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2021 | OriginalPaper | Chapter

6. Byzantine Energy Politics: The Complex Tale of Low Carbon Energy in Turkey

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Abstract

The Turkish energy story is an enigma: Despite a bourgeoning energy demand, an abundant renewable energy potential and some initial progress in setting ambitious targets and designing a rudimentary legal and regulatory framework for renewables, Turkey is still not close to realizing its vast potential in wind, solar and geothermal; the share of non-hydro renewables in the overall energy mix has not reached any meaningful levels. There are significant delays and hurdles in project development, uncertainties about the sustainability of support mechanisms, and aggressive campaigns to accelerate fossil fuel production. This chapter analyzes Turkey’s mixed clean energy performance by mapping out the different political, economic, and geostrategic interests of domestic and external stakeholders, the changing coalitions over time as well as the institutional structure in which energy politics plays out. I argue that the limited policy reforms to increase the share of renewables in Turkey have been crisis-induced, externally conditioned, and politically expedient in an increasingly centralized institutional structure. The Turkish case is an example of a contradictory and somewhat reluctant state-led energy transition where the pace and nature of renewable energy reforms are driven less by societal and business pressures but more by the distributive, populist, and geostrategic calculations of the governing elite to stay in power.
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Metadata
Title
Byzantine Energy Politics: The Complex Tale of Low Carbon Energy in Turkey
Author
Oksan Bayulgen
Copyright Year
2021
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-59554-8_6

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