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Türkiye earmarks $20 billion by 2030 to ramp up energy efficiency

Türkiye on Monday announced plans for about $20 billion (nearly TL 600 billion) of energy efficiency investment by 2030 through collaboration between the public and private sectors, seeking to achieve billions of dollars in energy savings and curb carbon dioxide emissions.

Heavily dependent on imports for its energy needs, Türkiye has injected vast capital to expand and strengthen its infrastructure and energy networks and strives to address climate change and secure a cleaner energy future.

Energy and Natural Resources Minister Alparslan Bayraktar on Monday emphasized energy efficiency as one of the most important policy tools for ensuring supply security, increasing industrial competitiveness, reducing dependence and minimizing the effects of climate change by 2030.

“We are launching a new energy efficiency movement to strengthen energy supply security and reduce external dependence as part of a sustainable and environmentally conscious energy policy,” he said, adding that the initiative aligns with the country’s 2053 net zero climate targets.

Bayraktar was speaking at the launch of Türkiye’s Energy Efficiency 2030 Strategy and Action Plan. He said the country was starting to implement the Second National Energy Efficiency Action Plan, to be executed between 2024 and 2030.

The program envisages about $20 billion investment in energy efficiency schemes by 2030, pledging to reduce energy consumption and fossil fuel emissions, he noted.

“By implementing our action plan, we will reduce our energy consumption by 16% by 2030 and contribute to a reduction of 100 million tons of emissions. To achieve these goals, the public and private sectors will invest $20 billion in energy efficiency by 2030,” said Bayraktar.

Through the investment, “we aim to save $46 billion worth of energy by 2040,” he noted. “We will create new job opportunities by supporting companies operating in the field of energy efficiency.”

Bayraktar also noted that Türkiye was one of two countries that improved its energy intensity the most in the world for two consecutive years in 2021 and 2022.

While the global energy intensity improvement in 2022 was realized as 2% on average, Bayraktar explained that Türkiye’s energy intensity dropped by 6.2% in 2022, dubbing it a “record development.”

Addressing the need for energy transformation and achieving targets, the minister outlined priorities, including increasing the use of renewable energy sources, utilizing nuclear energy and natural gas as transition fuels, exploring hydrocarbon resources, strengthening energy infrastructure and investing in hydrogen, critical minerals, storage and digitization technologies.

He stressed that developing and promoting local production in all areas of energy is a primary focus.

Türkiye has managed to increase overall power generation while simultaneously cutting coal generation thanks to an aggressive rise in clean power deployment from wind, solar and hydro installations.

The country has an ambitious plan to triple its renewable energy capacity by 2053 as it strives to become a carbon-neutral economy. About 55% of its installed power capacity is currently derived from renewable energy sources. The rate makes it fifth in Europe and 12th in the world.

It ranks fourth globally and first in Europe in terms of installed geothermal capacity. It is second in Europe and ninth in the world in terms of installed capacity of hydroelectric power plants. It plans to add about 5,000 megawatts of offshore wind power to its energy portfolio in the coming years.

Ankara provides incentives for renewable energy generation and will start operating the first reactor at the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant in 2023. The plant is expected to produce up to 10% of Türkiye’s electricity once all four reactors are in operation. The government has said it plans additional nuclear plants.

Türkiye’s natural gas consumption dropped 8% year-over-year in 2023 to 51.48 billion cubic meters (bcm), according to official data.

Seeking to curb its dependence on external resources, Türkiye has been developing the 710 bcm natural gas field in the Black Sea, which was gradually discovered in August 2020.

In April 2023, it started pumping gas from the Sakarya field off the northwestern Zonguldak province into the national grid through a pipeline linked to an onshore processing plant. The daily production of gas from the reserve stands at around 4 million cubic meters (mcm).

Bayraktar underlined the role of energy efficiency applications as crucial tools in achieving net-zero transformation on the supply side and complementary on the demand side.

“We believe that achieving energy efficiency is possible without compromising physical comfort and social well-being and without reducing production or service quality,” he asserted.

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