Energy Policy Review – Turkey 2021

Notably, Turkey has seen considerable diversification of its energy mix in the past decade. In particular, renewable energy has staged impressive growth, with renewable electricity generation tripling in the past decade. The commissioning of Turkey’s first nuclear power facility in 2023 will further diversify the country’s fuel mix.

Still, fossil fuels continue to drive Turkey’s economy, with a heavy dependency on imports, especially oil and gas (93% and 99%, respectively). Turkey has prioritised an expansion of domestic exploration and production to help reduce its oil and gas import dependency. However, given limits on upstream resources and with consideration to emissions reduction, Turkey should also place due consideration on cost-optimal demand-side measures such as efficiency improvements and fuel switching in the transport sector, which is still 98% reliant on oil. Moreover, there is still considerable scope for Turkey to target even more ambitious growth in renewables, not just in electricity, but also in other sectors such as heating.

In addition, Turkey’s efforts to use more domestic energy resources to meet its consumption needs might interfere with efforts to decarbonise the energy sector, particularly as it relates to the government’s policy to use more low-quality domestic lignite in power generation. In a similar vein, as many countries around the world increasingly look toward net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by the middle of the century, Turkey should consider the impact of its energy policy – especially its focus on coal-fired generation – on investor sentiment, local air pollution and the longer-term emissions trajectory.

Read more