Solid waste will become an important part of Turkey's electricity generation, Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister said Friday.
Turkey heavily relies on foreign energy resources, such as natural gas and oil, which generates almost half of Turkey's electricity production and costs up to $60 billion a year. Energy expenditure is the biggest contributor to Turkey’s current deficit.
The country aims to add another 20,000 megawatts, MW, to its solar and wind energy production by 2023. Currently, Turkey holds 40,000 MW of installed capacity in solar and 36,000 MW in wind power.
Taner Yildiz, Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister, said that Turkey currently produces 100 MW of electricity from solid and domestic waste and facilities with an additional 80 MW capacity will be operational in the following days.
One of the alternative ways of diversifying energy resources is to recycle all kinds of waste. Types of municipal solid waste are classified according to their similarities, for instance plastic, glass and metal are common classes.
During the opening meeting of solid waste management facility in Amasya Municipality, Yildiz said that methane gas causes global warming 21 times more than carbon dioxide. Therefore, using it as an energy source is necessary.
"Solid waste is ten percent of primary energy supply of the world," he said and added that Turkey takes into consideration the environmental concerns as well.
He said that a single Turkish citizen produces 1 to 1,5 kilograms waste per day. It becomes 500 tons per year.
"Only in 2014, 30 billion tons of solid waste was gathered around Turkey," he said and added that this operation needs to be systematically controlled by the authorities such as municipalities.
Yildiz shared his hopes to develop the country's installed electricity capacity further in renewable energy such as wind, solar and biomass. He noted the rate of electricity-installed capacity was 11.4 percent in 2013, and around 6 percent in 2014.
"We are planning to increase the number of energy investments in Turkey in renewable energy field as well," he said and added that Turkey, with its advanced system of trash separation, will be able to produce energy from all manner of things that are generally considered to be useless.
Reporting By Mumin Altas
Writing By Gulsen Cagatay