Geothermal fields suitable for power generation
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Turkey is located on the Mediterranean sector of Alpine-Himalayan Tectonic Belt with many grabens, acidic volcanism, hydrothermal alteration zones, numerous hot springs and fumaroles. The data gathered since 1962 indicate that Turkey has a high geothermal energy potential. By comparison, it is among the first seven countries in abundance of geothermal resources around the world, while the share of its potential used is only about 2%. This means that considerable studies on geothermal energy could be conducted in order to increase energy supply and to reduce atmospheric pollution in Turkey. The main objective of the present study is threefold, namely: (1) to overview Turkey's geothermal fields suitable for power generation together with their possible utilization opportunities, (2) to present problems encountered and research projects developed in the Denizli-Kizildere geothermal field with an estimated capacity of 200 MWe and (3) to assess the current status of geothermal energy use for electric energy production in Turkey. The Denizli-Kizildere geothermal power plant with an installed capacity of 20.4 MWe which is, at present, the only operating geothermal power plant of Turkey, was put into operation in 1984, while electricity from geothermal energy has been produced commercially since 1913. This plant produced on average an electrical energy of 84,920 MWh in the period between 1998-2001, representing an average electric power of 10.45 MWe in the same period. Parallel to the development of the geothermal energy utilization in the country, it is projected that, by the years 2010 and 2020, the total geothermal power installed capacity will increase to 500 MWe, respectively.