Assessing Turkey’s Energy Transition

A new World Bank report reviews Turkey’s energy sector for the past few decades with milestones achieved and challenges remaining in order to inform future energy reforms and reformers seeking to learn and benefit from Turkey’s experience and to further contribute to the dialogue on future energy reforms in Turkey.

Turkey’s efforts to restructure its energy sector over the past fifteen years is based on a variety ofinterlinked measures that achieved energy security for a fast-growing economy with rapidlyincreasing energy needs.  Since 2001 when Turkey launched its energy market reform asresponse to the economic crisis, the country moved from a state-owned, vertically-integratedmodel and has entirely privatized electricity distribution, passed groundbreaking electricity andnatural gas market, renewable energy and energy efficiency legislation; established newregulatory bodies; created a well-functioning electricity market; and carried out price reform.

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As a result, Turkey has added about 31,000 MW market-based electricity generation capacitywithout long-term power purchase agreements and sovereign guarantees; an electricity marketwith over 800 participants has been developed; investors took over the entire power distributionsystem between 2008 and 2013; and the regulatory framework for renewables and developmentof electricity market facilitated 16,000 MW generation capacity addition based on renewablesources in the 2001-2014 period. The country has transitioned to a well-functioning and fullydeveloped electricity market, with adequate supply to meet the country’s growing needs.

The report presents this story in full that is Turkey’s accomplishments in developing andimplementing market-oriented energy reforms as well as selected key reform challenges goingforward. In terms of reform milestones, the primary focus of the report is on the electric powerand natural gas sectors, although energy pricing and subsidies in the petroleum sector are alsoaddressed.

In terms of future challenges, the report discusses the ongoing and unfinished liberalization ofthe electricity and gas markets as well as required government support, including governance, inthe energy sector. Discussion of environmental and social issues and challenges has also beenintegrated in the report.


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