Turkey is quietly growing into a major electricity consumer with rising demand

Turkey`s electricity demand in 1995 was almost 72,000 GWh, expected to soar to 308,000 GWh by 2010. Demand is growing at approximately 8 percent annually, and the government is planning to boost installed capacity to 58 GW to meet the demand, according to Hal Sunar, Community Energy Alternatives Inc., at the American Turkish Council annual conference.

In 1993, Turkey`s energy production was: 48.4 percent hydroelectric, 27 percent lignite, 1.7 percent hard coal, 13.2 percent natural gas, 7.6 percent petroleum and 0.02 geothermal. Turkey will have to add 1,000 MW annually to meet demand (see figure).

According to reports from the Turkish government, 187 more power plant units are needed by 2010. Of these, there are plans for 32 lignite- and hard-coal-fired units, ranging in size from 150 to 350 MW; 14 natural-gas- fired plants of 680 MW each; 12 units to burn imported coal, at 500 MW each; two nuclear plants for approximately 2,000 MW, and 12,800 MW of hydroelectric capacity. Per-capita consumption in the country is expected to increase from 1,200 kWh to 3,300 kWh by 2010.

The government acknowledges the importance of adequate electricity supply and is placing importance on build-operate-transfer and build-operate-own type generation projects. Turkey is a link between Europe and Asia, with 97 percent of its land located within Asia and 3 percent in Europe. It is twice the size of its largest trading partner, Germany.

Turkey is hampered by its limited energy reserves. Estimates are that by 2010, 69 percent of the country`s coal reserves and 66 percent of its hydroelectric potential will have been developed. In 1994, it imported more than 50 percent of its primary energy, and imports are expected to surpass 60 percent by 2010. Efforts are being made to expand the natural gas-fired capacity. Natural gas was first used for power generation there in 1985, but by 1993, gas was contributing 15 percent to the mix.

The largest utility in Turkey is the state-owned TEAS, which has a market share of more than 90 percent. The grid operator, TEDAS, is also state owned. Except for Greece and Syria, the grid is interconnected with its bordering neighbors.

The only domestic manufacturer of hydroelectric turbines and generators in the country, TEMSAN, is under license from Siemens. There is also a boiler manufacturing firm in Turkey, supplying equipment for industrial customers and power plants.

Turkey has been enacting legislation to protect its environment since 1983, and flue-gas desulfurization systems are being installed on numerous existing coal-fired facilities. Other environmental protection technologies, such as electrostatic precipitators and upgrades to waste disposal equipment, have also found a market there.