Geothermal news briefs from Turkey, the UK, and a member of Parliament

Geothermal energy development is moving forward in Turkey and the United Kingdom, while a member of Parliament discusses geothermal needs across Europe.

*Turkey: Geothermal to Play Role in Growing Renewables Focus; Toshiba Wins Alasehir Order
*UK: Engineers and Politicians Support Geo Energy Demo Project
*Member of European Parliament Addresses Geothermal’s Needs

In Turkey, geothermal energy is projected to increase to 600 MW within a decade. Turkey’s energy minister Taner Yildiz was recently quoted in press that the country is on course to achieve the goal of one-third of its power needs from renewable energy by 2023.

The Alasehir geothermal power plant in Turkey is moving forward. Zorlu Energy, which is building the plant, awarded a materials supply order to Toshiba for turbines, generators and condensers. A 30-MW flash steam generation system and a 10-MW binary cycle power facility will be installed later this year, with the plant scheduled for operations in 2015.

In the UK, engineering firm Atkins completed a government-commissioned report on areas with geothermal potential and encouraged the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) to sanction a demonstration project. Sarah Newton, who is Tory MP for Truro and Falmouth, set up a parliamentary group supporting deep geothermal energy, noted local press. She has encouraged ministers to let Cornwall pilot the technology.

Member of the European Parliament Vittorio Prodi wrote about the benefits and challenges of geothermal energy for Europe in an Op-Ed published on TheParliament.com. Writing that geo power “offers a cost-effective, renewable and alternative energy option with multiple advantages” but is faced with difficulties such as high cost of drilling and insufficient policies, some of Prodi’s comments are similar to trends seen in the U.S. industry. He offers suggestions:

“Presently, 13 member states offer geothermal electricity feed-in tariffs, ranging from 25 to 300 €/MWh. This is where a functioning emissions trading scheme is fundamental to ensure fair competition and pricing. Furthermore, complex administrative procedures for geothermal exploitation are creating significant delays for obtaining the necessary permits and licences, generating uncertainty for investors. Energy regulators and competition authorities, at EU and national level, need to act decisively to ensure that all companies are treated equally, ensuring a level playing field. Uniformity across member states is a prerequisite for the completion of an ‘open, integrated and flexible market’ whose dynamics will drive investments rather than subsidies. This requires a real integration of Europe’s energy networks and systems, and the further opening of energy markets to ensure the transition to a low carbon economy. The architecture for the internal energy market is, however, laid out in the third energy package and in complementary legislation, although the main obstacle continues to be the lack of implementation.

“Renewables are expected to be at the centre of the energy mix in Europe by 2050; geothermal power could theoretically supply 15 per cent of European global energy by then. This potential can only be fulfilled through a committed, integrated and stable European renewable energy policy fostering private investments and fairer competition upon which this shift depends.”

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