Draft code worries energy authorities

Draft code worries energy authorities

Turkey’s new electricity market draft code aims to further ease the way for unlicensed electricity generation but the state-run energy market regulator (EPDK) says the uncalculated energy investments impede serious attempts, as 40 percent of thermal plants remained unfinished.

A draft code, which will be presented to Parliament in the coming days, will upgrade the limit of free energy generation without license from 0.5 megawatt (MW) to 1 MW, and to 2.5 MW with the decision of the cabinet, the Energy and Natural Resources Minister Taner Yıldız said on March 1. He praised the draft law that enables citizens and small entrepreneurs to generate electricity from solar collectors, which are a local and renewable resource.

However, EPDK President Hasan Köktaş said being an investor in the energy sector has recently become “a la mode,” adding that the energy projects were long-term infrastructure investments, at a sector meeting held in the Black Sea province of Trabzon between March 1 and 2. 

“The investors have to spend money unilaterally for a long time. The smallest facility can be established in 36 months. Some businesspeople do not know the licenses for energy generation plants, which are for a 49-year time,” he said, criticizing investors who behave in a short-tempered manner without making plan.

Köktaş pointed out that these businesspeople block the energy sector and the public. The EPDK has so far received 964 license applications in total for thermal power plant construction; 354 of them ended up negative due to application withdrawal, rejection of the application or termination of licenses and license cancelations. “Nearly 37 percent of the thermal power plant projects cannot be completed. This situation causes considerable time and labor waste in the public field along with the delay of projects that could have been transformed into investments,” he said.

Meanwhile, speaking at the same event, Electricity Producers Association (EÜD) President Önder Karaduman said the draft code that aims to transfer the EPDK’s power in nationalization operations related to electricity investments to the General Directorate of National Estate (a subsidiary of the Finance Ministry) will create crucial risks for future investments that are estimated to reach 4,000 MW in the next 10 years at a value of around $50 billion.