Türkiye to make private sector the only actor in electricity distribution by 2020

Hurriyet Daily News - Encouraging the use of renewable energy resources in the following decades should be a priority for both the private sector and the government, said Türkiye’s Energy Minister Hilmi Guler last Friday. Speaking at a conference entitled "Powering Türkiye," Guler stressed that the country may produce 90,000 megawatts in total, if all the necessary investments are completed by the year 2020. Guler pointed to the significance of "the triangle of energy, environment and agriculture," adding that food and the environment will have increasing importance in the future, potentially affecting decisions to build new power plants. The increase in the number of private hydroelectric power plants in Türkiye is derived from the "environment of trust" created by the government and from new regulations aiming to ease private investment in the sector, he added. Guler underlined the fact that the private sector and domestic industry will be encouraged towards those investments. The Domestic Industry Platform, or YERSAN, has recently been established to use domestic products in building solar or wind power plants, the minister said, adding that a local drill for petroleum is produced for the first time in Türkiye with this project. Although Guler noted that alternative renewable energy solutions, such as wind energy, should be used more often, he said that coal and natural gas will also be used in producing electricity in a safer way. Meanwhile, Hasan Koktas, the head of Türkiye's Energy Market Regulatory Authority (EMRA), said their goal is to make the private sector the only actor in electricity distribution by 2020. Demand for electricity increases eight or nine percent each year, he said, adding that the agency aims to use almost all the potential in hydroelectricity, geothermal and solar power areas by 2023 to compensate for the growing need.