Turkey: IEA publishes in-depth review of energy policies and programmes

Since the in-depth review in 2009, the International Energy Agency believes Turkey has made significant progress in reforming its energy sector. The report states that completing the reforms will allow Turkey to tap into its renewable and energy efficiency potentials. The review is available as a free download here. Meanwhile, it is good to see what the review has said in the executive summary about sustainable energy.


From the executive summary

IEA analysis for COP21 shows that, globally, measures to boost energy efficiency and renewable energy investment account for around 70% of emission reductions required under a 2°C scenario (IEA, 2015). Turkey will need to considerably increase ambitions in the areas of renewable energy (hydro, wind and solar) and energy efficiency.

Energy efficiency (EE) will make the largest contribution to achieving emission reductions to 2030. Turkey should have significant potential to save energy in several key sectors, but that potential remains unknown as monitoring and evaluation have not been pursued. Oil prices are expected to grow in the medium term with an increasing reliance on the Middle East. Energy efficiency will be a major tool for boosting economic productivity and energy security. The government should evaluate the benefits from setting a cap on consumption (not on energy intensity) to drive investment, similar to the new policies adopted in the People’s Republic of China (hereafter “China”). Over the past ten years, the energy intensity of the Turkish economy saw a 7.1% increase, compared to a 16.3% average decline in IEA members. In Turkey, energy use has boomed in the transport, industry and buildings sectors. Turkey still has the lowest total primary energy supply (TPES) per capita, which indicates an expected steep future growth of energy consumption.

Turkey made strong progress in setting up the legal framework on EE in buildings and labelling. The government needs to prioritise EE at a horizontal level; currently the dossier is split between several ministries and carried out by a unit in the General Directorate for Renewable Energy. Better EE data collection and reporting is also essential in this context. MENR’s Strategic Plan 2015-19 makes energy savings a priority. As many international institutions have pointed out, the institutional and governance structure of EE policies needs to be reinforced. In that respect, an effective dedicated Energy Efficiency National Agency (as in many IEA member states) with a clear co-ordination function and leading role can be useful with a view to enhancing and facilitating efforts in this policy area across several sectors of the economy, including transport and industry. The government should swiftly adopt the National Energy Efficiency Action Plan, which is being prepared in 2016, and set out clear priorities for action in transport, buildings and industry, quantitative productivity targets and milestones, and regularly evaluate the outcomes, assess progress towards the targets, and identify gaps over time.

A second priority area is renewable energy (RE). After a first phase and rapid take-off in the deployment of RE, the capacity has nearly doubled from 15.6 gigawatts (GW) to 28 GW during the period 2009 to 2014. However, the share of RE in total energy supply remained stable, as electricity demand accelerated and natural gas use saw a major boom. The government has set out a plethora of technology-specific RE targets in different strategies and plans for 2023 and 2030 which are not consistent. INDC targets for RE decrease after 2023, below NREAP’s ambitions and Turkey’s potentials. Investors have a strong interest and the country a large potential of hydro, wind and solar power. Solar photovoltaic technology has been growing in recent years. In the second phase of renewable energy development, the government will need to ensure that clear and long-term targets (consistent with the longer-term 2030 goals) are established for all renewable energy technologies, and the necessary grid investments are proceeding swiftly with more streamlined environmental assessments, improved spatial planning and one-stop-shop permits. The government needs to set the rules for the use of distributed generation (net metering) and adapt the electricity system and the network operation rules to allow the integration of higher shares of variable renewable energies.

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