Turkey saves $600 million in natural gas imports

Ignorance in building hydropower facilities means 'turning our back' to great energy potentials, energy minister says

Ignorance in building hydropower facilities means 'turning our back' to great energy potentials, energy minister says

SAKARYA – Turkey saved US$600 million in natural gas imports in 2013 thanks to the wind energy facilities, Turkey’s Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said on Friday.

A total of 1,330 wind turbines are currently in place in Turkey, with an installed capacity of 2.896 megawatts (mW) of electricity. The total increase in wind energy was around 20 percent compared to 2012. Turkey has an installed capacity of 64,612 mW of electricity, with wind making 4.5 percent of it. Turkey is aiming to supply 20 percent of its total energy demand from wind energy by 2023.

During his speech at the opening ceremony of ADASU Hydroelectric Power Plant in the northern province of Sakarya, Yildiz said the money saved from decreased natural gas imports had been used in different investments in Turkey.

He said ignorance in building hydropower facilities would mean "turning our back" to great energy potentials.

He added that the nuclear power plants that Turkey is planning to build in the near future are aimed to replace the natural gas power plants, which produce electricity from the natural gas that Turkey imports from abroad.

Turkey relies heavily on foreign energy resources, such as natural gas and oil, which drive almost half of all electricity production in Turkey and costs up to US$60 billion a year.

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