Turkey is highly dependent on external energy sources. According to Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources (MENR) data, Turkey’s dependency rose from 51.9% in 1990 to 75% in 2007, and reached 72.8% in 2008. The State Institute of Statistics reveals that Turkey’s import figures for energy related raw materials (i.e. crude petroleum, petroleum products, natural gas and coal) which climbed to $48,252 billion USD in 2008, comprised nearly one fourth of total imports that same year. The burden decreased in 2009 due to a decline in petroleum and gas prices. Still in 2009, Turkey paid $29,870 billion USD for imports of raw energy materials, and their share in total imports was 21.2 percent.
Turkey’s Energy Policies: Suggestions for a Change
This paper begins by underlining Turkey’s excessive external dependence on energy. Issues surrounding the creation of new power generation capacities are then reviewed, including the potential use of renewable energy sources and the importance of energy saving and efficiency. The government’s plans regarding the restructuring of Turkey’s energy sector, and the potential addition of nuclear energy, are also critiqued and discussed. The Commentary ends with policy suggestions for Turkey’s energy sector, emphasizing the need for policies based on inclusive, public debate; an updated inventory of Turkey’s energy sources; guidelines that the Energy Market Regulatory Authority should follow; and the importance of considering environmental issues and basing Turkey’s energy future on local and renewable sources.
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