Analysis: Smart energy investments in Turkey

This week, examines developments in the Turkish smart energy sector.

We analyse measures being implemented by the government, utility firms and stakeholders to improve the country’s energy sector. We focus on how regulation has impacted on the market. We examine how programmes on smart meters, smart grid, digitisation of utility operations and renewable energy have been deployed to address energy woes in Turkey.

A study conducted last year forecasted countries in Central and Eastern Europe and Turkey to invest up to $25.2 billion in smart grid infrastructure by 2025 to reduce power outages and energy transmission and distribution losses.

The reported stated that government intervention will play a major role in the deployment of distribution automation, distributed renewable resources and electric vehicle charging technologies.

Mandate set under the EU Directive 2009/72/EC for countries in the region to achieve 80% smart meter penetration rate by 2020 was said will drive increases in investments in advanced metering infrastructure to curb energy losses in Turkey.

In late July, energy market intelligence firm Frost & Sullivan said it projects smart meter installation pace to reach 3.6 million units per year by 2020 in Turkey.

According to the report, the Turkish smart meter market reached a new record of 4.6 million units installed per year in 2016.

On the other hand, factors such as lack of standardisation and low consumer awareness on the benefits of smart meters has led to a slow pace of the adoption of the technology. The majority of smart meters deployed so far in Turkey are being done under pilot projects.

Irmak Giray, a research analyst at Frost & Sullivan, commented: “Regulatory support also helps set a target for the transition from mechanical to electronic meters and provides the infrastructure necessary for this migration. As Turkish authorities do not possess adequate technical expertise in smart electricity, international companies have the opportunity to present them with best practices.”


The Turkish energy sector witnessed a 100 million Turkish lira ($28.6 million) in investment from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to help subsidiaries of Enerjisa Enerji to fund their operations.

Enerjisa Enerji is Turkey’s largest utility company providing energy distribution services to over 20 million consumers.

According to The Financial Times, the investment will be used to help three energy distribution companies to improve their operations following the privatisation of the country’s energy landscape.

Commenting on the development, Sacha Bibert, the chief financial officer of Energisa, said: “It is an honour for Enerjisa to have the EBRD as our bond investor. The novel structure of this bond will serve to develop the Turkish capital markets, as well as support our growing power distribution business.”

At the same time, investments in clean energy and digital technologies accelerated since the beginning of 2016 resulting in the launch of the country’s first digital power plant, according to Powergrid International.

In mid-January this year, General Electric was selected by Gama Energy to integrate the company’s 840MW natural gas fuelled power plant in Anadolu with cloud-based advanced digital, asset performance management and operations optimisation solutions.

Under the 15 year deal, GE will use the technologies to help Gama Energy improve management, operations and monitoring of its power plant under efforts to avoid plant assets failure and to reduce power outages and maintenance costs.

Murat Demirel, manager of power services at GE in Eastern Europe and Turkey, said: “Unplanned outages in power plants correspond to 3-8 percent of a plant’s capacity.

“We estimate these solutions have the potential to save up to USD 3 million annually through early detection of outages.”

Energy mix

To date, Turkey generates 33% of its energy from natural gas.

According to the Daily Sabah Energy, the Turkish government set a target to meet 30% of its total energy demand using renewable energy resources including wind and solar by 2023.

Although plans to expand wind and solar energy generation are under the pipeline, the use of natural gas for energy generation is still in the country’s long term plans.

The PennEnergy reported that the Turkish and Israeli governments are planning to construct a pipeline to distribute natural gas from Israel to curb the shortage of the natural resource in Turkey.

In April, Finnish technology firm Wartsila secured a contract with Independent Power Producer Yesilyurt Enerji Elektrik Uretim A.S to supply equipment to modernise the utility’s 73MW gas-fired plant, reported Power Engineering International.

Developments within the solar PV industry include ET Energy developing 19MW solar plant in Kahramanmaras for integration with the country’s main grid.

Once completed in October, the plant will generate 37,000MWh of electricity per annum and will be used to help Turkey to stabilise grid system during peak times, according to PV Tech.

IBC Solar in Turkey completed the development of 5.9MW solar pv system in the Turkish province of Gaziantep to generate and integrate up to 11 million KWh into the main grid per annum.

Global manufacturer of solar pv modules Upsolar in March was awarded a contract to supply modules for the development of 23.6MW solar plant.

According to the Balkan Green Energy News, the Hilvan solar plant will generate 40GWh of energy per annum to help the country avoid the emission of 20,000 tonnes of carbon emissions per annum.

Loannis Markatatos, the director of Upsolar in Turkey and the Middle East, said the project paints a bright future for “… Turkey and the Middle East as both regions continue to ramp-up their solar energy capacity.”


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