Turkey’s Energy Sector Continues to Rely on Conventional Power Sources

Turkey’s Energy Sector Continues to Rely on Conventional Power Sources

Turkey’s demand for energy and natural resources is increasing day by day due to economic growth and population growth. Turkey shows the highest annual growth rate among OECD countries. Reliance on imports accounts for 3 out of 4 units of Turkey’s total primary energy supply. Unquestionably, Turkey’s top policy priority has been to secure its energy supply and keep up with the demand to sustain its economic growth as its population increases. Turkey has an installed power of 90.4 GW as of the end of July 2019. This figure reveals that the installed capacity of the country has increased 3 times in the last 15 years. However, continued import dependency across these fossil fuel markets has important economic implications, leaving Turkey’s economy vulnerable to volatile global energy prices and substantially contributing to the current account deficit.

Turkey has been taking steps to become more energy secure. It is progressing with its plans to deploy three nuclear power plants in the next decade and has accelerated the deployment of renewable energy. Regional integration is advancing, as Turkey and the European Union gained access to new gas sources from Azerbaijan by 2019 through the Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP). In 2015, the Turkish electricity system was interconnected with the Continental European system through the European Network of Transmission System Operators for electricity (ENTSO-E). Turkey has a strong opportunity to increase its integration with regional electricity markets, which can foster the security of its electricity supply and system operation.

Geopolitical challenges remain an important factor in securing Turkeys energy supply. Turkey is dependent on gas pipeline imports from the Russian Federation (55.1%), Iran (16.2%) and Azerbaijan (12.8%), but also on LNG imports from Algeria (8.1%) and Nigeria (2.9%).

Consumers in Turkey have difficulties in coping with energy shortages that occur especially in Winter when demand for energy tends to be high. During the winter peak period, the country has to implement load shedding in the power generation sector. Although Turkey has two LNG terminals, in Aliağa and Marmara, these storage facilities are not operating at full capacity.

The Turkish government has put forward several plans outlining how it intends to transform the energy sector. Most recently, in January 2018, the government released a National Energy Efficiency Action Plan (NEEAP) that outlines 55 detailed actions in all six energy sectors that would reduce Turkey’s primary energy demand by 14% by 2023.

 Activity Rating: **Standing Still


Despite the need to increase domestic production, planned electricity generation capacity continues to focus more on conventional power generation technologies than on renewables.  For example, Turkey has roughly 25 GW of coal-fired generation capacity in the permitting process. Compare that with the plan to reach 25 GW installed wind and solar capacity by 2023.

There are also vast opportunities to build integrated rooftop photovoltaics (PV) which convert sunlight into usable electricity.

 Take Action


Turkey needs to take steps to strengthen and secure the operation of its power grid. A recent study (Increasing the Share of Renewables in Turkey’s Energy System: Options for Transmission Expansion and Flexibility) shows that Turkey could double its planned solar and wind capacity to 40 GW by 2026 with no major changes in its grid operations and transmission grid investments. Up to 60 GW of solar and wind capacity could be integrated with a small investment of capital. Climate Scorecard urges you to take action to implement the recommendations of this study.



Minister of Republic of Turkey Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources

Fatih Donmez

Phone: 0090 312 212 64 20 – 7000

Mail: ozelkalem@enerji.gov.tr

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This post was submitted by Climate Scorecard Turkey Country Manager Ozlem Duyan


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