Turkey’s Energy Outlook

Electricity generation in Turkey has increased by about 50 percent in the last 10 years. Electricity generation, which stood at 210 billion kilowatt hours in 2010, increased to 331 billion kilowatt hours in 2021. The increase in electricity demand decreased by 0.3% in 2019, increased by 0.5% in 2020 and 8.1% in 2021. Electricity demand, which was 304 billion kilowatt hours in 2018, increased to 331 billion kilowatt hours in 2019.

There is a linear relationship between electricity consumption and economic activity in Turkey. It can be said that the sudden changes in the Turkish economy and growth rate are reflected in electricity consumption, and that the growth trend seen in developed countries by consuming less energy has not yet been observed in Turkey 

Between 2010 and 2020, primary energy supply increased by 36% and electricity demand increased by 44%.

The lion’s share of Turkey’s primary energy supply belongs to fossil fuels. As of 2020, the share of coal in primary energy supply is 27.6%, oil is 28.6% and natural gas is 27%. The remaining 16.8% consists of hydroelectric, wind, solar, geothermal, biomass and energy sources obtained from waste. The share of fossil resources in primary energy supply is 83.3%, while the share of imported resources is 70.2%. 

Total Primary Energy Supply by Source, 1990-2020. Data source: Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources General Energy Balance Tables 

In order to meet the increasing energy demand, Turkey has increasingly utilized imported energy resources. By 2020, net energy imports constituted 71% of Turkey’s primary energy supply, up from 54% in 1990. As of 2019, energy imports constitute 19.8% of total imports. In the first five months of 2022, the share of energy imports in total imports reached 27% due to the increase in fossil fuel prices.

Energy imports in Turkey, 2013 – 2019. Data source: TÜİK database

Energy imports in Turkey, 2013 – 2021. Data source: TÜİK database

Managing the twin phenomena of increasing demand and increasing dependency on imports constitute the main objective of Turkey’s energy policy and strategy. Discovery and extraction of conventional and unconventional hydrocarbon energy resources, introduction of nuclear power, utilization of Turkey’s renewable energy potential apart from hydroelectricity (such as wind, solar, geothermal and biomass) lay at the heart of  Turkey’s energy strategy. There is no clear political position supporting the efficient use of energy (reducing energy intensity), making environmentally friendly energy sources the primary choice and moving to a carbon-free economy.

Turkey GDP, 1990 – 2021. Data source: World Bank

Total primary energy supply in Turkey, 1990 – 2020. Data source: Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources General Energy Balance Tables

 Electricity generation in Turkey, 1990 – 2021. Data source: TEİAŞ Electricity Statistics

Fossil fuels, and CO2 emissions 2015 – 2020. Data source: Turkey’s National Inventory Submission to UNFCCC

The official energy strategy places a particularly special emphasis on coal. Main targets that are included in the latest Strategic Plan of the Ministry of Energy and the 11th Development Plan are as follows:

  • Increasing installed capacity of domestic coal-fired power plants to 14,664 MW by 2023
  • Opening new lignite reserves to investment (Çayırhan 2, Eskişehir-Alpu, Tekirdağ-Malkara, Afşin-Elbistan, Tekirdağ-Çerkezköy, Afyonkarahisar-Dinar, Konya-Karapınar)
  • Increase in domestic hard coal production
  • Discovery of new hard coal and lignite reserves