Sunday, February 8, 2015

Hydropower leads the way in Turkey's push for more clean energy

Turkey wants more clean energy resources to fill its energy portfolio in the upcoming years with hydropower being the key cog in country's clean energy mechanism.  According to the recently announced 10th Development Plan Turkey plans to invest $16 billion in hydropower projects.

This announcement shouldn't come as a surprise because of Turkey's significant hydropower potential. The recent study estimated country's hydropower potential at 433 TWh a year in total, of which 140 TWh a year is said to be economically viable.

The regions with the highest hydropower potential in the country include areas around the Black Sea, the Mediterranean, and Eastern Anatolia. It is worth to mention that Turkey has the long history of hydropower use with the first hydroelectric plant in country being constructed in Tarus in 1902.

In 2014 Turkey had 172 hydroelectric power projects in operation and 148 under construction. At this moment hydroelectric power plants account for approximately 25% of the country's power demand and is the most important source of clean energy in the country.

This push for more domestically produced hydropower is also the result of Turkey's high dependence on imported fuels, and ever increasing demand for electricity which is said to grow at around 7% a year.

Hydropower is not the only clean energy source that is set to receive large funds in Turkey. The country also plans invest $11 billion in nuclear power generation. Hydropower and nuclear power should not only help reduce country's carbon footprint but also reduce the need for expensive foreign fuel import and create many new jobs.

This does not mean that country has completely abandoned fossil fuels in its energy development plans. The coal facilities will receive $10 billion funding and additional $5 billion will go to natural gas plants.