The impact of renewables on Turkey’s energy independence

Meltem Bayrak­tar, par­tic­i­pant of the COBENEFITS Online Train­ing, Turkey

In the first part of our new series Co-ben­e­fits Sto­ries, Meltem Bayrak­tar from Turkey explains the upsides that come with less import­ed fos­sil fuels and how renew­ables can reduce air pol­lu­tion in Turk­ish cities. For this series, we have asked ener­gy pro­fes­sion­als that have par­tic­i­pat­ed in our train­ings for their thoughts and expe­ri­ences on co-ben­e­fits of renew­able ener­gy in their country.

“Turkey imports almost 80% of its over­all ener­gy sup­ply which main­ly includes gas, oil and coal. Depen­dence on import­ed fos­sil fuel resources because of Turkey’s grow­ing ener­gy demand due to the rapid pop­u­la­tion and eco­nom­ic growth leaves Turkey’s econ­o­my vul­ner­a­ble to fluc­tu­at­ing glob­al ener­gy prices and it con­tributes to the cur­rent account deficit a great deal. There­fore, local renew­ables have the poten­tial to reduce reliance on ener­gy imports and pro­vide ener­gy secu­ri­ty for Turkey. Local pro­duc­tion of renew­able sys­tem equip­ment, imple­men­ta­tion and main­te­nance of sys­tems will dri­ve up eco­nom­ic activ­i­ty and cre­ate new jobs.

Air pol­lu­tion is one of the most sig­nif­i­cant prob­lems that cities in Turkey are fac­ing, today. The air qual­i­ty lev­el in most of the Turk­ish cities is con­sid­ered unsafe by the World Health Orga­ni­za­tion guide­lines. Ener­gy con­sump­tion by the indus­try and hous­ing and increas­ing fuel demand for vehi­cles are among the great­est con­trib­u­tors. Renew­able ener­gy sources there­fore can con­tribute to improve air qual­i­ty and human health in Turkey, through emis­sion-free and PM-free ener­gy production.”

Based on insights of the COBENEFITS research group, the Renew­ables Acad­e­my (RENAC) cur­rent­ly con­ducts train­ings in Turkey, Kenya, South Africa and Mex­i­co. Par­tic­i­pants learn about co-ben­e­fits of renew­able ener­gy in cli­mate change mit­i­ga­tion, tools to quan­ti­fy and com­mu­ni­cate social and eco­nom­ic oppor­tu­ni­ties and poli­cies and instru­ments to mobilise them.