The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) hailed Turkey’s National Energy Efficiency Action Plan, noting that it sets the country on course to implement a reduction of 14% of primary energy consumption by 2023.
The Turkish government has committed to invest almost $11 billion in energy efficiency measures set out by the plan.
“This is a major step towards making a rapidly expanding economy also much more energy efficient,” EBRD Managing Director for Turkey Arvid Tuerkner was quoted as saying in a press release on January 11. “The plan builds on the realisation that a sustainable, efficient and prudent generation and consumption of energy is crucial for both economic growth and a sound environment. The action plan addresses the need to balance both aspects with detailed measures and where possible and feasible the EBRD stands ready to support this crucial effort,” Tuerkner added.
According to the EBRD, Turkey has become one of the fastest growing economies in the world with a real GDP growth expected to reach around 7% in 2017. The government expects the growth to average to around 5.5% a year for the coming three years.
With increased growth comes increased energy consumption: according to government figures, Turkey has the highest growth rate of energy demand among all OECD countries. However, it is able to meet only around 26% of its total energy demand from domestic resources, and is dependent on imports for over 90% of its oil and gas needs; this dependency contributes heavily to the country’s external imbalances, the EBRD said, adding that consequently improving energy efficiency is extremely important for Turkey.
According to the Bank, the National Energy Efficiency Action Plan (NEEAP) will help tackle this challenge. Developed with the help of the EBRD and funded by the European Union, the NEEAP closely follows and mirrors the activities and policies of the European Union in the area of energy and energy efficiency.
The plan includes a large number of measures, combining the general energy efficiency framework and cross-cutting sectorial measures. They include steps like greater use of renewable energy and district heating in buildings and encouraging the use of combined heat and power across industries. The plan also envisages the development of a national energy efficiency financing mechanism and a regulatory framework for the creation of a heating and cooling market.
Sectorial measures will include industry, transport, construction, heating and cooling, agriculture and energy generation and transformation itself.
Turkey is also investing heavily in developing its potential in renewable sources of energy such as wind, solar, hydro and geothermal energy generation. The country is seeking to develop 30% of its total installed capacity from renewable sources by 2023. The objective is to add 34 GW of hydropower, 20 GW of wind energy, 5 GW of solar energy, 1.5 GW of geothermal and 1 GW of biomass. Turkey also aims to have 10% of its transport sector needs met by renewable energy.
The EBRD’s investment in green energy in Turkey includes large scale stand-alone projects such as the Enerjisa Bares wind power plant in Balıkesir, Rotor wind farm in Osmaniye, and geothermal plants Efeler and Kizildere, both in Buyuk Menderes Graben, the area in Turkey with the greatest potential for geothermal energy.
The Bank also finances mid-sized and small-scale renewable energy generation in the private sector through dedicated credit lines to Turkish banks, MidSEFF (Turkey Mid-size Sustainable Energy Financing Facility) and TurSEFF (Turkey Sustainable Energy Financing Facility), respectively. The EBRD is also financing sustainable energy in the residential sector through TuREEFF, Turkey Residential Energy Efficiency Financing Facility.
To date, the Bank’s financing under these three frameworks in the amount of €1.8 billion has reached over 1,000 companies and 1,500 households.
“Green” projects account for half of the Bank’s portfolio in Turkey. To date, the Bank has invested €10 billion in various sectors of the country’s economy, with almost all investments in the private sector.