In an interview, Chairman of the Board of JESDER, Ufuk Senturk, said that investments in geothermal energy can only be made with incentives.
Milliyet Energy magazine has turned its way towards clean energy opportunities in line with the energy problems faced in the world and in our country. Among the clean energy options, the first thing that catches your eye is geothermal energy. The magazine conducted interviews on the subject in its February issue to find out how to use geothermal energy more.
Ufuk Senturk, president of the Geothermal Power Plant Investors Association (JESDER), was the guest of the February edition of Milliyet Energy. He said that we have a voice in the world with our geothermal resources, but our power generation capacity is almost 3 times the installed capacity.
Senturk noted, “Our power generation capacity is around 5,000 MW, we’re currently at 1676 MW, so we’re not even halfway there. In Turkey, about 160,000 houses are heated by geothermal resources, but this number can reach up to 1 million houses, 4,000 acres of greenhouses are heated, it can exceed 50,000 acres. There are geothermal resources in almost all parts of Turkey, especially in western Anatolia, it may not be suitable for power generation, but it is possible to search and find all these resources for areas such as greenhouses and district heating.
When asked why these resources are not sought after, the President of JESDER said, “Because the exploration of geothermal resources in our country is extremely expensive, we need incentives for this. Just as the Ministry of Energy previously launched YEKDEM and scaled the 15 MW geothermal power plant nearly 100 times, incentives are needed for heating and greenhouses in other cities.
“Drilling and exploration are extremely risky and expensive. In other words, the cost of a deep well is about $1,000 per meter. If you drill a thousand meters, it costs $1 million, it’s very difficult for a greenhouse farmer to do that or to drill a well to heat the city. Because one well is not enough, we have to drill a reinjection well worth $2 million. No municipality or local government can assume this load for city heating and there is a risk that the well will dry up. But if these are encouraged enough, we have suggestions on this.
“For example, we said that fuel used in drilling should be exempt from SCT and VAT, an example of this is in the oil sector. This reduces fuel costs by approximately 80%. Currently, the Ministry of Agriculture has partial incentives, but it is about investing in greenhouses, not finding hot water. Nearly 2,000 wells are waiting to be used in the southeastern region of Anatolia. TPAO opened it for oil exploration, couldn’t find oil, but they are full of hot water. There is a well with a capacity of 50,000 decares of greenhouses and it does not require any investment”.
Senturk continued his remarks as follows: Unfortunately, we have to use EBRD and World Bank loans, which we use in Turkey to order geothermal resources, through Turkish banks, so the financial risks of our country come into play. In the past, we could only borrow on the electricity side, but now we can’t borrow that either. Because the current YEKDEM is pegged to the Turkish Lira. Or, when you invest in a greenhouse, your income is in Turkish liras, and if you resort to foreign currency loans, which are cheap here, the exchange risk arises and financing is not an option.
Even if you try to borrow in Turkish lira, today you can borrow 24-25%, it is impossible to make these investments at this rate. This is the current problem in our country. But if it is pegged to a foreign currency like YEKDEM, borrowing in foreign currency is relatively less and the exchange risk disappears. “If the Department of Agriculture pegs incentives or district heating incentives to foreign currencies, it will go bankrupt. If you don’t tell us, townhouses that can be heated with geothermal energy must be built with natural gas and imported coal, which are also pegged to foreign currencies. To avoid this and return to internal resources, the State must take its responsibilities with us, with the investors”.
Click here to read the full interview.
Source: Milliyet via our Turkish language platform JeothermalHaberler