Energy efficiency measures and investments saved Turkey $1 billion between 2017-2019, according to Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Donmez on Wednesday.
Speaking at an online conference titled Renewable and Smart Energy Applications in Municipalities, organized by the Union of Municipalities of Turkey, Donmez said Turkey's energy intensity, a measure of the energy inefficiency of an economy calculated as units of energy per unit of GDP, is higher than developed countries, such as Germany and Japan, and higher than the average of Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries.
Turkey, with its aim of becoming one of the 10 biggest economies in the world, needs to decrease its energy intensity, boost energy efficiency and fully utilize its own resources, he said.
To stress the importance of energy efficiency, he said that energy efficiency alone allowed for the equivalent of 1,000 megawatts capacity of power production from 10 plants.
The annual contribution of each one point of local and renewable energy resource addition to Turkey's economy amounts to nearly $100 million, he said.
The renewal of Turkey’s regulations for rooftop solar PV installations will allow for their greater expansion with support from local authorities, which he said are key shareholders in energy efficiency efforts.
To further bolster renewables, Donmez announced the removal of the upper limit for unlicensed power production, which had been capped at 5 megawatts.
“From now on, municipalities are now allowed to produce the renewable energy they need, including solar, depending on the power levels of the electrical connection,” he said.
He added that local authorities could also sell surplus production and generate additional income from this production.
By Ebru Sengul Cevrioglu