Turkey hits all time electricity consumption record

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Turkish electricity consumption hit a record high on July 10, reaching 807.8 million kilowatt-hours a day, according to Energy Minister Taner Yildiz, who added that instant peak demand also broke a record at 39,088 MW.

The nation had recorded its previous highest daily electricity consumption in 2012, when 799 million kilowatt hours of energy was consumed in a day.

Yildiz attributed the soaring electricity demand to the country’s summer heatwave that boosted air conditioning usage and the rise in industrial production and agricultural irrigation.

The highest electricity consumption was recorded in the northwestern Adapazar?-Bursa region, the southeastern Anatolia region, the Aegean region and the Thrace region of the country, said Yildiz.

The energy minister warned that the country would continue witnessing new records since electricity demand in Turkey is set to keep increasing steadily, adding that the ministry will deal with the increased demand but that “citizens too should avoid wastage and move towards saving energy.”

Turkey’s power struggle made headlines in May when a mining disaster killed 301 mine workers in Soma, Manisa Province, in western Turkey. Turkey’s energy policies have been in the spotlight since then.

The World Bank approved in May a $350 million loan to Turkey aiming to upgrade the country’s electricity grids and enabling them to accommodate larger quantities of intermittent power.

While critics welcomed the loan news, they added that apart from the readiness of the grid, other barriers such as a cumbersome permitting process are significantly delaying the expansion of renewable energy.

The Turkish government had awarded the first two licenses for two solar parks, 8 MW and 5 MW, respectively, in mid-May. They were part of the first round of the country’s licensing program for large-scale solar projects last year, which attracted nearly 15 times the 600 MW cap set by the Turkish Energy Regulatory Authority (EPDK). The EPDK has announced that the agency will begin accepting applications for new solar PV licenses in April 2015.

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