Turkey is seen as the currently hottest geothermal market in the world by EBRD, according to Natalia Khanjenkova, Managing Director for Turkey and Central Asia of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) at a geothermal forum by the bank at the IGC Turkey geothermal event in Turkey in early June.
“Turkey right now is a country we would say is the hottest geothermal market in the world. Perhaps it is not due to the temperature of the geothermal resources but it is reattributed to the vibrancy of the private sector that we see in Turkey. This is combined with very strong regulatory support that has been put in place by the government,” she said.
According to Khanjenkova, the government has done an outstanding job in catalyzing private sector investment to accelerate investments in geothermal energy.
“To a great degree, this was achieved by a combination of amendments to renewable energy in 2010, the adoption of geothermal law in 2007 and more recently the new electricity market law,” she explained.
Khanjenkova also underlined the role of low drilling costs in Turkey, which are the world’s lowest. She said that these are attributable to the high competition between service providers in the Turkish market which currently is priced below a million dollars per kilometer.
“This is extremely impressive in the industry,” she explained, adding “thanks to this, the installed capacity has increased more than six fold only in the last five years. So it has grown from 95 megawatts (MW) at the beginning of 2011 to 648 mw as of today. We, as EBRD, are extremely proud to contribute to this increasing capacity because, through our financing, we contributed 280 MW of this capacity, nearly 40 percent.”
The EBRD is a leading investor in Turkey to date. It has invested over €7 billion ($7.89 billion) in the country through 180 projects in infrastructure, energy, agribusiness, industry and finance.
“Indeed, we expect that looking at the pace of geothermal development in the country, that Turkey will reach the target of 1 thousand megawatts by 2018, so five years ahead of the objective of the national renewable action plan” she said.
Turkey’s geothermal sector has experienced an incredible rise in recent years with a growth in power generation capacity from 30 MW in 2008 to the current 695 MW. For this reason, Turkey is attracting a lot of interest from the global geothermal energy community both as a market for products and services and as an example on how to stimulate geothermal project development.