Turkey said it will commission 101 new hydroelectric plants and dams worth US$3.44 billion in January, according to information published by Anadolu Agency, Turkey’s state-run news agency.
Minister of Forestry and Water Veysel Eroglu said, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will simultaneously open 101 hydroelectric projects on Jan. 14, which will have a capacity of 2,194 MW and annually generate 7.4 billion kWh.
A comprehensive list of facilities the president will commission is not immediately available for public viewing.
Turkey is a net energy importer, the country has relatively small amounts of domestic energy resources and imports large quantities of natural gas. As a result, according to the government, the country has a high deficit.
Eroglu is quoted saying, “Improving the energy mix and developing local sources of energy is vital for Turkey’s supply security, which means increasing hydroelectricity’s share in the mix as [hydropower] has the highest potential.”
He also said Turkey is using about 55% of its hydropower potential to generate about 25% of the country’s electricity. In total, the country generated 255 billion kWh in 2014. Eroglu estimates hydropower could contribute up to 80% of Turkey’s energy mix if the country’s full hydroelectric potential is developed.
In the event of an energy crisis due to lack of natural gas, Eroglu assured the public Turkey has enough water in its hydroelectric facilities to meet demand. The country also has water reserve stocks enough so that hydropower facilities can generate an additional 20% current amounts if necessary.
Eroglu praised the contributions of the private sector saying, “In 13 years, the private sector built 422 hydropower plants and added 13,000 MW of capacity with 40 billion kWh of electricity generation.”
Turkey is seeking to increase energy it produces from renewable sources to 30% by 2023.