Supply security, the prioritization of national resources and a predictable market will be the centerpieces of Turkey’s new national energy strategy, according to Energy Minister Berat Albayrak.
He vowed that Turkey would focus its energy diversification efforts on local resources as part of a detailed plan that includes ambitious targets to decrease the country’s dependence on foreign resources in energy and boost Turkey’s capabilities in energy production and electricity infrastructure.
Turkey will conduct seismic studies for oil and gas drilling activities, he said, noting that exploration would occur in two areas in the Black Sea and two in the Mediterranean.
“We will open two wells for each in these seas with a drilling ship on an annual basis. We plan to buy this ship over the year. This will be a first for Turkey,” he said.
Albayrak also said Turkey would produce a complete geophysical map of its territory to acquire a full picture of its natural resources.
“We aim to complete the map by 2018,” he said.
“We will invest heavily in local coal reserves as the latest findings regarding Turkey’s coal reserves have showed that Turkey’s reserves are better than had previously been suggested,” he said, adding that the latest green technologies would be used in the field of electricity production from coal reserves.
Improving Turkey’s indigenous energy production and R&D capacity is crucial for the new plan, said Albayrak, noting that the strategy would blaze a trail in nuclear and renewable energy.
“One of my personal ambitions was to create a national solar energy tender, and we did this. Our next step is to set up a national wind tender,” he said, adding that discussions have been held with significant global wind energy companies to obtain their input in order to revise strategies before holding the wind tender before the end of summer.
The Turkish-Korean Kalyon-Hanwha consortium won a tender bid on March 20 for the construction of Turkey’s biggest solar power plant, which will be built in the Central Anatolian province of Konya’s Karapınar district for $1.3 billion.
Turkey plans to supply most of its energy needs from domestic resources and held its first auction for renewable energy resources for 1,000 megawatts of installed capacity along with a production factory for photovoltaic equipment.
The tender requested that locally produced equipment be used and stipulated that local engineers should constitute 80 percent of the personnel on the project.
Turkey has already begun its strategy to boost the country’s domestic energy resources, including coal and renewables, and capacities from these are set to further grow in the share of the country’s total energy mix.
According to the ministry’s 2015-2019 Strategic Plan, the country is aiming for 32,000 megawatts of production capacity in hydro power, 10,000 megawatts in wind, 3,000 megawatts in solar, 1,000 megawatts in geothermal and 700 megawatts in biomass.
The government also plans to make investments of around 30 billion Turkish Liras to improve electricity transmission and distribution infrastructure in the next five years. More than half of the figure is expected to come from the private sector.
Albayrak also said the country’s oil storage capacity would be increased to 5 million tons in the near future.
The country’s aim is to increase its gas storage capacity to 20 percent of the country’s entire consumption