The energy and mining targets of Turkey's 11th development plan, covering the period 2019-2023, are realistic and achievable, according to Dr. Cihad Terzioglu, productivity, mining and energy management committee chairman of Independent Industrialists and Businessmen's Association (MUSIAD) on Saturday.
A large majority in Turkey’s Parliament ratified the country's 11th development plan late Thursday.
According to the government, the plan is a roadmap for improving the country's position in the international arena and enhancing its welfare.
Terzioglu told Anadolu Agency in an exclusive interview that Turkey's installed power capacity has seen a 100% increase in just ten years with 88.55 gigawatts installed in 2018. However, the country aims to reach 110 gigawatts of installed power capacity by 2023.
"This target is realistic and achievable. With help from the private sector, incentive schemes and lower renewable energy prices, and new technologies, this target can be reached," he reiterated.
Over the ten years from 2008 to 2018, renewable energy has seen a large uptake, with an installed capacity in 2008 of 14.28 gigawatts rising 200% to 42 gigawatts by 2018, Terzioglu said.
He said that one of the biggest reasons for this increase is down to the Turkish Renewable Energy Resources Support Mechanism (YEKDEM), which started in 2011. The scheme supported solar energy plants at a cost of $0.133 per kilowatt-hour, and wind and hydroelectricity plants at $0.73 per kilowatt-hour - costs that are deemed very competitive compared to conventional resource production.
The share of renewable sources in electricity production, which was 32.5% in 2018, is now targeted at 38.8% by 2023 thanks to the new development plan.
"More than 30 solar panel factories in Turkey were established as well as cell factories. In the Renewable Energy Resources Zones (YEKA) tenders, one of the conditions was to establish a factory, to have at least 50-60% domestic production and to employ local engineers," he said.
Therefore, he added that these tenders have ensured reductions in costs and equipment production allowing for greater wind and solar energy in the Turkish market, which has resulted in notable installed power of 7 gigawatts of wind and 5 gigawatts of solar power.
According to Terzioglu, Turkey's motivation to boost domestic renewable production came in 2017 when an additional tax burden was applied to imported solar panels from China through anti-dumping measures.
"Today, there are many renewable energy production contractors and suppliers in Turkey. Among the members of MUSIAD, there are cable manufacturers, electrical switchgear supplies producers and solar panel manufacturers," he said.
In the future, there is potential to sell domestic products to neighboring countries, North Africa and the Middle East. I believe that the share of domestic equipment in renewable energy will increase significantly," he said.
- Decisive steps for mining
Turkey's 11th development plan also targets an increase in mining exports to $10 billion in 2023 from $3.4 billion in 2018.
"The decisive steps taken in energy also need to be taken in the mining sector," he said.
To achieve this target, Terzioglu said that Turkey is moving in a "stable manner in the extraction and production of lignite reserves in the country" but he warned that more exploration is needed.
"Domestic energy output is as important as renewable energy," he underlined.
However, he advised that research and extraction of domestic resources be conducted as cleanly as possible with the utmost sensitivity placed on environmental protection by applying the many technologically advanced procedures in this sector.
"We support the use of domestic coal because it is for the benefit of the 80 million people who live in Turkey. We have to use it because we see a significant rise in the current account deficit due to the increased costs of imported coal and with the fluctuations in exchange rates," he said.
- Nuclear energy
The plan also has set goals for the development of nuclear energy, namely through the country's first nuclear power plant Akkuyu, the completion of which is expected by 2023 with the start electricity production soon after.
Turkey's nuclear energy ambitions are not only as a source of electricity generation or the avoidance of carbon emissions but also it is seen as a sector in which the country can enter the top league in technology.
Russia's Rosatom is constructing Turkey's first nuclear plant in the southern province of Mersin. The plant, comprising four units, each with a capacity of 1,200 megawatts, will meet about 10% of Turkey's electricity needs.
Terzioglu also stated that the development of Iran's and Georgia's electricity transmission lines, investments in the country's natural gas storage facilities and LNG and Floating Storage Regasification Unit (FSRU) are part of the development plan considered very important for the country's energy sector.
By Murat Temizer