Electricity

Turkey targets over 20 GW in nuclear power capacity by 2050s

Turkey over 20 GW nuclear power capacity 2050s

Photo: Alparslan Bayraktar / Twitter

Published

July 12, 2023

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Published:

July 12, 2023

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Turkey is preparing energy projects worth a combined USD 200 billion, new Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Alparslan Bayraktar said. In addition to the Akkuyu nuclear power plant, which is under construction, the government plans another two conventional ones and several small modular reactors, to have more than 20 GW in total nuclear power capacity by the 2050s, he revealed.

Turkey aims to achieve energy independence while the priority is on the security and sustainability of supply, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Alparslan Bayraktar told journalists. The government has projects worth USD 200 billion in total, some of which must be completed by 2035, in his words. Investments are planned in renewable and nuclear energy, fossil fuels, infrastructure and interconnections.

The country covers almost 70% of its primary energy from imports, the new minister acknowledged, including 92% of oil and 99% of gas. Bayraktar reiterated the pledge to make Turkey carbon neutral by 2053.

It means radical changes are necessary in all areas from transportation to buildings, from industry to agriculture and energy in the next 30 years, he stressed.

In talks with US, UK on deployment, production of small modular reactors

Turkey is planning to build a nuclear power plant in the Black Sea province of Sinop and another one in Thrace, Bayraktar stressed and revealed that the authorities are negotiating with Russia, South Korea and China.

Russia’s Rosatom is building its Akkuyu nuclear power plant, the first in Turkey. Four reactors with a combined planned capacity of 4.5 GW are under construction at the same time on the Mediterranean coast in Mersin province. The first one is set to become operational next year. The project is valued at USD 20 billion.

In addition, Turkey is negotiating with the United States and the United Kingdom on the possibility to install small modular reactors (SMRs) and even produce equipment locally, according to the minister. By the 2050s, Turkey will have over 20 GW of installed nuclear power capacity, Bayraktar claimed.

Turkey aims to boost solar power capacity four times by 2035

As for renewables, the ministry aims to add 18 GW of onshore and offshore wind power capacity in the next 12 years and reach 30 GW in total. The targets for solar power are even more ambitious: 3 GW to 3.5 GW every year, to hit 40 GW by 2035, Bayraktar stressed. He said it is an opportunity for Turkish and foreign investors.

Turkish Electricity Transmission Corp. (TEİAŞ) said last week that domestic solar power capacity reached 10.2 GW by the end of June.

Turning to natural gas and the reserves under the Black Sea, Bayraktar said the immediate goal is to produce 3.5 billion cubic meters per year, with a plan to quadruple the amount. Turkey can lift production of oil at its new Gabar onshore field to 100,000 barrels per day this year and reach 200,000 by the end of 2024, which would be equivalent to 20% of domestic consumption, the minister asserted.

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