineering. 4 (2): 62–66. doi:10.17694/bajece.06954.
  3. ^ Orhan Mertoglu, Sakir Simsek, Nilgun Basarir, Halime Paksoy (11–14 June 2019). Geothermal Energy Use, Country Update for Turkey (PDF). European Geothermal Congress 2019.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  4. ^ Parlaktuna, Mahmut & Orhan Mertoglu, Sakir Simsek, Halime Paksoy, Nilgun Basarir (3 June 2013). Geothermal Country Update Report of Turkey (2010-2013) (PDF). European Geothermal Congress 2013.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  5. ^ a b c "Public Finance and Private Exploration in Geothermal: Gümüşköy Case Study, Turkey". Retrieved 9 March 2015.
  6. ^ a b c d "Renewables Global Status Report". REN21. Retrieved 2020-09-30.
  7. ^ Tut Haklidir, Fusun S.; Baytar, Kaan; Kekevi, Mert (2019), Qudrat-Ullah, Hassan; Kayal, Aymen A. (eds.), "Global CO2 Capture and Storage Methods and a New Approach to Reduce the Emissions of Geothermal Power Plants with High CO2 Emissions: A Case Study from Turkey", Climate Change and Energy Dynamics in the Middle East: Modeling and Simulation-Based Solutions, Understanding Complex Systems, Springer International Publishing, pp. 323–357, doi:10.1007/978-3-030-11202-8_12, ISBN 9783030112028
  8. ^ Kaya, Tevfik & Ali Kindap (2009). "Kızıldere-New Geothermal Power Plant in Turkey" (PDF). International Geothermal Days. Slovakia. Retrieved 2014-01-07.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  9. ^ "Zorlu's geothermal power plant opened". Hürriyet Daily News. 2013-09-30. Retrieved 2014-01-07.
  10. ^ "Geothermal power plant starts generation". Hurriyet Daily News. Anadolu Agency. April 5, 2010.
  11. ^ Lund, J. W.; Freeston, D. H.; Boyd, T. L. (December 2005). "Direct application of geothermal energy: 2005 Worldwide review". Geothermics. 34 (6): 691. doi:10.1016/j.geothermics.2005.09.003.
  12. ^ "Can Turkey Be A "Geothermal Power"?". Diplomatic Observer. 19 January 2009. Archived from the original on 2014-01-07.
  13. ^ Simsek, Sakir; Mertoglu, Orhan; Bakir, Nilgün; Akkus, Ibrahim; Aydogdu, Onder (24–29 April 2005). "Geothermal energy utilization, development and projections--country update report (2000–2004) of Turkey" (PDF). Proceedings of the World Geothermal Conference 2005. Antalya, Turkey.
  14. ^ Serpen, Umran; Aksoy, Niyazi; Öngür, Tahir (February 1–2, 2010). "2010 Present Status of Geothermal Energy in Turkey" (PDF). Proceedings of the Thirty-fifth Workship on Geothermal Reservoir Engineering. Stanford, California: Stanford University.
  15. ^ "RENEWABLE ENERGY INVESTMENT IN TURKEY: BETWEEN ASPIRATION AND ENDURANCE". Turkish Policy Quarterly. Retrieved 27 November 2018.
  16. ^ "Europe to invest $275 million in geothermal energy". Daily Sabah. 15 January 2015. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
  17. ^ GeoPower Global Congress. Istanbul, Turkey: Green Power. 1–3 December 2015.
  18. ^ Şimşek, Şakir. New Wide Development of Geothermal Power Production in Turkey (PDF). Geothermal Energy. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
  19. ^ "Turkey targets 2,000 MW geothermal power generation capacity by 2020". ThinkGeoEnergy ltd. 13 March 2019.