Renewable energy planning in Turkey with a focus on hydropower

Gök, Emre
As a country highly dependent on foreign fossil fuel sources, Turkey experiences many problems due to its increasing energy consumption in parallel with increasing population and rapid economic growth. Foreign fossil fuel dependency adversely affects sustainable development of the country by hindering its economic development. Because of this, renewable energy sources of the country should be evaluated and developed as soon as possible. Prioritization of the development of renewable energy sources to increase their contribution to electricity generation is a multi-criteria decision making problem. Both energy and environmental goals need to be considered in selecting the most suitable renewable energy source. In this study, which one of the renewable energy sources, solar, biomass, geothermal, wind, or hydropower, should be given priority to increase its contribution to Turkey’s electricity generation is examined by employing Analytic Hierarchy Process. These renewable energy sources are compared with respect to selected criteria and sub-criteria determined as a result of a comprehensive literature review by a group of experts who are mostly academicians and professionals working in public and private sector. As a result of this study, it is found that satisfaction of energy goals are given higher priority compared to satisfaction of environmental goals and hydropower is selected as the most preferred renewable energy source to increase its contribution to Turkey’s electricity generation. However, experts identified maintaining environmental sustainability and maintaining social acceptability as the most important problems associated with hydropower. Solar and wind energies are identified as the second and third choices to be considered for development in terms of electricity generation.