Turkey's electricity demand and trade volume is expected to fall due to the coronavirus pandemic that has limited social and economic activity in the country and across the world, the head of the Turkish Energy Traders Association (ETD) said on Tuesday.
Although Turkey has not enforced a nationwide lockdown, it has closed restaurants, cafes, and other small businesses, while grocery stores and pharmacies remain open.
“The precautions taken to curb the COVID-19 outbreak have started to lower Turkey's power demand and electricity trade volume, as people are generally staying at and working from home,” Burak Kuyan, head of ETD, told Anadolu Agency.
Turkey's electricity production hit the lowest level on Sunday at around 651,000 megawatt-hours, marking a nearly 5% decrease compared to the corresponding day last year.
“A sharp decline in Turkey's power demand has a lowering impact on energy prices due to oversupply of electricity," he said.
Turkey's installed power capacity stood at 91 gigawatts by the end of 2019.
Kuyan said companies in Turkey are working on plans to deal with the expected fall in power demand.
"The companies are working on the sustainability of their cash flows and financial structures because the demand drop is likely to create problems," he explained.
He said Europe’s demand for electricity had also reduced over the past few weeks due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSOE), Italy's electricity demand declined by 20% since a lockdown was imposed, while France and Spain saw a demand drop of 13% and 10%, respectively.
Kuyan said Europe remains Turkey's biggest export market, including for electricity, so the declining demand in European countries has a direct impact on Turkey.
"The fall in power demand in Europe signifies lower economic activity. This drop could impact Turkey's electricity exports and its overall export data. It is very likely that the COVID-19 pandemic will decrease electricity exports to Europe in the mid-term," said the ETD head.
By Nuran Erkul Kaya