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Turkey, ODAKTR and the GeoSmart Project

Mon, 12 September, 2022

ODAKTR is a Turkish national CST initiative led by ODTÜ-GÜNAM and METU with objectives to

  • Increase energy security and support the clean energy transition through the development and commercialization of CST solutions;
  • Catalyse domestic CST economic activity by supporting growth in markets and industrial capacities;
  • Strengthen Turkey’s CST Research and Innovation (R&I) capacities.

One of ODAKTR’s main strategies to achieve these objectives is through harmonisation of national activities with EU CST initiatives by strengthening and exploiting synergies created by METU and ODTÜ-GÜNAM’s role in a cluster of EU CST activities. METU is a partner of EU funded CST projects and currently contributing to the EU H2020 GeoSmart project that aims to increase the economic value of geothermal energy by increasing the ability to operate geothermal plants in a flexible and smart manner in response to changes in short-term electricity and district heating demands. For GeoSmart, METU is specifically contributing to create novel solutions that exploit synergies between geothermal, biomass and CST through hybridization, and to analyses of markets, stakeholders, and policies leading to policy and strategy recommendations.

The structures enabling European collaboration on CST created through the series of 3 EU SFERA projects is evolving into the EU-SOLARIS European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) on CST. Turkey has been actively contributing to creating the scientific, economic, and financial structures for EU-SOLARIS ERIC since 2012. METU submitted a national proposal in September 2020 for Turkey to join EU-SOLARIS ERIC, and this proposal including €120 000 in national funds to pay membership fees was accepted based on scientific and economic returns-on-investment for Turkey. However, this membership has not been realised due to unforeseen regulatory barriers at national level, and these regulatory barriers are increasingly putting the ability of Turkey’s CST sector to access EU CST R&I funds at risk.

Conclusions: While Turkey has some of the largest CST market and value-chain industrial potentials at regional, European, and global levels, these potentials are almost completely unrealised. Barriers to realising these potentials are not only technical, but also insufficient human resources with the know-how and experience to realise technologies, and national regulations, priorities and investments that are often not sufficiently aligned. ODAKTR is a bottom-up interdisciplinary platform targeting all Turkish CST key stakeholders with a mission to overcome these technical and non-technical challenges to contribute to a sustainable, secure, and prosperous Turkey.

  • Article courtesy Middle East Technical University (METU)

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