Share of renewables in energy generation soars in Turkey

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Nearly half of Turkey’s electricity production in April was generated by hydroelectric power plants, while the share of wind tribunes passed that of natural gas plants, according to data released by the Energy and Natural Resources Ministry on May 2.

Electricity production decreased by 16.3 percent to 19.1 billion kilowatt-hours compared to April 2019.

Out of April’s total production, 47.6 percent was generated by hydro plants, while 13.7 percent was derived from imported coal and 7.7 percent from natural gas power plants.

The share of local coal plants in electricity generation was 14.1 percent.

Wind plants generated 10.3 percent and the remaining 6.4 percent came from geothermal, fuel oil and biogas plants.

“Snow melted due to an early thaw in April. The waters flowed into the dams and other stream facilities. The share of electricity generation from waters increased. Secondly, demand fell significantly because of the coronavirus pandemic. As a result, market clearing price decreased to 181.16 lira/megawatt-hour,” said Osman Nuri Doğan, the former deputy general manager of Turkey’s national electricity distribution company TEDAŞ, on May 2.

Electricity generation at natural gas plants has decreased dramatically due to decline in demand, Electricity Producers Association head Cem Aşık said on April 23.

“We expect a decrease of 20 percent in demand this month. The decrease in demand will be 17 percent in May and 4 percent in June, according to our estimates,” he said.

Turkey has been applying strict measures to lower social mobility to curb the spread of coronavirus pandemic since mid-March, including lockdowns in major cities at the weekends.

“Natural gas plants have been affected at the most in this period. These plants are alarming. Their capacity utilization rate shrank to 7 percent in April. This rate is 10 percent lower than the levels in the same period last year,” said Aşık.

Although most of the automotive factories will resume production in the upcoming days, the spot price of electricity is expected to dive 40 percent in April and 15 percent overall this year, according to Aşık.

The highest electricity rate for one-megawatt hour in the spot market on Jan. 21 was 345 liras ($58.3). The arithmetical and weighted average price of electricity for the day-ahead was calculated as 326 liras ($55.1), while one dollar was traded for 5.91 liras.

On April 24, the highest electricity spot price was 326 liras ($46.7), whereas and the average price was 203 liras ($29), according to Turkey’s Energy Exchange Istanbul.

Consumption down 15 pct

Meanwhile, Turkey’s electricity consumption decreased by 15.3 percent in April compared to the same month of 2019. The country’s power consumption reached 19.1 billion kilowatt-hours last month.

Last month, Turkey’s electricity imports from neighboring countries increased by 36 percent to 163.77 million kilowatt-hours compared to 120.36 million kilowatt-hours in April 2019.

Exports decreased by 44.3 percent to 163.23 million kilowatt-hours of electricity.

Turkey’s total installed power capacity reached 91.37 gigawatts by the end of March 2020, according to official figures.

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