EBRD and Turkey sign sustainable energy action plan

By Anthony Williams

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The EBRD is strengthening its support for Turkey’s efforts to reduce its energy intensity and promote energy efficiency investments with the launch of a Sustainable Energy Action Plan (SEAP) for the country. Faced with increasing industrialisation, urbanisation and greenhouse gas emissions, Turkey’s energy efficiency target is to reduce energy intensity by 20 per cent by 2023 compared to 2008.

In a memorandum of understanding, signed yesterday between the Undersecretariat of Treasury and the EBRD, both sides outlined their intention to develop and implement measures aimed at building a more energy efficient economy and strengthening Turkey’s competitiveness through the increased use of green technologies.

The action plan outlines key areas for cooperation between the EBRD and Turkey for investments and policy initiatives in renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in various sectors including power and energy, industry, municipal and environmental infrastructure, transport, and agriculture. The EBRD will cooperate with Turkey with the preparation and adaptation of legislation, the development of financing instruments to support investments in energy efficiency, renewables and carbon finance projects. Additionally, the Bank will provide technical assistance to support the preparation and implementation of such steps.

Given Turkey’s strong potential in the field of renewables, the EBRD plans to increase its activities in providing direct financing to such projects. Initiatives are primarily planned in the wind and hydro sectors and can build on the EBRD’s already existing investment in Turkey. The Bank has already enhanced its activities through the existing € 200 million Sustainable Energy Financing Facility (TurSEFF) and the € 700 million mid-size Sustainable Energy Financing Facility (MidSEFF), launched in 2010 by the EBRD together with other international partners and local banks to promote sustainable energy investments in the private sector.

“Supporting sustainable energy investments is a central element of our overall strategy and a key focus of our activities in Turkey. The Sustainable Energy Action Plan will help facilitate real improvements in energy efficiency and the increased use of renewable energy through targeted initiatives developed in close cooperation with the Turkish government,” said EBRD Country Director for Turkey, Michael Davey.

The EBRD is currently implementing similar action plans in Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Bulgaria and Moldova. The SEAP complements the Bank’s Sustainable Energy Initiative (SEI), which aims at tackling the climate change challenges and improving energy efficiency and security throughout the EBRD region.

Since the beginning of its operations in Turkey in 2009, the EBRD has invested around € 670 million in nearly 30 projects with a total project value exceeding € 2 billion. All projects were investments into the development of the private sector and last year about 40 per cent of all new investments came under the Sustainable Energy Initiative.

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