Electricity demand growth over the past decade has led to a more than doubling of net generation capacity. Although per capita electricity consumption has increased more than 4-fold in the last 25 years, it is still only approximately 2,500 kWh/year – well under half the EU average. Electricity consumption is anticipated to increase almost 90% by 2020, from approximately 229 TWh in 2011 to 430 TWh. Turkey's power generation capacity was 52GW at the end of 2011, and peak demand is projected to rise to over 80GW within 10 years.
The privatization of Turkey’s electricity distribution companies in 2010-2011 drew strong investor interest. Next on the agenda is the privatization of several large coal and hydropower plants. Turkey seeks to reduce its dependency on imported fuels (mainly natural gas) and has placed high priority on the full utilization of its hydro capacity and the development of its coal reserves, its largest indigenous resources. Various policy tools have also been introduced supporting the development of power generation from renewable resources. Turkey has one of Europe’s highest potentials for wind and solar power, a small fraction of which has been harnessed. It also has the world’s 7th largest geothermal energy potential.
Market liberalization has resulted in the freedom for all non-residential consumers to choose supplier as of the end of 2011. Turkey’s balancing and settlement market became operational in 2006 and in 2009 hourly settlement and day ahead planning was introduced. The trading of power futures began on the Turkish derivatives market at the end of 2011. Distribution and retail activities will be fully unbundled by the end of 2012 and full market opening is targeted for 2015.