In 2022, Turkey's electricity consumption showed a mix of energy resources, with more than half (58%) coming from fossil sources, and a significant portion (42%) from low-carbon sources. Among the fossil fuels, coal constituted the bulk with almost 34%, followed by gas at somewhat over 23%. Low-carbon energy sources were led by hydropower, contributing more than 20% to the electricity mix, trailed by wind at nearly 11%, solar around 5%, geothermal slightly over 3%, and biofuels at close to 2%. It's crucial to note that almost 1% of Turkey's power needs were met by net electricity imports.
To increase low-carbon electricity generation, Turkey could focus on expanding its existing wind power infrastructure which already contributes significantly to its energy mix. Observing international trends, nuclear power-dominated countries like France, Ukraine, and Slovakia, where nuclear contributes to over half of the electricity generation could provide valuable insights. Although Turkey's geography may not be fully comparable to these nations, Spain's balanced mix of nuclear and wind (with nuclear at 21% and wind at 22%), could serve as a point of reference given Spain's Mediterranean climate which shares some similarities with Turkey.
The chronicle of low-carbon electricity in Turkey has primarily been driven by hydroelectric power. Beginning in the late 1980s, sharp fluctuations marked the sector with increased hydroelectric activities in 1987 and 1988 that were met by a reduction in 1989. Despite some downturns in the early 2000s, a period of growth was registered from 2004 to 2010. However, this was followed by severe declines in 2014, leading to a surge in 2015 demonstrating a non-linear growth pattern. A flood in hydro production was observed in 2019, yet this was followed by regressions in 2020 and 2021, despite a considerable rise in wind energy in 2021. 2022 saw hydro bouncing back with a notable increase. Notwithstanding these fluctuations, hydroelectric power remains a significant low-carbon power source supplemented by burgeoning wind energy in Turkey.