Dear Readers,

The 62nd Turkish Government has recently announced the new Government program. The “Energy” Chapter is described on pages 148-152 of the same document in Turkish language. Let us read and evaluate what is targeted in the “Energy” chapter of the new program.

 Energy is one of the most strategic areas of the modern world. In recent years, the past governments put sufficient resources to create more capacity to generate electricity generation, diversification of energy resources, emphasis on renewable energy, privatization of energy generation and distribution facilities.

In this context, we had approximately 31,000 MWe of installed power as of year 2002, whereas we have 67,431 MWe as of July 2014. Similarly we had 129 billion kWh electricity generation in year 2002, now we raised the same figure to 242 billion kWh in year 2013.

We initiated to promote more electricity generation from our renewable energy sources, and energy efficiency strategy put into practice.

We shall evaluate and try to exploit the indigenous and renewable energy sources at the highest level in the coming period.

In particular, the hydroelectric power plant projects which were commissioned in 2003, has been increased from 26 billion kWh, to annual hydropower electricity generation of 79 billion kWh today. In last three years we have commissioned 6,450 MW hydro power plants.

Indigenous lignite coal sources are too important to utilize in our thermal power plants. We have huge lignite coal reserves in Afşin-Elbistan, Konya Karapınar, Afyon Dinar, and Eskişehir Alpu coal mine fields ready for investment initiatives for more electricity generation.

In addition to coal production from these mine fields to feed into thermal power plant investment projects, we have investment incentive schemes to see more positive effects in the medium term.

We will accelerate our work on the establishment of nuclear power plants.

The privatization of electricity distribution public companies have been completed all. We shall continue to the privatization of local electricity generation facilities.

By year 2023, our goal is to reach economic and social development of our society which meets needs of energy demand, resource and technology diversity, at uninterrupted, in safe pace with minimum cost to the end consumer by increasing the energy supply security.

For more energy generation, we shall have nuclear energy, plus thermal and renewable energy sources by employing the highest level of local sources while minimizing the adverse effects of environmental impacts, at a strategic position that has strengthened at competitive international energy system.

In order to increase the supply security of primary energy resources, we shall put more emphasis on the balanced resource diversification.

In Mersin Akkuyu and in Sinop premises, we shall commission 8 different nuclear power plant facilities in total of 9280 MW in operation.

We shall complete total 18,500 MW of thermal power plants which will utilize local coal for electrical energy generation.

Almost all of our hydroelectric resources will be utilized to provide 20,000 MW of additional power. The major ongoing hydro project investments in Ilısu, Boyabat, and Alpaslan-2 will be completed.

In addition, we shall have 20,000 MW wind energy generation, and install at least 600 MW capacity of geothermal power plants, at least 3,000 MW of solar power plants so that in the end, our renewable energy electricity production share in year 2023 will be raised to 30% of overall capacity.

We are entering a new era in solar energy. The world’s largest solar power plant will start work in Konya province in future. A new solar power plant investment with capacity of 3000 MW will generate about 6 billion kWh annually. We will make Konya province as the solar energy base of our nation.

Prior to year 2003, we had only nine provinces which had access to natural gas distribution facilities, whereas we have 72 provinces in year 2013. We shall have further investments to reach to remaining nine provinces which need special care to overcome technical difficulties and high construction costs, so that all our provinces will have access to natural gas.

We put great importance to the security of natural gas supply. In this respect, we have commitment to implement diversification of supply sources, as well as underground gas storage facilities. The natural gas underground storage facilities were put into operation in North Marmara and Değirmenköy regions. The first phase of Salt Lake underground storage facility with 500 million m3 capacity will be completed by year 2016.

We had almost 100 million US Dollar annual investment in year 2002 for oil exploration and production. That figure is now brought out to USD 910 million in year 2012.

The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan Crude Oil Pipeline construction is finished. We have implemented The Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum (Shah Deniz) Natural Gas Project. Our share in the Azerbaijani Shah Deniz II project has been increased to around 20 percent as the second largest shareholder.

Azeri gas to reach to Turkey and Europe via the Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline, which is called Project (TANAP) have been signed in an intergovernmental agreement.

Turkey-Greece Natural Gas Pipeline of the South European Gas Ring Project have been completed in the first phase and the project started to export gas to neighboring countries.

On one hand we aim to convert Ceyhan sea port to the second largest energy terminal in Europe. On the other hand, we try to ensure supply security of our energy generation, and we also take necessary important measures to be an energy transit country.

Turkey is in the largest energy market of the Middle East, the Caucasus / Central Asia and South Eastern Europe / Balkans regions. Turkey shall have international projects linking the local center to become a regional energy trade and making the strategic aim to strengthen its position.

Our government, our industry and our energy sector give priority to the development of our mining sources. Our country’s mineral production in year 2012 has reached to US$ 11.7 billion. Targets for year 2023 is about to reach US$ 20 billion.

In year 2002, we had 600 million US Dollars of our mineral exports, whereas we shall reached to US$ 5 billion by the end of year 2013.

In year 2002, we had 100 thousand meters of exploration drilling by public and private sector. As of 2013, we reached to the level of 1 million 500 thousand meters. As of 2023, the amount of drilling for mineral exploration is targeted to reach to 5 million meters.

Our domestic oil and gas exploration investments has been increased about 9-fold compared to 2002. It was increased to $ 900 million in 2013. In 2002, we had 52 thousand meters in length the oil and gas drilling, now it is amounted to 305 thousand meters in year 2013.

In the coming period, we shall increase mining, oil, gas exploration, as well as geothermal potential. In addition, we shall put special emphasis on our marine research facilities with our own ship.

Turkey’s “black diamond” mainly of local coal will be increased in our energy portfolio. When we took office, annual capacity was eight billion metric tons. We have now additional 6.8 billion metric tons of coal reserves by drilling. In the last 11 years, we have discovered 11 new coal fields.

We understand that the “Energy” targets of new 62nd Government program is taken from the text of the previous government program, since it presumes to be the continuation of the former. We believe that the new program should have wording to promote more local engineering, local design, local manufacturing, more domestic employment.

This new government will have 10-month time period to work until the next general elections which will take place on June 2015.

There are so many targets in the new program which can not be achieved within that short period of time like this.

Anyhow the new government should put their own goals and priorities to compare, even though the new is presumed to be the continuation of the former government which is indicated with decleration of the same energy policies.

Since past figures of the earlier government are repeated a lot in the new government program, we feel that there is no point to evaluate for accomplishments. Moreover we notice no mention of new combined cycle power plant investments and new power plants to fire imported fuel. Is it an indication of political reluctance to promote these investments ?

Likely, due to adverse effects of natural gas and imported fuel prices of the international spot markets on ever growing national burden of “current account deficiency”, there is no mention of price fluctuations.

The Government Program has received confidence vote in the Turkish Parliament as of 5th September 2014. We wish all success to our new 62nd Government in their “Energy” targets as well as all other measures mentioned in the document.

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About the Author

Haluk Direskeneli

Haluk Direskeneli, is a graduate of METU Mechanical Engineering department (1973). He worked in public, private enterprises, USA Turkish JV companies (B&W, CSWI, AEP), in fabrication, basic and detail design, marketing, sales and project management of thermal power plants. He is currently working as freelance consultant/ energy analyst with thermal power plants basic/ detail design software expertise for private engineering companies, investors, universities and research institutions. He is a member of ODTÜ Alumni and Chamber of Turkish Mechanical Engineers Energy Working Group.
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