Turkey’s renewable energy sector has grown but needs better long-term carbon targets, say IEA

According to the latest evaluation by the International Energy Agency (IEA), Turkey has seen immense growth in the renewable energy sector. However, the agency noted that the European country needs to ramp up its efforts to ensure sustainable and long-term carbon reduction goals.

The government has laid out policies to ensure the green energy market grows and energy supply is reliable. As energy demands rise due to population and economic growth, the country has experienced a surge in import dependency on fossil fuels.

 The government has unveiled a new long-term plan centered on energy supply security to cut down on import expenditure. Firstly, Turkey is exploring domestic oil and gas for production. The administration has invested billions of dollars in the newly discovered Sakarya gas field found in the Black Sea regarding production and supply infrastructure.

Secondly, the European nation has expanded its renewable energy capacity and reduced energy consumption by employing efficient energy consumption policies. Through auctions, investors are drawn from various fields to drive the start and support of clean energy startups.

Lastly, the government uses a mix of new approaches to realize a combined effort of decarbonizing Turkey’s energy sector. With solar power projects, onshore wind projects, and nuclear power, the country is moving forward at an appealing rate. The 2023-scheduled launch of a nuclear power plant will further diversify the country’s cleaner energy sources.

“In the last decade, Turkey’s energy balance has become substantially more complex. Renewable energy, driven by hydropower, solar, as well as wind, has risen dramatically in recent years, aided by a favorable policy climate, ” Dr. Fatih Birol, the IEA’s Executive Director, stated.

The report adds that Turkey’s renewable energy sector has grown by fifty percent over the last five years. In2019, the country had the highest green energy additions across Europe. Globally, it was ranked at the fifteenth position for countries with the greatest improvement in cleaner energy.

However, the country is far from realizing a perfect score in renewable energy. Turkey currently utilizes barely three percent of its solar energy potential and less than 15 percent of its onshore wind capacity.

According to IEA, the Turkish administration should pull up the socks and rectify some areas pulling the green energy down. For instance, the government should rethink the significance of lignite-based power generation in the climate change dialogue. Besides, Turkey should also invest in the electric vehicle industry, energy storage, and digital technologies.

“Turkey has made significant progress in modernizing its energy markets, increasing the importance of renewables, and enhancing its energy stability over the last decade. I hope that this report will assist Turkish lawmakers in making informed decisions as they attempt to manage the country’s next step of energy growth in some of the most cost-effective, safe, and long-term manner possible, “Dr. Birol said.

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