Electricity consumption in Turkey soars 78 pct over decade

Electricity consumption in Turkey soars 78 pct over decade

ANKARA - Anadolu Agency
Electricity consumption in Turkey soars 78 pct over decade

The comparison of TEİAŞ data that shows energy consumption in Turkey and International Energy Agency data reveal Istanbul’s electricity consumption is higher than some OECD countries. DHA photo

Turkey has seen its electricity consumption rise by 78 percent over the past 10 years, recently announced data has shown, confirming the country’s desperate search for new energy sources is paramount to reduce its staggering energy bill.

Power consumption in Turkey, which was 131.9 billion kilowatt per hour (kwh) in 2003, skyrocketed to 235 billion kWh last year, according to data announced by the Turkish Electricity Transmission Company (TEİAŞ).

Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yıldız told Anadolu Agency that electricity consumption has been increasing consistently with “the improvement of welfare in the country.”

“Turkey has doubled its electricity consumption since 2002. We will nearly double our electricity consumption to 450 billion kWh by 2023,” Yıldız said.

TEİAŞ, which operates and maintains Turkey’s electricity grid, estimated that the country would consume 256 billion kWh of electricity in 2014.

Istanbul consumes more than eight OECD countries

Yıldız also said the ministry planned to invest in cities where electric consumption is high, but Turkey needs additional nuclear and coal plants as well as renewable energy investments in order to meet its supply for the country’s energy demand.

Istanbul, the largest city in the country by population and industry, consumes more electricity than eight OECD countries, according to figures.

Istanbul used 36.8 billion kWh electric in 2013, TEİAŞ said, while data released by the International Energy Agency (IEA) has shown that some European countries use less than the city of Istanbul.
Hungary consumed 34.4 kWh of electricity in 2013, while Denmark used 30.4, Slovakia 28.6 and Ireland 27.7.

Istanbul also consumes more electricity than countries such as Estonia, Iceland, Luxemburg and Slovenia.

Turkey is likely to overtake the United Kingdom as Europe’s third-largest electricity consumer within a decade and is seeking to become an energy trading hub, capitalizing on its booming population and economy, as well as its proximity to cheap natural gas resources, according to Reuters.      

Pinning hopes on new energy sources, Turkey plans to cut $7.2 billion from its annual natural gas bill after planned nuclear plants come online in the next decade.

Turkey’s nuclear power strategy constitutes one of the basics of its long-term strategy to reduce its energy dependence. Turkey aims to build a local nuclear industry over the next decade as it seeks to cut reliance on costly imported oil and gas, although Turkey outsourced its first two atomic power plants to foreign firms.

The construction of the first nuclear plant was handed to a Russian company, Rosatom, which plans to begin operations in Mersin-Akkuyu by 2019. Another deal that is worth $22 billion was made with a Japanese-French consortium to build a second nuclear power plant in the Black Sea province of Sinop in May 2013. Moreover, the country has expressed a desire to build a third nuclear facility, possibly in İğneada on the Bulgarian border, that would be operated by itself.