Forward-thinking renewables plan to transform Turkey's energy sector

An ambitious energy plan set in motion in Turkey will have a positive impact on business, the environment and people’s lives, according to a development bank.

In a bid to increase the country’s proportion of renewable energies, increase energy supply security and reduce greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming, the Energy Ministry has developed Turkey’s first national renewable energy action plan, pledging that by 2023 a third of the countrys energy will come from renewable sources.

The Ministry has joined forces with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (ERBD) to kickstart the plan, which will bring Turkey in line with the EU’s Renewable Energy Directive.

Renewable energy

The shift away from fossil fuels

Currently, Turkey is heavily dependent on imported energy and fossil fuels, with around 90 percent of its energy needs met by fossil fuel sources. But the country’s capacity for renewable energy is huge, with miles of coastline and vast tracts of windswept land suitable for turbines - and the appeal of free fuel like wind and water is great. With continued investment into infrastructure and energy projects, Turkey should easily make the 30 percent target.

The plan aims to have 30 percent of the country’s energy come from renewable sources by 2023, tapping into hydropower, wind energy, solar energy, geothermal and biomass sources. Transportation is also on the agenda, with renewable energy pipped to fuel 10 percent of the sector.

A sevenfold increase

“To achieve this goal Turkey must increase its non-hydro renewables output about sevenfold in less than 10 years,” said the statement released by the EBRD.

EBRD’s director for energy efficiency and climate change Terry McCallion said the plan is “a roadmap to a big change.”

The target is ambitious, but with determined and concerted efforts at all levels of government and with the full participation of the industry, Turkey will be able to unlock its green energy potential. This will have a positive impact on businesses, people’s lives and the environment.” said McCallion.

Renewables in motion

So far, the EBRD has helped finance the construction of two of Turkey’s largest windfarms, located in Balikesir and Osmaniye, sinking 5 billion Euros into the venture.

This week Greek solar energy company Photovoltaic Energy Systems announced a large investment in solar energy in Turkey, preparing to begin projects in the western city of Edirne, near the Greek border.

A spokesperson for the company said the projects will hopefully spread out to the rest of the country in the future.

EU directives

The EU’s Renewable Energy Directive requires member states to produce a national action plan, detailing how they will meet the EU target of 27 percent renewable energy by 2030. Since Turkey’s a candidate country working towards EU accession, it’s trying to remain in step with the directives to show its commitment to the EU.


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