Geothermal energy is the heat energy obtained from the hot water, steam, dry steam and hot dry rocks by artificial methods, which have gathered within rocks in the depths underneath the soil, and have moved and were stored by the fluid heat.

Geothermal sources are mostly formed around active fault systems and volcanic and magmatic units.

Modern geothermal plants which use geothermal energy emit very low amounts of CO2, NOx, SOx gases, and therefore, it is evaluated as a very clean source of energy.

Geothermal energy includes all types of direct or indirect benefit derived from geothermal sources. Low temperature (20-70°C) fields are particularly used for heating, and also in industry, for the production of chemicals. Medium temperature (70-150°C) and high temperature (above 150°C) fields can be used as well as the generation of electricity in heating applications integrated manner depending on the re-injection conditions.

As of the year of 2016 the installed capacity of geothermal energy was 13,300 MW. The electricity output from this source in 2016 is approximately 75 billion kWh. The top five countries in electricity generation from geothermal energy are the USA, the Philippines, Indonesia, New Zealand and Italy. Its use other than for the generation of electricity is 70.328 MW thermal. The top five countries in geothermal heat and hot springs applications are China, the USA, Sweden, Turkey and Germany.

As Turkey is situated on the Alps - Himalayas belt, it is a country with quite a high geothermal potential. In theory, the geothermal capacity of our country is 31.500 MW. 79% o the areas with a potential within our country are situated in Western Anatolia, 8,5% in Central Anatolia, 7,5% in the Marmara Region, 4,5% in Eastern Anatolia and 0,5% in the other regions. 94% of our geothermal resources are low and medium heat, and suitable for direct applications (heating, thermal tourism, the output of minerals, etc.), while 6% are suitable for indirect applications (the generation of electricity energy).

In 2005, with the support of our ministry, the development of existing geothermal resources initiated and began to search for new potential areas. Due for this mobilization, our usable geothermal heat capacity reached to 5000 MWt (by the end of December 2015) from 3100 MWt (by the end of the year 2004) with 212.000 meter drillings. With MTA’s drilling activities, 173 discovered geothermal fields reached to 232 fields which 10 of them are suitable for electricity production. So far, total of 607 drillings with total of 370,000 meters of depth performed by MTA and 5000 MWt of heat energy (including natural springs) obtained from these wells.

Comparison of Geothermal applications in Turkey for the vears 2002-2016

  • Number of fields suitable for electricity production reached from 16 in 2002 to 25 in 2016.
  • In 2002, while 500.000 m2 of greenhouses are heated from geothermal energy and now in 2016, 3.931 m2 greenhouses heated with geothermal energy with increment of 686%.
  • Residential heating from geothermal energy in reached from 30.000 RE in 2002 to 114.567 RE in 2016 with increment of 281%.
  • Electricity Production from geothermal energy reached from 15 MWe in 2002 to 820 MWe in 2016 MWe with the increment of % 5366.
  • Geothermal heat capacity reached from 3.000 Mwt in 2002 to 14.000 MWt in 2015 with increment of %366

The details presented here have been prepared with the aim of informing the users of the website of our Ministry, and do not possess the characteristics of official binding documents.

Legislation Numbered 5686 on Geothermal Resources and Natural Mineral Waters (In Turkish)