Geostrategic Renewable Energy Transition in Turkey: Organizational Strategies Towards an Energy Autonomous Future

Open Access Journal | ISSN: 2183-2463

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Geostrategic Renewable Energy Transition in Turkey: Organizational Strategies Towards an Energy Autonomous Future


  • Özge Dolunay Chair of Social and Population Geography, University of Bayreuth, Germany


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Abstract:  The geographical location of Turkey in the Asia Minor places the country in a delicate geostrategic position determined by its history, ideological structure, politics and energy economy. The Turkish government has defined its main energy strategies with the goal of reaching 30% renewables by 2023. Key strategies declared are the prioritization of energy supply security, the consideration of environmental concerns, and an increase in efficiency and productivity through the establishment of transparent and competitive market conditions through reform and liberalization. This article analyses the renewable energy (RE) transition of Turkey from a fully centralised energy management model towards a system of partially centralization through the unbundling of utility companies. Analysis will utilize Michael Mann’s theory on the four sources of social power as an alternative organizational means of social control and the interrelations of ideological, economic, political and military power. The recent history of Turkey’s RE transition and government plans for sector development will be investigated from a socio-spatial and organizational perspective. Furthermore, the way in which these socio-spatial relations have been shaping electricity market liberalization and the preparedness of the state to share its power with non-state actors is discussed. The potential of a centralised RE management model to inspire ‘decentralised’ RE management in other geographies is considered. In conclusion, key factors in the organisation of the (de)centralised electricity transitions are found to be dependent on history, geography, and overlapping relations of social power.

Keywords:  decentralization; development; electricity market; energy transition; renewable energy; social power; Turkey

Published:   11 September 2020


DOI: https://doi.org/10.17645/pag.v8i3.2968


© Özge Dolunay. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.