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Turkey using less coal and hydropower energy; renewables and gas up

A UK-based environmental organization released a report detailing changes in Turkey’s use of different energy sources.
Turkey wind power

Turkey’s use of coal and water for energy decreased in 2021, while its use of renewable energy and gas went up, according to a new report. 

The London-based environmental watchdog Ember released its Turkey Electricity Review 2022 today. The report details Turkey’s use of different energy sources for its domestic power needs. 

Wind and solar power accounted for 13.6 percent of Turkey’s total power generation in 2021, up from 11.7 percent in 2020. 

The use of coal also went down in 2021 for the third year in a row, which Ember attributed to “extremely high costs of importing hard coal.” The use of coal is still more prevalent than it was before 2018, however. 

Turkey used less hydropower last year, decreasing from 26 percent of the total energy share in 2020 to 17 percent. This was compensated by more gas power, which increased from 23 percent to 33 percent of the total energy share in the same time frame. 

The future of wind and solar power in Turkey looks promising, but the country is still relying heavily on coal, according to one Ember analyst. 

“The increase in wind and solar power has been promising but not enough to meet the rise in power demand. The gap was filled by imported coal, raised import bills,” Ufuk Alparslan wrote in the report. “However, wind and solar energy are now cheaper than coal generation relying on imports.” 

Turkey has worked to increase its use of renewable energy in recent years. The country is still heavily dependent on oil and gas, however. 

Ember attributed the decline in hydropower to drought. Turkey, Syria and other countries in the Middle East experienced drought drought and accompanying drops in water levels as well as forest fires last summer.