Turkey to spend $5bn on smart grid by 2015


U.S. Ambassador
Francis J. Ricciardone
Istanbul, Turkey — (METERING.COM) — February 14, 2013 – Turkey will spend $5 billion on smart grid technologies by 2015 to modernize its electricity sector,U.S. Ambassador Francis J. Ricciardone said in opening remarks at a U.S.–Turkey Smart Grid Workshop earlier this week.

“Turkey will benefit through reduced technical and non-technical losses on the grid, and thereby conserve energy and decrease the need for imports,” said Ambassador Ricciardone. “We think this will create opportunities for both Turkish and American companies.”

The joint smart grid workshop, which took place in Istanbul over the past two days, was aimed to connect stakeholders in the two countries.

According to a fact sheet on the event, Turkey has made smart grid development a major priority as part of its energy goals in preparation for 2023, the republic’s centennial. Over that period the Turkish government has committed to reducing electricity losses by 5% by improving the efficiency of its power network through the addition of new transmission and distribution lines and the incorporation of “smarter” elements into the national grid. The energy savings to be accrued from widely adopted management improvement programs are expected to be substantial, and on a facility-by-facility basis the reduction in power losses could range from 15%-35% of pre-program electrical energy use.

The Turkish electricity market is currently going through a liberalization process and rapid growth, with demand growing at 6-8% per year and expected to double by 2023. Over that period large capacity increases are also anticipated in wind and solar, with renewables projected to meet 30% of demand by 2023.The identification of new projects that will contribute to the sector’s better management is a high priority to the Turkish government.

In her opening remarks,U.S. Trade and Development Agency director Leocadia Zak announced that a grant had been signed for a smart grid feasibility study for the Turkish Electricity Transmission Company (TEAIS) that will help to identify potential grid enhancements.

This is the second such award, with earlier USTDA funding provided to the Baskent Elektrik Company for a smart grid feasibility study, which is assisting the company to integrate smart grid technologies with its current infrastructure and networks, Zak said.