Renewables

Turkey maintains geothermal superpower status

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March 17, 2016

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Published:

March 17, 2016

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Eighteen facilities generating electricity from geothermal sources came online last year in the world, adding a combined 313 MW in capacity to existing 13 GW in a total of 24 countries. The number of new power plants was in line with the previous years, though the overall size was lower, the United States Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) said in its annual report. Turkey dominates the list of units which were registered to begin supplying electricity to buyers. Ten power plants with a total capacity of  158 MW were launched in the country out of 18 in total.

Most of the new units were smaller binary and organic Rankine cycle (ORC) systems, according to GEA. Turkey was ranked eighth by operating capacity at the end of 2015, with 637 MW. The U.S. led with 3.57 GW, followed by 1.93 GW in the Philippines. Other prominent markets were Indonesia and Mexico, both exceeding 1 GW in capacity, trailed by Italy, New Zealand and Iceland. Turkey moderately outperformed Kenya and Japan, which were also in the first tier.

Gauging by capacity under development, Turkey came third last year, with 1.15 GW. The chart was headed by Indonesia, with over 4 GW, and the U.S. followed with 1.27 GW of capacity in advancing projects. Kenya and Ethiopia held the fourth and fifth position, respectively.

The organization cited natural disasters, regulatory issues in several developing nations and the effect of cheaper fossil fuels as difficulties for getting funds. The overall global potential in 82 countries is estimated at 12.5 GW in between 700 and 750 projects. GEA forecasts, according to pace of development, that active geothermal power plants will be operational at a level of up to 18.4 MW by 2021.

From the 143 MW under development by major turbine and equipment suppliers in Turkey, Exergy had seven projects with a total capacity of 123 MW, while Ormat and Turboden were working on one project each with 17 MW and 3 MW, respectively. The global market, measured by the number of projects, was dominated by Ormat, with 26%, Mitsubishi, with 18%, and Fuji, managing 13%. They were followed by Toshiba, Ansaldo/Tosi, General Electric, Alstom and TAS Energy. The United States was at the forefront in initiatives, while Indonesia and Mexico also had a significant number of endeavours in the pipeline.

Conventional hydrothermal potential for power production in Turkey was 1.5 GW, according to the report. Bulgaria had 164 MW, the estimate for Croatia is 100 MW, while Greece also stands out with 1.5 GW among the markets tracked by Balkan Green Energy News. Romania’s measured potential is 164 MW.

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