Existing geothermal greenhouses in Turkey have exceeded the productivity achieved by developed countries in greenhouse cultivation, and the production of agricultural products with high-added value and export capability, such as tropical products, has become possible. 21 of 37 specialized organized industrial zones based on agriculture established in Turkey since 2018 will be heated with geothermal energy. Geothermal energy will also be used for the healthy drying of vegetables and fruits. The world’s largest greenhouse heated with geothermal energy will also be established in Balikesir. TDIOSB, the construction of which continues on 800 hectares in Gonen. This geothermal greenhouse production zone will cost 300 million USD and provide employment for 10,000 people.
As Europe’s leader and the world’s fourth country in terms of geothermal resource wealth, Turkey is getting ready to have a say in the world with its geothermal greenhouse practices. Geothermal greenhouses, which play a vital role in accessing healthy and cost-effective food, are being established in many parts of Turkey. The energy costs of greenhouses are minimized with geothermal energy, which is a domestic, clean, and sustainable resource. According to the data of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry in Turkey, which has grown by more than 400 % in geothermal greenhouse cultivation since 2002, 529 hectares of greenhouse areas are currently being heated with geothermal energy. This figure remains well below the country’s potential, and with the right policies and incentive mechanisms, the geothermal greenhouse production area can reach 10,000 hectares in 10 years.
There are many advantages of heating greenhouses with geothermal energy. Heating costs in greenhouses make up 60-70 % of the total production cost. Since the newly built greenhouses are heated with geothermal resources, the energy cost will decrease by 40 to 50%. In geothermal-sourced greenhouses, an increase in yield is achieved by 5-6 times compared to tomato production in the open. In addition, keeping the humidity in the greenhouse under control prevents diseases that may arise in open-field production. This is stated as a condition requested by the European Union and International Food/Health organizations. At the same time, hormone-free production is possible due to the ideal internal temperature.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry has also prepared a feasibility report and an investor guide for geothermal greenhouse cultivation. In the guide, which states that the efficient use of geothermal resources in our country in greenhouse cultivation is important for economic growth, It was emphasized that it was aimed to increase quality, reliable, and sustainable plant production to create a brand in agricultural products, to increase exports, productivity, added value, development, and competitiveness.
Looking at the geothermal greenhouse areas in Turkey, one can note it has mostly spread to the Aegean, Central Anatolia, and Southeastern Anatolia Regions. Production is underway in 11 months of the year in the cities of Adiyaman, Afyonkarahisar, Agri, Aksaray, Aydin, Denizli, Balikesir, Eskisehir, Izmir, Kirsehir, Kutahya, Konya, Manisa, Nevsehir, Sakarya, Sanliurfa, Usak, Van and Yozgat with soilless agriculture using geothermal energy as the heating system.
The first Geothermal-Based Greenhouse and Agriculture-Based Specialized Organized Industrial Zone in Turkey was established on 70 hectares of land in the Saraykoy district of Denizli in 2018. Since then, 21 Agricultural Specialized Organized Zones, which are planned to be heated with geothermal energy, have been established.
The agriculture-based Specialized Organized Industrial Zone project, which is building a geothermal greenhouse on 800 hectares in Balikesir Gonen, will be the biggest project not only in Turkey but also in the world. When the project, which will cost 300 million USD, is completed, 250,000 tons of vegetables will be produced annually and will provide employment for 10,000 people.
Dikili Agricultural Greenhouse Specialized Organized Industrial Zone in Izmir, which is one of the provinces with the richest geothermal resources in Turkey, will be another address for modern and technological greenhouse cultivation. Infrastructure works continue at full speed in the region, the foundation of which was laid last year. Wind, solar, and biomass energy will also be used in the project. Other noteworthy geothermal greenhouses established or in the process of being constructed are as follows:
Established on an area of 130 hectares in Agri-Diyadin, a separate greenhouse will be heated with geothermal resources. Furthermore, within the scope of the Geothermal Kaynakli Greenhouse, which is planned to be established on an area of 300 hectares in Afyonkarahisar, direct employment will be provided to 3,500 people, 75% of whom are women. Another geothermal greenhouse project, which continues to be established on an area of 13.5 hectares in Manisa’s Kula district, will start production at the end of 2023.
Geothermal heated agriculture-based greenhouse construction works have started in Kayseri Kocasinan on a 120-hectare area. It is aimed to commission chimneyless factories in the zone within two years. Twenty-five greenhouse businesses will operate in the Geothermal Greenhouse Specialized Organized Industrial Zone, which will be established on an area of 240 hectares in Banaz, Usak. Another Agricultural Greenhouse Specialized Zone will be established on an area of 240 hectares in Balikesir Bigadic.
In the geothermal greenhouse, which was built on an area of 25 decares in Sakarya, 8 different tomato species began to be grown. The first harvest was made in the geothermal greenhouse project, which was implemented on an area of 10 decares in Ankara Haymana. Kayseri Kocasinan Agriculture-Based Specialized Zone gained legal status and became the 37th organized industrial zone affiliated with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.
A Turkish energy company will increase the current geothermal production capacity of Turkey and make a geothermal greenhouse investment that will reach 500 hectares when completed. When the construction of 60 hectares will be completed this year, employment will be provided for 4,500 people. Production has started in the Biomass Energy Supported Geothermal Greenhouse operating on an area of 1 hectare in Erzurum. Additionally, production started in the geothermal greenhouse located in the Kozakli district of Nevsehir.
Canakkale Ayvacik Agricultural-Based Geothermal Source Greenhouse Specialized zone’s construction continues, whereas it is planned to establish modern technological greenhouses for ornamental plants and floriculture on a total area of 64 hectares in Edremit.
Source: Gozlem Gazetesi