Turkey produced 58.4 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity from hydropower plants in 2017 despite the most severe drought of the past 44 years and has plans to expand production to 90 billion kWh, the country's Forestry and Water Minister Veysel Eroglu told Anadolu Agency in a recent interview.
"The 58.4 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity from hydropower plants in 2017 boosted the Turkish economy by adding 9.9 million Turkish liras," Eroglu said.
He added that Turkey constructed 511 hydropower plants since 2003 when new investment strategies were put into practice through public-private sector cooperation.
In 2003, Turkey had 276 hydropower plants with a production capacity of 26 billion kWh. Since then hydropower has supported the Turkish economy with the addition of $30 million.
According to the minister, one in four houses in Turkey are currently powered by electricity generated in hydropower plants.
Eroglu commended hydroelectric power plants for providing clean and renewable energy without causing environmental pollution or greenhouse gas emissions.
He also acknowledged that hydropower plants are able to help control water levels to prevent floods.
Turkey plans to produce 110 billion kWh of electricity from hydropower by the end of 2019, Eroglu asserted.
The private sector in Turkey built 56 hydropower plants, which are yet to be officially launched, he concluded.
US$1 equals 3.86 liras
By Huseyin Erdogan