The Republic of Türkiye ranks 9th in the world in hydropower with 31.5 Gigawatt installed capacity, generating over 30 per cent of electricity. This piece will focus on the Turkish government’s ambition regarding hydropower and the upcoming hydropower plants. I will also talk about prominent companies within the hydropower industry and the challenges faced by the sector.
Türkiye aims to build renewable energy capacity over the next decade. For instance, it intends to install 29.6 Gigawatt of wind power, of which 5 Gigawatt will be offshore, 59.9 Gigawatt in solar power and 35 Gigawatt of hydropower capacity by 2035, highlighting the emphasis on solar and wind energy despite the construction of hydropower plants, driven by the escalating frequency of droughts in recent years attributed to climate change.
Upcoming Hydropower Plants:
- Egirdir Pumped Storage Hydroelectric Plant is in Isparta, owned and under development by KAF Teknik Yapi Sanayi Tic. Currently, in the permitting stage, construction is anticipated to commence in 2027, with commercial operations slated for 2031, featuring a 1000-megawatt capacity.
- Pervari Hydropower Project is on the Botan River basin in Siirt, owned and under development by Enerjisa Enerji Uretim. It is at the permitting stage, and construction will begin in 2029 and enter commercial operations in 2031 with a 409.4-megawatt capacity.
- Cizre Hydroelectric Power Plant is on the Tigris River basin in Sirnak, owned and developed by Enerse Energy Group. It is under construction and will begin commercial operations in 2026 with a 331-megawatt capacity.
- Beyhan 2 Hydropower Project is in Elazig, owned by Cengiz Holding AS; Ozaltin Holding AS and is developed by Kalehan Enerji Uretim ve Ticaret A.S. It is under construction and expected to start commercial operations in 2026 with 320-Megawatt capacity.
- Doganli 3 Hydropower Project is on the Zap River basin in Hakkari, developed and currently owned by DC Hidro Enerji Uretim Anonim Sirketi.
- Construction is projected for commencement in 2026, with commercial operations scheduled for 2029, featuring a capacity of 314 megawatts.
- EÜAŞ, headquartered in Ankara, was founded in 2001. It is a state-owned electric generation company that produces and trades electricity and operates natural gas, coal, and hydroelectric power plants.
- Enerjisa, headquartered in Istanbul, was founded in 1996. An electric services company engaged in electricity distribution, retail sales, and customer-centric solutions. They operate natural gas, hydroelectric and wind power plants.
- Cengiz Enerji, headquartered in Istanbul, was founded in 2000. They specialise in electricity generation, distribution, and trading. They also operate natural gas and hydroelectric power plants.
- Aydem Enerji, headquartered in Istanbul, was founded in 1980. They do electricity distribution and retail electricity. They operate hydroelectric, wind and geothermal power plants.
- Özaltın Enerji, headquartered in Ankara, was founded in 1965. Unlike the ones mentioned above, they only operate hydroelectric power plants.
- The first obstacle is that periods of drought or reduced water flow in rivers can impact the efficiency of hydropower generation, affecting energy production. For instance, Turkiye has seen fossil fuel usage increase during drought.
- The second issue is that sometimes projects face opposition from environmental groups and local communities. For instance, locals of Trabzon’s Hayrat district protested the development of the fifth hydroelectric power plant.
- The third problem is that obtaining the necessary permits and approvals for hydropower projects can be a complex and time-consuming process involving compliance with environmental and social impact assessments.
Turkey, ranking 9th globally in hydropower, aims for a renewable shift by 2035 focused on wind and solar energy. Upcoming projects, like Egirdir and Pervari, showcase this commitment. Key operators, including EÜAŞ and Enerjisa, drive the nation’s diverse energy portfolio. Challenges persist, from drought impacting efficiency to local opposition and complex permitting processes. Balancing energy needs with environmental and social concerns is crucial. Turkey stands at the forefront of a cleaner, sustainable energy future, navigating challenges to ensure a resilient hydropower sector and contributing significantly to the global renewable energy landscape.