Turkey has unveiled its National Energy Plan for 2035, showcasing its determination to accelerate its transition towards a more sustainable energy landscape. The plan outlines an ambitious goal of boosting solar power capacity by five times and tripling the total size of wind power plants, along with other significant renewable energy advancements. This strategic move is in line with Turkey’s overarching objective of achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
Under the National Energy Plan, Turkey is set to increase its total electricity generation capacity to an impressive 189.7 GW, predominantly through the integration of renewable energy sources. This marks a substantial leap from the 100 GW milestone crossed last year. Notably, renewable energy sources are slated to account for a remarkable 74.3% of the planned capacity additions.
Renewables, particularly wind and solar energy, are poised to play a pivotal role in reshaping Turkey’s energy landscape. The plan projects that green electricity will constitute 64.7% of the overall capacity, up from 54% just a year ago. While the country acknowledges the continued reliance on fossil fuels, there’s a resounding commitment to expanding solar and wind power sectors.
Wind power capacity is projected to reach a combined 29.6 GW by 2035, with 5 GW dedicated to offshore installations. This aspiration implies nearly tripling the capacity, considering that 2022 wind power capacity stood at 11 GW. On the solar front, Turkey aims to achieve a solar power capacity of 59.9 GW, a significant increase from its current capacity of around 9 GW.
Hydropower plants currently hold the largest share of Turkey’s energy mix and are slated to grow to 35.1 GW by 2035. Additionally, the first phase of Turkey’s inaugural nuclear power plant, Akkuyu, is anticipated to be operational this year, contributing towards the plan’s target of achieving a total nuclear energy capacity of 7.2 GW by 2035.
Turkey’s annual electricity consumption is forecasted to increase by 3.5% per year until 2035, eventually reaching a total of 510.5 TWh. The Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources is also actively pursuing offshore wind power zones through the Renewable Energy Resources Area (YEKA) support mechanism. This comes after Turkey’s reinvigorated push for offshore wind parks, with potential zones identified along the northwest coast, including the Sea of Marmara and the Aegean Sea.
In a significant stride towards regional collaboration, Turkey recently struck energy deals worth $29.7 billion with the United Arab Emirates, encompassing offshore wind power initiatives. Moreover, Saudi Arabia has expressed interest in a renewable energy project of 4 GW to 5 GW, demonstrating Turkey’s growing influence as a renewable energy player in the region.
Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Alparslan Bayraktar, underlined Turkey’s commitment to achieving its renewable energy targets. The government aims to add 3.5 GW of photovoltaic capacity and 1.5 GW of wind power each year, aiming to achieve 5 GW in offshore wind power by 2035.
Turkey’s impressive wind power potential is evidenced by its more than 12 GW capacity, accounting for a significant portion of the country’s overall electricity production, which stands at 105 GW. The country is striving to increase the share of renewables from the current 55% to 65% by 2035.
The northwest Aegean region stands out with its substantial offshore wind potential, estimated at up to 6 GW for bottom-fixed turbines and an impressive 19 GW for floating platforms. Overall, Turkey’s offshore wind power potential is touted to be as high as 75 GW, a testament to its commitment to harnessing clean energy sources.
With its ambitious National Energy Plan, Turkey is positioning itself as a dynamic and influential player in the global shift towards renewable energy. As the country leverages its natural resources, invests in technology, and engages in regional collaborations, it is paving the way for a cleaner, more sustainable energy future.
Journalist covering politics, economics, commodities, and more.