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Energy Governance in Turkey

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Abstract

Energy governance has been widely prescribed to address the energy trilemma (i.e., energy security, energy equity, and environmental sustainability) at global, regional, and national levels. This is a particularly daunting task for those net energy importer developing countries with growing energy consumption levels to fuel their growth. Drawing on primary documents and statistics along with the relevant academic literature and reports, the chapter scrutinizes energy governance in Turkey with a particular emphasis on the neoliberal developmentalist model of its carbon-intense economy with ambitious regional energy diplomacy (i.e., pipeline politics). Albeit its generous renewable energy resource endowment and renewable energy support mechanisms/initiatives, energy governance deficits with limited norm diffusion/policy transfer/convergence prospects from the EU slowdown energy transition of the country. The chapter concludes that the new normal of the post-COVID-19 provides a significant opportunity not only for the revitalization of its economy based on the renewable energy sector and energy-efficient technologies but also harnesses the energy transition of Turkey towards a green economy.

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This article aims to emphasize the importance of lignite, which is the mostly used domestic energy source in the Turkish energy mix, by briefly overviewing its geology, reserves, and exploration. Lignites are distributed in mostly continental sedimentary basins of Tertiary age all over the country. The lignite-bearing basins display the characteristics of different geological settings, of which grabens and half-grabens are the most common ones especially in western Anatolia. The geological and chemical characteristics of Turkish lignites do not only create some important problems during mining and coal preparation but also make them unfavorable for consumption. However, since they are the most valuable energy resource of the country they should benefit the economy in the most efficient and environmentally friendly way. Moreover, two most important conclusions of this study are as follows: firstly, reserve estimation practices in the country should definitely be revised to provide a more realistic evaluation of the country’s lignite potential for developing medium- and long-term energy strategies and policies for decision- and policy-makers. Secondly, exploration and development activities should be coordinated by a single institution, most likely a government institution, as has been the case for some 50 years.
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Renewable energy is accepted as a key source for the future, not only for Turkey, but also for the world. Turkey has a considerably high level of renewable energy resources that can be a part of the total energy network in the country. The main objective in doing the present study is to investigate the historical development of Turkey's renewable energy sources given Turkey's energy-related studies during 1853–2002. The following resources were taken into consideration: hydro energy, solar energy, geothermal energy, wind energy, and biomass. The first small hydroelectric power plant (SHPP) with a capacity of 88 kW was installed in Tarsus-Adana, Turkey in 1902. In the period of the Republic of Turkey, the utilization of hydroelectric power was first initiated in 1929 with the establishment of the Visera power plant with a capacity of 1 MW in the city of Trabzon. In the early 1960s, solar energy was realized as an alternative energy in Turkey, and some curious researchers and dissertation students began to be interested in the solar energy matter. The first national congress on solar energy was performed in 1975 in Izmir, Turkey. The inventorial works and chemical analyses of the hot springs and mineral waters started in 1962, while the investigations on geothermal energy in the country gained speed in the 1970s. The first residential geothermal heat pump system (or ground-source heat pump system) was installed in a villa in Istanbul in 1998. Electricity generation through wind energy for general use was first realized at Cesme Altinyunus Resort Hotel (The Golden Dolphin Hotel) in Izmir, Turkey in 1986 with a 55 kW nominal wind energy capacity. In Turkey, much effort has been put into biogas research and development projects since the 1960s, while studies on energy forests began scientifically in 1980 with the Fourth Five-Year Development Plan. It is expected that this study will fill a considerably large gap since it is the first attempt towards reviewing these resources in terms of the history.
Article
Turkish electricity sector has been undergoing significant regulatory reforms since 2001 and competition was introduced to some extent. This paper examines potential impacts of full liberalization on efficiency and competition in the electricity market using an applied computable general equilibrium (CGE) model and a counter-factual simulation. Simulation results imply enhanced efficiency in the electricity sector, reduced household energy prices, and gains in output and welfare by 0.5–1.1 percent of GDP. The paper also explains possible factors that lead to differences between estimated effects and actual results. With changing institutional background and legal framework, political pressures tend to dominate efficiency gains.Highlights► An applied CGE model is developed to analyze the recent electricity market reforms in Turkey. ► Counter-factual simulation of full liberalization of the electricity market is conducted. ► The SAM emphasizes different stages of electricity supply. ► Full liberalization enhances GDP and national welfare by 0.5–1.1% of GDP. ► Electricity can be best described as a political good in Turkey.
Article
Implementing sustainable development policies in order to achieve economic and social development while maintaining adequate environmental protection to minimize the damage inflicted by the constantly increasing world population must be a major priority in the 21st century. While the emerging global debate on potential cost-effective responses has produced potential solutions such as cap and trade systems and/or carbon taxes as part of evolving sustainable energy/environmental policies, this kind of intellectual inquiry does not seem to be an issue among Turkish policy-making elites. This is mainly due to their miscalculation that pursuing sustainable energy policies is much more expensive in comparison to the utilization of fossil fuels such as natural gas. Nevertheless, the pegged prices of an energy sector dominated by natural gas are illusive, as both the political risks and environmental damage have not been incorporated into the current cost calculations. This paper evaluates energy policies through a lens of risk management and takes an alternative approach to calculating energy costs by factoring in political risks. This formulation reveals that the cost of traditional fossil-based energy is in fact more expensive than renewable energy. In addition to being environmentally friendly, the paradigm shift towards renewable energy policies would provide Turkey with a significant opportunity to stimulate its economy by being one of the first countries to develop green technologies and as a result this burgeoning sector would prompt job creation as well; mainly due to the externalities.
Article
For many decades, like many developed countries, Turkey has controlled her electricity sector as a state-owned monopoly. However, faced with rapid electricity demand growth, Turkey started to consider nuclear option. The present paper aims at evaluating both the present status of nuclear power in general and its implications for Turkish energy market in particular. After examining existing nuclear power technology and providing a brief overview of nuclear power economics; it focuses on the repercussions of nuclear power for Turkish energy market. The paper concludes that, in the short run, it may be considered to keep nuclear power within Turkish energy mix because it is an important carbon-free source of power that can potentially make a significant contribution to both Turkey's future electricity supply and efforts to strengthen Turkey's security of supply. However, in the long term, nuclear power should be retained in Turkey only if it has a lower cost than competing technologies.
Subsidies to coal and renewable energy in Turkey
  • S Acar
  • L Kitson
  • R Bridle
Acar, S., Kitson, L., & Bridle, R. (2015). Subsidies to coal and renewable energy in Turkey. International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), Global Subsidies Initiative Report.
Energy transition in Turkey
  • A Bayraktar
Bayraktar, A. (2018). Energy transition in Turkey. Turkish Policy Quarterly, 17(3), 19-26.
Monthly banking sector data
  • Bddk
BDDK. (2020). Monthly banking sector data. Available at: https://www.bddk.org.tr/BultenAylik/en.