In August 2010, the Department of Energy (DOE) created a project to improve the energy efficiency of Turkey’s industrial sector. Currently Turkey’s industrial sector is among the least energy efficient industrial sectors in the region, and requires energy efficient technology to reduce its significant consumption of energy. The project lead by DOE, called the Near-Zero Zone, will use a single industrial park in Izmir, to showcase the benefits of improved industrial energy efficiency on productivity, profitability, and emission reduction.
Promoting energy efficiency is one of the priority policy issues of the President and Secretary Locke, and is a focus of the Commercial Service and Manufacturing and Services. One of the ways that the Department of Commerce is promoting energy efficiency is through the National Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Export Initiative (RE4I); the primary inter-agency effort to support the exporting of U.S. manufactured energy efficiency products. The RE4I includes a comprehensive and strategic approach to supporting U.S. manufacturers of renewable energy and energy efficiency products and services, providing market intelligence and support for increasing sales in foreign markets.
Turkey is a strong candidate to premier the Near-Zero Zone project because of its energy consumption profile, supportive regulatory structure, and political commitment to general energy efficiency. These factors will support DOE’s efforts to identify technologies for Turkish industry that will increase energy efficiency as well as buyers for U.S. goods and services.
Turkey is a net energy importer, consuming almost 4 times the amount of energy it produces. In 2007, Turkey consumed 27,273 kg of oil equivalent, and consumed 100,005 kg of oil equivalent. This type of energy profile is similar to countries with more advanced efficiency and environmental regulations such as Austria or Japan. Considering this type of energy constraint, energy efficiency is an economically viable and practical option for reducing the countries dependence on energy imports.
In the last 10 years, Turkey’s parliament increased the number of laws and regulations supporting energy efficiency improvements, monitoring and verification in industry, buildings, and appliances. In 2010, there are 11 laws and regulations in force governing energy efficiency and management in Turkey. Turkey also implemented a modern energy market law that unbundles electric generation, transmission and distribution with the purpose of liberalizing the energy market.
The political support for energy efficiency improvements in Turkey has increased recently, and Turkish officials, as well as U.S. agencies, are searching for ways to engage the most energy intensive sectors. In June 2010, major international energy companies such as GE and international organizations such as the United Nations Development Programme were sponsors of an Energy Efficiency Conference in Istanbul. The two-day conference focused specifically on energy efficiency in Turkey, and hosted speakers from fortune 500 companies, U.S. agencies, international financial institutions, and ESCOs.