EBRD hails Turkey’s national energy efficiency action plan

EBRD hails Turkey’s national energy efficiency action plan

EBRD hails Turkey’s national energy efficiency action plan

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has said it welcomes Turkey’s National Energy Efficiency Action Plan which sets the country on course to implement a reduction of 14 percent of primary energy consumption by 2023.

The government has committed to invest almost $11 billion in energy efficiency measures set out by the plan.

“This is a major step towards making a rapidly expanding economy also much more energy efficient. The plan builds on the realization that a sustainable, efficient and prudent generation and consumption of energy is crucial for both economic growth and a sound environment. The action plan addresses the need to balance both aspects with detailed measures and where possible and feasible the EBRD stands ready to support this crucial effort,” said EBRD Managing Director for Turkey Arvid Tuerkner in a statement late on Jan. 11.

Turkey has become one of the fastest growing economies in the world with a real GDP growth rate expected to reach around 7 percent in 2017.

With increased growth comes increased energy consumption. According to government figures, Turkey has the highest growth rate of energy demand among all OECD countries. However, it is able to meet only around 26 percent of its total energy demand from domestic resources, and is dependent on imports for over 90 percent of its oil and gas needs; this dependency contributes heavily to the country’s external imbalances. Consequently, improving energy efficiency is extremely important for Turkey.

The National Energy Efficiency Action Plan (NEEAP) will help tackle this challenge, according to the bank.

“Developed with the help of the EBRD and funded by the European Union, the NEEAP closely follows and mirrors the activities and policies of the European Union in the area of energy and energy efficiency,” read the statement.

The plan includes a large number of measures, combining the general energy efficiency framework and cross-cutting sectorial measures. They include steps like greater use of renewable energy and district heating in buildings and encouraging the use of combined heat and power across industries. The plan also envisages the development of a national energy efficiency financing mechanism and a regulatory framework for the creation of a heating and cooling market.

Sectorial measures will include industry, transport, construction, heating and cooling, agriculture and energy generation and transformation itself.

Turkey is also investing heavily in developing its potential in renewable sources of energy such as wind, solar, hydro and geothermal energy generation. The country is seeking to develop 30 percent of its total installed capacity from renewable sources by 2023. The objective is to add 34 GW of hydropower, 20 GW of wind energy, 5 GW of solar energy, 1.5 GW of geothermal and 1 GW of biomass. Turkey also aims to have 10 percent of its transport sector needs met by renewable energy.

The EBRD has been supporting this foray into green energy as an investor as well as through its work with the government, the bank said.

To date, the bank’s financing under three frameworks in the amount of 1.8 billion euros has reached over 1,000 companies and 1,500 households, it added.

“Green” projects account for half of the bank’s portfolio in Turkey.