Fatih Donmez, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, stated that Turkey’s biomass installed power exceeded 2,000 megawatts by the end of 2021 and that biomass power plants had a share of 2.3% in total electricity generation.
Inauguration of Europe’s first and only carbon-negative biorefinery facility, implemented within the scope of the Integrated Biorefinery Concept Project for Bioeconomy Oriented Development (INDEPENDENT), Donmez, Industry and Technology Minister Mustafa Varank, Head of the European Union Delegation to Turkey Ambassador Nikolaus Meyer-Landrut and Bogazici University Rector Prof. Dr. Mehmet Naci Inci attended the ceremony.
Donmez, in his speech here, noted that the biggest responsibility in the fight against climate change rests on the energy sector.
Stating that 72% of global greenhouse gas emissions originate from the energy sector, Donmez said:
“This situation imposes important duties on every country in terms of responsible energy production. From now on, it is time for action and action. An important R&D project is being implemented on behalf of Turkey. We will produce algae-based natural resources, which we call algae, without being dependent on fossil fuels. Significant progress has been made in the R&D project carried out for the production of biojet and biodiesel fuels. The R&D studies of the jet fuel project have been completed. With the facility we will open today, large-scale production is started. All tests and certification processes will be completed in the second quarter of 2022. Hopefully, we plan to perform our first demo flight this year. When you board a plane that uses biofuels, you will be traveling with 80% less greenhouse gasses without harming the balance of the world.”
Donmez explained that after using the oils required for the production of fuels, different value-added products will be produced from the remaining algae pulp.
Noting that the production of biofertilizers for agriculture is one of them, Donmez said that the facility meets all its energy needs from wind energy.
Donmez stated that the algae used in production have a carbon sequestration feature and said, “Algae have the ability to clean the air and water where they are located. A kind of natural air purifier. This is exactly the point that distinguishes this facility from its counterparts in the world. Our facility is Turkey’s and Europe’s first carbon-negative integrated biorefinery. The production here will not be limited only to energy. We will implement 11 different algae-based bioeconomy models for our sectors such as health, food, agriculture, animal husbandry and environment.”
54% OF TURKEY’S ELECTRIC CAPACITY IS DUE TO RENEWABLE ENERGY
Stating that they put green energy at the center in meeting Turkey’s energy needs, from production to consumption, Donmez noted that biomass energy is also an area that has gained momentum in recent years.
Reminding that Turkey’s biomass capacity was 28 megawatts in 2002, Donmez said, “Our biomass installed power has increased 71 times and exceeded 2 thousand megawatts by the end of 2021. Our total installed power has now reached 99,800 megawatts. Hopefully, we will reach a total installed capacity of 100 thousand megawatts in the next 1-2 months. Of course, the more pleasing side of this is that approximately 54% of our installed power is from renewable energy. In 2021, our biomass power plants produced 7,600-gigawatt hours of electricity. This corresponds to 2.3% of our total production.”
Donmez said that they have published the Biomass Energy Potential Atlas, which is a roadmap for investors to increase biomass investments, and said, “The theoretical energy equivalent of waste in Turkey is 34 million tons of oil equivalent (TEP) per year. Its economic energy equivalent is approximately 4 million TEP per year. The monetary equivalent of this is approximately $1.5 billion. Why not activate this potential? We have a lot of technology, human resources and potential.”
ELECTRICITY GENERATION FROM ANIMAL WASTES
Noting that another technology development project was carried out by TEMSAN, the organization of the ministry, Donmez said:
“A mini biogas unit with a capacity of producing 1 cubic meter of gas has been produced. The unit we call BIOTEM uses organic wastes. BIOTEM has the capacity to cook 3 meals of a household with the gas it produces from 1 to 3 cattle wastes. The system can generate energy from food waste as well as animal waste. By means of a biogenerator, electricity can be produced for 1 hour from 1 cubic meter of biogas. At some points, project development studies are still ongoing. The installation of the system continues in 12 different locations. Our friends continue to work for its dissemination.”
Donmez also stated that a significant amount of fuel oil imports were prevented by the implementations of adding bioethanol to gasoline and biodiesel to diesel, and said, “In 2020, a total of 121,300 tons of biofuel, 74,800 tons of biodiesel and 46,500 tons of ethanol, were produced in our country. In this way, we prevented an import of more than $50 million. It’s not just a financial return. We have added the prevention of environmental pollution and increasing the diversity of resources to our earnings line as other advantages of our project.”
Source: Sabah / Translated by Irem Yildiz