Enel optimistic confident about its Turkish geothermal activities

Enel optimistic confident about its Turkish geothermal activities Pamukkale Hot Springs, Western Turkey - not related to story (source: flickr/ peggyhr, creative commons)
Alexander Richter 3 May 2011

Answering doubts about the value of many of the geothermal licenses in Turkey, Italian Enel quotes its unique experience in geothermal energy and states its optimism about its business purchases and partnerships in Turkey.

Addressing critical remarks as of recent in Turkish media about many geothermal exploration licenses in Turkey not being of much value, Italian “Enel has expressed confidence and revealed a realistic stance toward its recently purchased Turkish geothermal sites.

Giuseppe Farina, Enel’s Representative for Turkey said, “Any business activity includes a certain degree of risk.”

The difference, according to Farina, is rooted in Enel’s unique experience in geothermal energy, while also bearing in mind that not all licenses are of the same quality.

“Enel Green Power has been operating in the geothermal industry for over a century and has experienced a solid background in identifying those licenses with a higher potential and with better development conditions,” he told the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review.

The new agreement on the exploration of geothermal sites in western Turkey was confirmed on Jan. 24 between Italian energy giant Enel and Turkish Meteor.

The venture will provide research and exploration of 142 geothermal sites in Turkey, while securing collaboration from Turkish partners and the government alike.

Although specialists have questioned the profitability and quality of recently purchased geothermal sites, Enel expressed strong optimism about its business purchase in a recent interview with the Daily News.

“The Turkish market is not that different from other geothermal markets. Licenses to exploit geothermal energy can be of different kinds and with different potentials,” said Farina.

“We do not believe that all the leases are of the same quality, but as a result of over a hundred years of experience in geothermal energy, we will probably be able to pick up the most promising ones,” he told the Daily News.

Experts have previously expressed serious concerns about the geothermal reserves, pointing to the unviable nature of many sites and worthlessness of licenses.

“The sheer majority of geothermal sites are low-grade resources that could not be used for power generation,” said Ümran Serpen, professor at the Istanbul Technical University.

There are so many of those worthless licenses and there are people who are eager to market them and few have made handsome profits by simply marketing a few licenses,” he told the Daily News.

One of the main factors cited by Enel for investing in Turkey has been the passing of new energy laws put forward in 2007 and 2010 by the Turkish government.

“The new Turkish law on renewable energy is promising enough for starting up the process, even if the tariff is slightly below what’s expected,” said Farina.

However, as a result of new legal incentives to invest in renewable energy, the prices have fallen to a reasonable level, said Farina.

“In the past years we decided not to participate in tenders, because their mechanism of offer created an over-payment on the leases,” he told the Daily News. “We believe some of the past tenders have been awarded above the real market value.”

Source: Hurriyet Daily News