Turkey (2012)

Source: REEEP Policy Database (contributed by SERN for REEEP)

This policy & regulatory overview is not updated anymore since 2015. We decided to keep it online due to high demand but would like to make you aware of the fact that it might be outdated.

Energy sources

Total installed electricity capacity (2010, source: EPDK): 50,422 MW
- Thermal: 64.3%
- Hydroelectric: 32.8%
- Other RES (Geothermal, Wind): 2.9%

Conventional thermal sources continue to dominate the Turkish generation infrastructure. Considerable changes have taken place in recent years in the distribution of the sources used in the electricity sector. Fuel switching in power generation has been significant over the past two decades as coal-fired plants have increasingly been replaced by gas-fired ones.

Total Primary Energy Supply (2009, source: IEA): 98,502 ktoe
Coal and Peat: 30.5%
Coal , Peat: 30.5%
Natural Gas: 29.6%
Crude Oil: 29.8%
Biofuels and Waste: 4.8%
Geothermal, Solar, Wind: 2.2%

In 2009, Turkey produced 194 TWh of electricity, and consumed 158 TWh. In Turkey, electricity is mainly produced by thermal power plants, by consuming coal, lignite, natural gas, fuel-oil and geothermal energy, wind energy (recently) and hydropower plants (TEIAS web page, 2008).

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Turkey is a net importer of energy, with 2008 imports standing at 79,503 ktoe, or approximately 80% of total primary energy supply. Growing energy demand has not been matched with production, and in 2004 Turkey imported over 800 Bcf of natural gas in 2004 according to the EIA.

The imports/exports balance by energy source in 2008 was as follows (all units ktoe, source: IEA):
Solid Fuel: 12,856.0 / 0.0
Crude Oil: 21,570.0 / 0.0
Oil Products: 14,406.0 / 6,527.0
Natural Gas: 30,603.0 / 359.0
Electricity: 68.0 / 96.0

Close Reliance

Extend network

About 99.9% of the Turkish population have access to electricity.

The Turkish transmission network consists of 14,453 km of 400 kV lines, 86 km of 220 kV lines, 31,716 km of 154 kV lines, and 508 km of 66 kV lines. In addition, there are 200 km of 154 kV cables, and 22.8 km of 380 kV cables.

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Capacity concerns

Security of supply is a priority for the Turkish electricity sector. It is now a common perception that if there are no new investments, Turkey will suffer from electricity shortages in a few years. As well as the need for additional capacity there is also a specific shortage of peaking capacity.

The limits of Turkey’s domestic energy sources in light of its growing energy demand have resulted in dependency on energy imports, primarily of oil and gas. At present, around 20% of the total energy demand is being met by domestic resources, while the rest is being satisfied from a diversified portfolio of imports . By 2018, peak load demand is forecast to increase by 7.4%.

Turkey aims at fully utilizing its indigenous hard coal and lignite reserves, hydro and other renewable resources such as wind and solar energy to meet the demand growth in a sustainable manner. Integration of nuclear energy into the Turkish energy mix will also be one of the main tools in responding to the growing electricity demand while avoiding increasing dependence on imported fuels. Nuclear power plants corresponding to a total installed capacity of 5,000 MW are expected to be commissioned after 2012. 

Due to the current trend for sup-optimal hydrological conditions in the country, hydro-electric power generation is forecast to decrease by up to 20 percent in the near future.

Transmission and distribution losses amounted to 13.2% in 2009, indicating the need for efficiency improvements in the electricity network.

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Renewable energy

Turkey’s renewable energy sources are plentiful and extensive, and represent the second-largest domestic energy source after coal. Primary renewable energy resources in Turkey are: hydro, biomass, wind, biogas, geothermal and solar.

Geothermal energy
Turkey ranks 7th worldwide in geothermal resources which yield a potential of 2,000 MWe (electricity) and 31,500 MWt (thermal). However, the installed capacity is only 20 MWe and 1,077 MWt. A 52 MWe plant is currently under construction. The majority of geothermal resources in the country are found in Menderes Massif, in Western Anatolia.

Wind energy
Turkey has one of the highest potential for wind energy in Europe and there exists an economical potential of 10,000 MW. As of 2007, the installed capacity has increased to 200 MW, with a further 600 MW in construction. The Turkish Wind Energy Potential Atlas was developed in 2007. An estimated 5,000 MW of new wind capacity can be installed where the annual wind speed is higher than 8.5 m/s, with a further 48,000 MW where the annual wind speed is higher than 7.0 m/s.

Solar energy
Turkey lies in a sunny belt between 36º and 42ºN latitudes. The yearly average solar radiation is 3.6  kWh/m2/day, and the total yearly radiation period is approximately 2640 h, which is sufficient to provide adequate energy for solar thermal applications. Technical solar potential stands at 76 Mtoe. Photovoltaic applications in the country currently stand at around 1000 kW, and are mainly installed in areas where electricity transmission is not economically feasible.  In spite of this high potential, solar energy is not now widely used, except for flat-plate solar collectors. In 2007, solar water heating produced roughly 400 ktoe in the country.

Hydro power
There are 436 sites available for hydroelectric plant construction, distributed on 26 main river zones.  The total gross potential and total energy production of these sites are nearly 50 GW and 112 TWh/yr, respectively, and about 30% of the total gross potential may be economically exploitable. Installed capacity of hydroelectric plants in Turkey stood at 13,393 MW at the end of 2007. It is projected that hydroelectric power plant capacity will rise to 35,000 MW by the year 2020. Unused potential consists of many small hydro projects, which have traditionally been one of the most attractive options for private investors in Turkey.

Biomass energy
Considering the natural resources and extent of agro-economic infrastructure, Turkey also has a significant potential in biomass. As of 2003, 15 million tons of forest residues and 5.4 million tons of plant and animal wastes are used for the production of energy. However, it is estimated that around 50-60 million tons of animal wastes and 50-100 million tons of agro-industry wastes can be used for production of energy. Among the renewable energy sources, biomass is important because its share of total energy consumption is still high in Turkey. Since 1980, the contribution of the biomass resources in the total energy consumption dropped from 20% to 5% in 2008. Biogas production potential has been estimated at some 2 Mtoe. Biodiesel production capacity is 1.5 Mt and bioethanol production capacity is about 3 Mt per year. High targets have been set for 2015 in terms of biofuel production; 1,250,000 tonnes of biodiesel, and 735,000 tonnes of bioethanol  

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Energy efficiency

Turkeys bid to join the EU has also increased the country’s urge to achieve energy efficiency in line with EU Directives so as to improve admission chances.

Turkey is currently benefiting from two programmes on energy efficiency decided by the European Commission and European Development Bank in co-operation with Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau and the European Investment Bank in 2006. These are aimed at providing financial assistance to Bulgaria, Romania, Croatia and Turkey in order to increase investments in energy efficiency.

The main efficiency savings can be made in industry, which accounts for 24% of Turkish primary energy demand, and the residential sector, which accounts for 30%. Turkish industry is quite energy intensive, with nearly 50% being in raw material processing, for example steel- and glass-works.

Energy intensity in Turkey is also high compared to EU15 averages, suggesting that further efficiency savings can be made. However, primary energy demand per capita is relatively low, at 1.39 toe.

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In March 2001, the Turkish government enacted a new Electricity Market Law, which sets the stage for liberalisation of power generation and distribution activities. Under the law, the state-owned Turkish Electricity Generation and Transmission Corporation (TEAS) was split into separate generation, distribution, and trade companies  as follows:

  • Turkish Electricity Transmission Joint Stock Company (TEIAS, responsible for operating the national grid,
  • Turkish Electricity Generation Joint Stock Corporation (EUAS, responsible for operating power-generation facilities,, and
  • Turkish Electricity Trading Joint Stock Corporation (TETAS, responsible for purchasing electricity,

EUAS currently holds 60% of the installed generating capacity in Turkey. TEIAS has a legal monopoly on transmission in the country, with legislation in place to ensure fairness of transmission to all entities. The Turkish Electricity Distribution Joint Stock Corporation (TEDAS, is the state-owned distribution company, established in 2004. The company owned a 75% market share across Turkey in 2006. According to the Electricity Market Law, Tetas may conduct wholesale activities, as well as private sector wholesale companies.. In practice, TETAS which is also state owned enterprise operates as a national monopoly.

In 2006, the Balancing and Settlement Regulation (BSR) started to be implemented financially. With the BSR, a new market is formed where the private sector also could take part actively, and sell energy to the public sector indirectly under market conditions. By the balancing market rules, the market participants had the opportunity to sell/buy the electricity in the balancing market in addition to their bilateral contracts. The balancing market has developed quickly, and the share of energy produced through balancing market is 13% (by volume-MWh) on the average of the total electrical energy produced in Turkey.

As result of the passing of the BSR, the EMRA (Turkey's energy regulator) approved the privatization of Turkey’s 20 regional electricity grids. The EMRA has approved a new electricity tariff structure, the final step before Turkey can invite tenders to auction the distribution grids. The power grids are expected to be sold in groupings of up to 6 regional grids at a time to encourage economies of scale and greater efficiency.

Gas Market
The Natural Gas Market Law (Law No. 4646) was adopted in May 2, 2001. The objective of this law was to establish a fair, financially-sound, transparent and competitive natural gas market. Operation of the gas market is covered under the activities of BOTAS, the state oil and gas pipeline operator. 

Oil Market
The oil market in Turkey, as per the Oil Market Law (No. 5015) of 2003, is primarily operated by the Turkish Petroleum Refineries Corporation (TUPRAS, and POAS, the major petroleum products distributor. Privatization of these companies has occurred.

Close Ownership


Under the Electricity Market Law, no generation company can have more than 20% of the market and no wholesaler can have a market share greater than 10%, leading to an effective monopoly for TETAS on the wholesale market. Auto-producers can sell no more than 20% of their output to the market unless they have a generation license. Whilst unbundled, the majority of the Turkish energy market continues to be held by state-owned companies.

Retail competition was introduced following the passing of the Electricity Market Law (no 4628) in 2001. Consumers directly connected to the transmission network (electric intensive industry) and consumers using more than 9GWh per year were no longer required to buy from the incumbent retailer. In January 2004, the limit was reduced to 7.8TWh, in January 2005 to 6GWh and January 2007, to 3GWh. EMRA, the national energy regulation agency, expects these limits to be further reduced.

Close Competition

Energy framework

Whilst Turkey does not have a specific national energy strategy document, objectives including securing energy supply, diversification of the energy mix (including renewable energy development), and the opening of the electricity market to all consumers by 2015, are contained within the Institutional Strategic Plan 2010-2014 of the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources.

The Renewable Electricity Law was adopted in 2005, as the transposition of EU Directive 2001/77/EC.
The law which enables government to purchase a maximum of 20% of electricity from renewable energy sources by was fully operational by 2007.

Biodiesel and bioethanol are being developed under the Petrol Markets and Tobacco Markets Laws respectively.

An Amending Law to the Renewable Energy Law was prepared in 2008, in order to provide further incentives to the renewable energy sector. According to the amending law, different minimum purchase prices varying between 5 Euro Cent/kWh to 18Euro Cent/kWh are stipulated for electricity produced from different types of renewable energy resources. The purchase obligations are provided to be extended to facilities established prior to 1 January 2016.
The Energy Efficiency Law (EEL) of Turkey was developed as a result of Turkey's tasks of complying with the EU directives. The law, expected to achieve 25–30% savings in total energy consumption, came into force on May 2, 2007 through the law number 5627.  The law exploits the efficient use of energy and covers administrative structuring, energy auditing, financial instruments and incentives, awareness raising and the establishment of an Energy Service Company (ESCO) market for energy efficiency (EE) services.

The Law No. 5686 on the Law on Geothermal resources and natural mineral waters (June 03, 2007) to set forth the rules and principles for exploring, producing and protecting geothermal and natural mineral water resources this law is enforced.

The Law No. 5346 on the Use of Renewable Energy Resources for Electricity Production Purposes (May 18, 2005) was created to ensure the widespread use of renewable energy sources, increase resource diversification, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect the environment. Within the scope of this law were conditions for the creation of a feed-in tariff system, combined with guaranteed purchase agreements for electricity generated from renewable energy sources, in addition to a guarantee-of-origin certificate system. Differentiation of tariff structure for different renewable energy sources was introduced in 2008 with the Amending Law. The tariff is valid for the first ten years of plants set up before 31 December 2011. Further amendments to the Law were made in 2011, further diversifying feed-in tariff structure, whilst limiting total production capacity of licensed solar energy companies to 600 MW by December 2013. Additional incentives will be offered to companies that utilise local manufacturing in the production of renewable energy infrastructure.

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Energy debates

Industry observers in 2011 described the new feed-in tariff law for renewable energy sources as “insufficient” to promote the growth in manufacturing necessary to achieve the country’s renewable energy targets. The Turkish government have responded by saying they are confident that investors will do business at the current prices.

Discussion is underway within EMRA as to a timeline for the privatization of natural gas distribution companies, as well as the unbundling of the state company BOTAS.

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Energy studies

Evaluation of Petroleum Source Rocks on the Coastal Area of the Western Taurus Region, Turkey: Demirel I.H.; Gunay Y.; Yurtsever T.S. 2001.

Analysis of Daily Total Horizontal Solar Radiation Measurements in Turkey: Gune M. 2001.

Türkiye Rüzgar Atlasi (Turkish Wind Atlas), Dündar, C., M. Canbaz, N. Akgün and G. Ural, 2002

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Role of government

The Ministry of Energy ( and the Natural Resources General Directorate of Energy Affairs are the key governmental institutions in energy planning.

Policy issues related to energy are within the responsibility of the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources (MENR). Energy planning studies, taking into account short, medium and long term policies and measures, are carried out by the MENR. The General Directorate of Energy Affairs (EIGM) is the main policy making body within MENR, and is in charge of carrying out all studies   related to energy policies and coordination. The EIGM is responsible for coordination of the energy policy measures, and natural gas and electricity sector reform programs. It conducts long term energy planning, and develops different policy scenarios. Furthermore, it is also responsible for general studies on energy and environmental policies, renewable energy and energy efficiency.

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Government agencies

The main institutions involved in the definition of research and development of priorities and programmes of energy are:
- the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources and its related bodies and enterprises,
- the State Planning Organisation,
- the Ministry of Environment,
- TUBITAK (Scientific and Technical Research Council of Turkey), established in 1960,
- TAEK (Turkish Atomic Energy Authority), founded in 1956.

The Supreme Council for Science and Technology (the highest body for science and technology policy making) issues periodic plans for setting research and development priorities.

The Energy Efficiency Co-ordination Board consists of high-level representatives from ministries concerned with energy efficiency, as well as those from |NGOs and private sector companies. The Board's main task is to prepare energy efficiency strategies, as well as make decisions on energy policy.

A number of non-governmental organisations exist in the fields of renewable energy and energy efficiency, including the Turkish Cogen Association, dealing with co-generation; the Geothermal Association of Turkey, and the Alternative Energy and Biodiesel Producers Union.

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Energy procedure

Law 5710 of November 2007 dictates rules for the construction and operation of nuclear power plants in Turkey. Government energy strategy, in part, calls for the necessary developments for the construction of Turkey's first nuclear plant. This plant is currently in construction at Sinop, and it is hoped that nuclear power will account for 8% of total electricity production by 2020.

The Energy Strategy Paper, which aims to ensure that 25% of Turkey's electricity is generated from renewable energy sources by 2020, was created in 2009 and is ongoing. Other goals of this paper include the utilisation of all technically and economically viable hydro-power sources by 2023, and minimum targets for installed wind and geothermal electricity generation capacity to 20,000 MW and 600 MW respectively.

In 2008, the Turkish Prime Minister announced the National Energy Efficiency Movement, which seeks to provide information to all sectors of the economy on energy efficiency, as well as building capacity for EE improvements. Measures instituted under the movement include the development of institutional and administrative capacity for energy auditing, the training of energy managers for companies and organisations, and voluntary industrial agreements.

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Energy regulator

The Energy Markets Regulatory Authority ( became fully operational in 2001. The regulatory functions are defined in the Energy Laws of 2001.  It subsequently became the Energy Market Regulatory Authority when the natural gas (2001) petroleum (2003) and LPG markets (2005) came under its jurisdiction.  Its main duties are to: issue licenses; monitor and supervise the market; approve, amend and enforce performance standards; set pricing principles and regulations for tariffs; and settle disputes. 

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Degree of independence

Decisions are taken by a nine-person board comprising a president and eight members. Board members are appointed by the Council of Ministers for a term of 6 years. EMRA is fully independent, but the activities of the authority are overseen by the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources. Financing for the Authority comes from the licensing of regulated bodies, grants provided by international institutions, and surcharges on electricity transmission. 

Close Degree of independence

Regulatory framework

The Energy Market Regulatory Authority (EMRA) has issued numerous legislations on electricity, oil, LPG and natural gas, including:

-Law on Electricity Markets (2001),
-Law on Natural Gas Markets (2001),
-Law on Oil Markets (2003),
-Law on LPG Markets (2005).

The Energy Efficiency Law (Law No. 5627) of 2007 covers energy efficiency in industry, as well as building regulations and the tertiary sector. It also provides conditions for the mandatory appointment of an energy manager to oversee efficiency savings. Law No. 5686 on Geothermal Resources provides rules for the exploration and production of power from geothermal resources.

An update to the Regulations regarding the Promotion of Renewable Energy Resources and the Certification of Origin of RES was made in July 2011. This regulation clarified the procedures for the acquisition of support for renewable energy systems, instituted the system for certification of origin of renewable energy sources, and provided mechanisms for determining billing obligations for energy companies.

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Regulatory roles

EMRA is responsible for:

  • Undertaking a monitoring and auditing of electricity and gas sectors on behalf of public in accordance with the new legal framework, and
  • Ensuring the formation of Energy Market Regulatory Board which will represent and govern the Energy Market Regulatory Agency.

The Energy Market Regulatory Board, issued 35 licenses of natural gas distribution in 2004 and regulations related to the transfer of importing licenses to private sector were completed in 2005.

In accordance to the changes made with the Law dated October 10, 2006 (clause 9), cross subsidies have became legal. With this modification, the authorization of EMRA on the tariffs for scrutiny and auditing were cancelled. Decisions on tariffs will now be made by the Council of Ministers.

The Law allowed distribution companies to use cross subsidies until the end of 2010. A price equalization mechanism applies with a nationwide uniform tariff. However, cost reflective tariffs are employed for transmission.

EMRA issued all necessary legislation, and approved the distribution and retail tariffs (to be valid till 2011), although the provisional article enables the government for extending the provisional regime beyond 2011. EMRA recently approved the end user tariffs and revenue requirements of each distribution company for the transition period.

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Energy regulation role

The Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources is responsible for defining the overall policy in the energy sector. It oversees the activities of EMRA.

The Ministry for the Environment and Forest is primarily responsible for providing information, policy-making, and legislation development in the field of the environment and renewable energy development.

The General Directorate of Electrical Power Resources Survey and Development Administration (EIE) defines the technical potential of renewable energy sources. It also conducts trainings, prepares legislation and performs public awareness campaigns for energy efficiency in end-use sectors.

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Regulatory barriers

The framework for sustainable energy development in Turkey is well-established, but actual progress so far has been slow. If targets set out in current energy policy are met, and the conditions of the current energy strategy are fulfilled, then Turkey will develop a sound and practical sustainable energy base.

Provisions for the support of renewable energy development in Turkey have been criticised in recent years for being inadequate to actually stimulate new development. It is hoped, with the latest updates to legislation in 2010 and 2011, that this will be remedied.

Close Regulatory barriers


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Austrian Energy Agency Country Profile - Turkey. Available at: [Accessed 16th September 2013]

Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Turkey´s Energy Strategy. January 2011. Available at: [Accessed 16th September 2013]

U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). Turkey Country Analysis Brief. February 2011. Last Updated February 2013. Available at: [Accessed 16th September 2013]

EIA (Content source). L. D. Clough (Topic Editor). Energy profile of Turkey. Encyclopedia of Earth website. Available at: [Accessed 16th September 2013]

S. Thomas et al. The future of the Turkish electricity industry. Paper presented at Turkish Chamber of Engineers. October 2007. Available at: [Accessed 16th September 2013]

E. Okay et al. Views on Turkey´s impending ESCO market: Is it promising? Energy Policy. Volume 36. Issue 6. June 2008. Pp 1821-1825. Available at: [Accessed 16th September 2013]

Wire & Cable India website. Installed power generation capacity in Turkey over 50,000 MW. 26 May 2011. Available at: [Accessed 16th September 2013]

Energy Delta Institute - Country Gas Profile, Turkey. Available at: [Accessed 16th September 2013]

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BOTAS - Turkish Petroleum Pipeline Corporation. [Accessed 16th September 2013] website. Turkish Electricity Market. Available at: [Accessed 16th September 2013]

IEA. Energy Policies of IEA Countries - Turkey 2009 Review. Available at:,3909,en.html [Accessed 16th September 2013] Turkey Implements Feed-in Tariff, Spain Cuts. 7 January 2011. Available at: [Accessed 16th September 2013] Turkey Adopts Limited Feed-in Law. Available at:[tt_news]=889&cHash=a81228d555d6f77e896f9c23daed0f26 [Accessed 16th September 2013]

ERRANET Regulator Profile - Energy Market Regulatory Authority (EMRA). Available at: [Accessed 16th September 2013]

Republic of Turkey Energy Market Regulatory Authority. [Accessed 16th September 2013] Close References