Turkey: Turkey's Energy Policy And Legislative Framework In Climate Change

Last Updated: 1 July 2015
Article by Safak Herdem

Although the remarkable economic growth in the past decade, Turkey is still considered as a "middle-income" country in OECD standards. At the moment, within the scope of Kyoto Protocol, only high-income countries are committed to limit Green House Gas Emissions, mainly carbon dioxide, in mandatory emission market. Despite the existence of low emission rates, Turkey still foresees reducing the emission limitations as a threat for the future economic expansion. As the future strategies, Turkey energy experts anticipate to settle a new energy generation strategy by limiting energy emissions however at the moment sustainable development and overcoming the growing poverty prevails as a priority. As a result government is willing to carry on being a part in the voluntary emission within the light of Kyoto Protocol in 2009. Following the adaptation to the Kyoto Protocol, the Co-ordination Board on Climate Change (re-established in 2004) has been merged with Co-ordination Board on Air Emissions and renamed the Co-ordination Board on climate Change and Air Management. This board generally conducting operations, setting measures and assisting parliament to legislate related to climate change which monitored by relevant ministries and industry representatives directly. These policies are included agriculture, energy, forestry, transportation, waste sectors and general industry.

Following with the passing of the Act on Renewable Energy in 2005, biggest step for the mitigation of Turkey's Green House Gas emissions was commenced. Wind, solar and hydro-power energy investments are remarkably rise up after the State-based incentives are set forth, which provides lowering emissions according to Kyoto Protocol.  The Act obliges investors to buy a certain percentage of electricity from renewable sources, ensuring that small scale and domestic renewable producers have access to the grid and can sell any surplus electricity.

In order to reconstruct of geothermal energy, government primarily present legislations to set incentives and regulate the new market in 2007. Energy demand after passing the Act on Renewable Energy, legislative efforts turned towards energy efficiency, and in 2007 the Act on Energy Efficiency was passed with the aim of avoiding 75 million CO2tonnes of emissions by 2020.Although Turkey cannot benefit from the market-based flexible mechanisms of the Kyoto Protocol, voluntary projects have been developed and implemented. By January 2013, Turkey had 218 registered projects in the voluntary carbon market, leading to annual Green House Gas reductions of 16.2 million tons of CO2-e. Moreover, Energy Efficiency Code lays down principles and processes for Climate Change Legislation. By January 2014, Turkey had over 500 of registered projects in the voluntary carbon market, even though it cannot benefit from the market-based flexible mechanisms (which is only possible in mandatory market) of the Kyoto Protocol.

Remarkable Legislations based on Climate Change

Some of the primer legislations and operations made by considering climate change in Turkey shall be listed as Renewable Energy Law, especially Utilization of Renewable Energy Sources for the Purposes of Generating Electrical Energy (Law Code: 5346); Geothermal Resources And Mineral Waters (Law Code: 5686); Energy Efficiency (5627); Soil Conservation and Land Use (Law Code: 5403); Energy Efficiency Strategy Paper 2012-2023; Climate Change Action Plan 2011-2023.

Quick explanation of the purposes and principles for some of the important Law Codes released by the parliament recently is as follows:

  1. Renewable Energy Law (amended by Law No: 6094 in 2010)

This Act basically encourages the use of renewable energy by setting forth procedures, incentives and principles of the generation, sell-out, energy resource areas, certification and the use of the sources. Main goal of the Law seems as to increase the amount of electricity generated by renewable sources by %30 of the total generation until the year of 2023. Investors are entitled to take benefits from the incentives with obtaining a Renewable Energy Resource Certificate in accordance with the Electricity Markets Regulation Authority, which is the legal authority to identify and observe the type of resources in purchasing and sale of the electrical energy generated from renewable energy resources and setting different tariffs according to the types of resources.

Some of the regulations come to forefront are as follows:

  • In an area where there are sufficient geothermal energy resources, priority will be for the projects using geothermal and solar thermal energy resources.
  • Incentives presenting in investments for energy generation facilities, procurement of electro-mechanic systems in the country, research and improvement and generation investments including solar energy units, wind and biomass energy.
  • Service fees are cancelled or reduced as an incentive for investors building renewable energy facilities to meet their own energy needs.
  • In case that the forests and the lands under private ownership of the treasury are used to generate electricity from renewable energy resources, these areas are leased with a discount of %85 or directly is given to the relevant parties.
  1. Energy Efficiency Law (No:5627, April 2007)

This Act aims to provide country-wide energy efficiency, control the waste, regulate the energy costs and protect the environment from the energy emissions. Furthermore, the act sets forth regulations for energy efficiency in the phases of generation, transmission, distribution and consumption of the energy and also promotes renewable energy sources and sets out energy efficiency management legislation for industrial establishments, commercial buildings, service buildings or public sector buildings. Other than that, limitations on fuel consumption of vehicles manufactured in the country; also the norms, standards, minimum performance criteria, data collection and control procedures on architectural design, heating, cooling, heat insulation, hot water, electrical installation and lighting.

  1. Geothermal Resources And Mineral Waters Act (No:5686, June 2007)

The Act regulates natural gas that is produced during the process of geothermal production. The Act sets forth the rules and principles for rightful ownership of the resources, during the exploration and operational periods of the geothermal and natural mineral water resources that are/will be specified along with gases with geothermal origins, their turnover, abandonment, bid tendering and terminating the use of resources and protection and extraction of resources.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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Safak Herdem
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