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Results of a research on the perception of geothermal in the region of Aydin, Turkey released

Turcas Kuyucak geothermal plant, Aydin/ Turkey (source: Turcas Kuyucak Jeotermal Elektrik Üretim A.S., Mehmet Salim Karpuzoglu)
Alexander Richter 18 Sep 2019

Despite the overall perception, recent research by 88KEYS Institute shows that the residents of the Turkish region of Aydin do not oppose geothermal but the misapplication in the region. 46 percent of the population of the province said that geothermal facilities are not harmful if installed and supervised properly.

According to news shared by the IHA, a perception survey conducted in Aydin region about 10 years of tension which started with the contracts of geothermal power plants.

According to the research results of 88KEYS Institute, 46 percent of Aydin population stated that geothermal facilities are not harmful if they are installed and inspected properly, while 29 percent stated that they were ‘unsure’ about geothermal, 21 percent were ‘opposed’, and 4 percent thought that it was not harmful in any way.

Dr. Yunus Cengel, Professor in the University of Nevada, who is one of the world-wide authorities in the field of thermodynamics, said, “The research results are not surprising. Like the world public opinion, the Aydin public does not have any objection to geothermal energy. The problem is the inaccuracies in practice and insensitivity to the feelings and thoughts of the public. Energy companies operating in the region should care about the local people and take their feelings and thoughts into consideration. Communication channels should be kept open”.

Cengel continued his statements as follows, ‘The reasonable criticisms and demands should be separated from the embittered worries. The public should be prevented from feeling unheard. Otherwise, those who abuse the public’s unrest will increase the tension. The best way to prevent this is to guide the best practice which is to inform the local people, and to find and implement ways to adopt geothermal energy as a national resource. As in the modern world, we all need a conciliatory and result-oriented approach to solve problems.

The results of the study show that the young population is more knowledgeable about geothermal energy. Figs, olives, agriculture and tourism come to the mind of the people who live in Aydin Region. However, geothermal is also one of the first words that came to mind of Aydin residents. Three out of every four residents know that there are geothermal energy reserves in Aydin. Approximately 89 percent of the inhabitants of the region have heard of geothermal energy among the methods of obtaining energy, 10 percent never heard, and 1 percent said that they had no idea. The new generation of young people are more knowledgeable about the geothermal energy, says Cengel.

Urban legends in the Aydin Region have both positive and negative effects on the geothermal energy community. According to the research, 64 percent of young people living in Aydin think that geothermal energy will not be harmful to health if controlled properly . Out of the young population, 21 percent of the people in the region think that geothermal energy is harmful to health under any circumstances, and 46 percent think it is not harmful if properly managed like the young population.

According to the results of the research, the perception of the people of the region about the importance of geothermal energy continues to increase in a positive way. In particular, the fact that the Aydin region has the Turkey’s largest geothermal energy resources, is known by 58 percent of the residents. However, it is not known by 74 percent that Turkey has the second largest geothermal energy source in Europe.

The view of the people of the region, who have knowledge about the positive contribution of the ongoing studies to the inhabitants of the region and the national economy, is changing day by day.

Source: Our Turkish-language platform JeotermalHaberler