Updated: 31/07/2017

Chapter 15 - Energy


The legislation in the context of energy chapter focuses mainly on the internal energy market (electricity and natural gas markets), energy efficiency, renewable energy resources, nuclear safety, radiation protection and security of supply.  


The EU energy policies are based on three principles:

- Competitiveness
- Security of supply
- Sustainability

EU aims to have a balance between these objectives while establishing energy policies.

The EU legislation lays out the basis for competitive, qualified, diverse and cost effective energy market. This would pave the way for a more organized and efficient way of reaching various sectors for the use of energy. According to the EU legislation, common rules apply to market access, organization, operation, tender procedures and authorization methods. Liberalization in the electricity and gas sectors provides opportunities for investments by private sector actors.

The energy sector is responsible for about 80% of the greenhouse gas emissions within the EU. In order to address the challenges of climate change, developing sustainable energy policies is one of the main components of the EU’s energy policies. With the approval of the Council, the European Commission has set three goals to address the energy challenges by the year 2020:

- To reduce energy consumption by 20%
- To increase the share of renewable energy resources by 20% and to increase the use of biofuels in transport by at least 10%
- To reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20%


The European Council has endorsed greenhouse gas reduction, renewable energy and energy efficiency targets for 2030 on 23-24 October 2014 (2030 framework for climate and energy policies). The framework requires the EU to collectively reduce its emissions by at least 40% compared to 1990 levels. It also sets the goals to achieve at least 27% renewable energy in the EU's final energy consumption and a 27% or greater improvement in energy efficiency by 2030. 


Regarding the priority of resetting the energy policy of the Union as a new European Energy Union by reforms and reorganization, firstly “A Framework Strategy for a Resilient Energy Union with a Forward-Looking Climate Change Policy” is published in 25 February 2015 and a Vice-President of the European Commission for Energy Union was appointed by the European Commission. 

The “Energy Union Framework Strategy” has five mutually-reinforcing and closely interrelated dimensions designed to bring greater energy security, sustainability and competitiveness:

- Energy security,
- A fully integrated European energy market,
- Energy efficiency contributing to moderation of demand,
- Decarbonising the economy and
- Research, innovation and competitiveness 


There are 15 actions under the “European Energy Union Framework Strategy” and there are time schedule for regarding actions in the appendix of the Strategy. The EU shows quite strong political will and determination to form “common energy policy” by the plan of closely following the implementation of the strategy and the action plan, also by designating a vice president in charge of Energy Union for this issue.



The main goal of Turkey’s energy policy is to supply energy while realizing economic growth and supporting social development by maintaining a steady flow of reliable, cost effective and environmentally friendly forms of energy resources. Turkey has been restructuring its energy market in order to transform to a competitive and transparent market structure. These restructuring efforts also take into account the use of potential domestic and renewable energy resources, incorporation of nuclear energy and energy efficiency in the legislative and technical studies. Within this scope, main priorities of Turkey’s energy policy are:

- Availability of energy for consumers in terms of cost, time and amount
- To mobilize public and private means within the framework of free market practices
- To reduce dependence on outside sources
- To increase regional and global impact of Turkey in the energy field
- To ensure the diversity of routes, technology and resources
- To ensure maximum use of renewable energy resources in sustainable and efficient ways
- To increase energy efficiency
- To minimize any environmental impact in the production and use of energy

EU plays a very important role in the global energy sector. Today, oil and natural gas are the most important sources of energy in the EU member states. Oil and gas reserves are finite sources, which are concentrated in certain geographic regions of the world. EU Member States rely heavily on imports of oil and natural gas. It is expected that the demand for natural gas will increase 70-80% by the year 2030. The Southern Gas Corridor, which provides cooperation opportunities for Turkey and the EU, plays a vital role for energy security in these regions. Completion of gas transmission and interconnection projects will help integrate both Turkey and the EU and contribute to the diversification of energy sources.

In this regard, natural gas interconnection projects are carried out between Turkey and the EU and studies on completion of legal and regulatory framework necessary for trade of energy sources. Turkey’s geographic position as a bridge between the energy consuming countries to its West and natural gas producing countries to its East enhances Turkey’s importance in terms of security of supply.

Turkey has realized projects such as Turkey-Greece natural gas interconnection, Baku-Tiflis-Ceyhan, Kerkuk-Yumurtalik petroleum pipelines which have been completed and there are currently ongoing projects including TAP, TANAP (Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline), Baku-Tiflis-Erzurum natural gas pipeline, Samsun- Ceyhan petroleum pipelines.

The most important component of the Southern Gas Corridor “Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline Project” transmitting Caspian gas to Europe through Turkey, is the biggest pipeline project conducted in Turkey. The construction work of the TANAP project is ongoing. The project is expected to bring natural gas produced from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz-2 gas field to Turkey in 2018 and to Europe in 2020. After the decisions on the TANAP project, Nabucco Pipeline project, which was planned to transit gas from the Caspian to Europe and Austria, has been cancelled and transformed into a small-scale project called Nabucco West which is expected to transit gas from Turkey to Europe. Within this context, Nabucco West and Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) were two alternative routes to transit gas from TANAP to Europe. As a result, at a press conference held on 28 June 2013 the Shah Deniz Consortium (SDC) confirmed that TAP has been selected to transport gas from TANAP to Europe.


Electricity and Natural Gas

In the EU, the 1996 electricity directive and the 1998 natural gas directive are known as the First Energy Package. When these directives proved to have shortcomings for liberalizing energy markets in the member states, a Second Energy Package was enacted in 2003 which is comprised of new electricity and gas directives. However, since these directives were also insufficient for creating free markets, in June of 2009, Third Energy Package was put together including two directives and three regulations.

EU directives on the internal market envisage a competitive internal energy market which provides consumers a choice between different suppliers of gas and electricity at reasonable prices. The improvement of cross border trade, independent regulatory authorities, grid access and security of supply are the main themes of the electricity and gas market legislation.

Main directives and regulations on internal energy market are; Directive 2009/72/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 July 2009 concerning common rules for the internal market in electricity and repealing Directive 2003/54/EC; Directive 2009/73/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 July 2009 concerning common rules for the internal market in natural gas and repealing Directive 2003/55/EC,  Regulation (EC) No 713/2009 of 13 July 2009 establishing an Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators Regulation (EC) No 714/2009 of 13 July 2009 on conditions for access to the network for cross-border exchanges in electricity and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1228/2003, Regulation (EC) No 715/2009 of 13 July 2009 on conditions for access to the natural gas transmission networks and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1775/2005.

In Turkey, important progress has been accomplished in the liberalization and restructuring of electricity and natural gas markets in alignment with the EU acquis in this field,

In this respect, Electricity Market Law No.4628 and Natural Gas Market Law No.4646, which entered into force in 2001, constitute an important step for acquis alignment and establishing the necessary legal framework. For further alignment with the EU legislation, the Electricity Market Law and Natural Gas Market Law have been reviewed. The Electricity Market Law was recently reviewed and the new Electricity Market Law No.6446 was enacted on March 30, 2013. The studies are ongoing regarding the revision of The Natural Gas Market Law.

“Energy Market Regulatory Authority (EMRA)” was established in 2001 under 4628 Electricity Market Law in order to perform the regulatory and supervisory functions in the energy markets. The fundamental objective of EMRA is set forth in its founding document as to ensure the development of financially sound and transparent energy markets operating in a competitive environment. EMRA is responsible for secondary legislation regarding electricity and natural gas markets for effective implementation.

EU legislation envisages a transition period to complete all reforms envisaged in the third package. Similarly, each year EMRA reviews and if necessary lowers the eligible customer limit. Important steps have been taken in the privatization of electricity distribution and generation assets.

Renewable Energy

Renewable energy has been a priority sector in the EU in order to provide security of supply and mitigate climate change. With the developments in the renewable energy technology industry, this area is also important in terms of creation of additional job opportunities and employment. As a result, the EU has set up its own policy on renewable energy sector.

Turkey is rich in hydroelectric, geothermal, solar and wind energy sources and has a very high potential to develop these resources. Accordingly, development of renewable energy sector in Turkey in accordance with the EU policies is highly encouraged. With continued interest from investors, the renewable energy sector is developing. Once necessary technical connections and the legal infrastructure, new opportunities such as “green” energy commerce have a potential to be developed. (Directive 2009/28/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2009 on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources).

 “Law No. 5346 on Utilization of Renewable Energy Resources for the Purpose of Generating Electricity” came into force in 2005, aiming to enhance and support the use of renewable energy sources in Turkey in line with free market principles and conditions. The law numbered 6094 which came into force on January 8, 2011 developed incentives for the use of renewable energy resources.

In addition, “5627 Energy Efficiency Law,” enacted in 2007 also includes provisions envisaging incentives for electricity generation from renewable energy resources. Within this scope, a floor price has been set for the market price of electricity generated from renewable energy resources. Very small scale generation plants using renewable sources and micro-co-generation plants have been exempted from obligations for receiving a license and establishing a company.

In the “Electricity Market and Security of Supply Strategy Paper”, [OC1] approved by the High Planning Council on May 18, 2009, the following renewable energy resource goals have been set for the year 2023:

  • -30% share of renewable resources in electricity generation
  • -Hydropower potential which can be technically and economically utilized will be used for electricity generation.
  • -Wind potential energy to reach a capacity of 20.000 MW
  • -Geothermal energy to reach a capacity of 600 MW
  • -Setting up the necessary arrangements for the promotion of solar and other renewable energy resources

-Reducing natural gas usage below the level of 30% in electricity production as a result of measures taken for the promotion of the usage of indigenous and renewable energy sources. 

Also, “National Renewable Energy Action Plan”, which was published on 9 February 2015, has characteristics of a roadmap for rigorous planning and efficient development of renewable energy until 2023. The Plan was prepared in accordance with 2009/28/EC Directive and focuses on supporting energy generation and consumption from renewable energy resources. 

Energy Efficiency

The EU acquis under the energy efficiency and the rational use of energy includes eco-design requirements for energy related products, cogeneration, energy performance of buildings, energy, summertime arrangements (Directive 2012/27/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 on energy efficiency, amending Directives 2009/125/EC and 2010/30/EU and repealing Directives 2004/8/EC and 2006/32/EC)

EU attaches importance to combined heat and power generation, promotion of energy efficiency strategies, environment-friendly use of energy, development of energy performance of buildings and energy efficiency in industry.

The Energy Efficiency Law No. 5627 which came into force in 2007, has set the legal framework for energy efficiency and prevention of wasteful use of energy in order to reduce the burden of energy costs on the economy and protect the environment.

The former Ministry of Industry and Trade has enacted necessary secondary legislation to harmonize with corresponding EU legislation on energy labeling of electrical household appliances. Currently the Ministry of Science, Industry and Technology is responsible for implementing and following developments in EU legislation in this area.

EU established regulations on energy efficiency in buildings based on the fact that the building sector accounts for 40% of the world's energy use. Accordingly, local requirements, climatic conditions outside and inside the building and cost effectiveness are taken into consideration in improving the performance of the buildings. The energy performance of buildings and its standard applications (heating, cooling, air conditioning etc.) reveal the total energy consumption. In order to calculate the energy performance of buildings a general framework is needed to set the energy standards for new buildings. In order for buildings to be certified for efficient energy use, the former Ministry of Public Works and Settlement has published Regulation on Energy Performance of Buildings on 15.12.2008, which has subsequently been amended several times.

On the other hand, The “Prime Ministers Notice” which was published in 2008 determined sustainable and efficient use of energy. In addition to the “Notice,” “National Energy Efficiency Movement” has been started and as a result 2008 has been declared as the “Energy Efficiency Year.” Additionally, as indicated in the Energy Efficiency Law No. 5627, each year Energy Efficiency Week is organized in the second week of January.

The Energy Efficiency campaign ENVER; has been set up to increase public and private sector awareness on energy efficiency through providing information on energy efficiency nation-wide. 

Nuclear Energy

The EU acquis on nuclear energy includes nuclear safety, nuclear energy generation, radioactive waste and nuclear power plant safety regulations (including responsibilities, waste management, radiation protection, environmental impacts, economic and fiscal laws) and creating public awareness.

Turkey’s intention to construct nuclear power plants created a need for legal arrangements. Studies initiated to regulate the nuclear energy sector, contribute to the legislative alignment process in this field. EU puts emphasis on high level nuclear safety. In this respect, Council Directive 2009/71/EURATOM of 25 June 2009 establishing a Community Framework for the nuclear safety of nuclear installations was adopted in 25 June 2009. In accordance with the new directive, Turkey will also need new legislation once nuclear power plants are constructed. Furthermore, Turkish Atomic Energy Authority (TAEK) needs to be restructured in order to become an independent regulatory authority, separating regulatory and operational activities. In this context, it is expected that Turkey meet the requirements of the Convention on Nuclear Safety that was ratified on 20 September 1994 by Turkey. Thus, studies on the preparation of a Draft Nuclear Law are ongoing to promote and further develop the use of nuclear energy in Turkey.

Within the scope of nuclear safety and radiation protection, taking into consideration the recommendations of The Commission on International Radiation Protection (ICRP) and the International Atomic Energy Agency, which are also the foundations of EU directives, necessary regulations have been prepared. By-Law on Control of High-activity Sealed Radioactive Sources and Orphan Sources was adopted on 21 March 2009. By-Law on the Operational Protection of Outside Workers Exposed to the Risk of İonizing Radiation During their Activities in Controlled Areas was published on 18 June 2011. Additionally, The Decision on the Ratification of the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism was published on May 8, 2012 and “By-Law on Nuclear Substance Inventory and Control” has been published on May 30, 2012. Turkey has started the process of becoming a party to “Joint Convention on Spent Fuel and Radioactive Waste” and the draft law concerning the approval of the Joint Convention is at the Parliament for ratification.

There has been progress on nuclear safety and radiation protection alignment process. TAEK has been published legislations regarding these areas and studies are still on going.

Additionally, under the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA), Turkey is planning a project, which aims to establish a legislative infrastructure regarding nuclear safety and radiation protection.


The explanatory meeting for the energy chapter was realized between 15-17 May 2006 and the country session was completed between 14-15 June 2006. The legislation in the context of energy chapter focuses mainly on the internal energy market (electricity and natural gas markets), energy efficiency, renewable energy resources, nuclear safety, radiation protection and security of supply.

The screening report is still in the Council and has not been conveyed to the Turkish side. There is information that certain Member States are preventing progress in the Council and that non-technical considerations without relevance to the acquis communautaire have prevailed. 

On 9 February 2012, Minister of EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator Egemen Bağış, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Taner Yıldız, Commissioner Füle and Comissioner Öttinger met in Istanbul to strengthen Turkey-EU energy relations. As a result of this meeting, working groups were established as a step towards preparing a roadmap, which will contribute to enhancing cooperation in the energy sector.

Within this sphere, five components for cooperation within the energy sector have been revealed in the meetings of the working groups that were organized on March and April 2012:

- Long term perspectives on energy scenarios and energy mix

- Market integration and development of infrastructures of common interest (gas, electricity, oil)

- Global and regional energy cooperation

- Promotion of renewable energy, energy efficiency and clean energy technologies

- Nuclear safety and radiation protection

The components listed above have shown the long term goals of the energy sector. As a result of the working group meetings, the “Turkey-EU Positive Agenda Enhanced EU-Turkey Energy Cooperation” document was produced and adopted on June 14, 2012. This cooperation will contribute to the positive agenda for EU-Turkey relations in general, and it will facilitate the eventual integration of EU and Turkey energy markets. Such integration will not only increase security of energy supply in Europe, it will also create important business opportunities. Under the coordination of Ministry for European Union Affairs, working groups were established. The first round of working group meetings was held in 2013 covering issues related to “electricity” on 14 February in Ankara and “natural gas” on 15-16 April in Brussels. Issues on “nuclear energy and radiation protection” and “energy efficiency and renewable energy” and ENTSO-E were discussed in the technical meetings organized in 2014 (7 May 2014 in Ankara, 23 June 2014, 17 November 2014 in Brussels respectively). 

High Level Energy Dialogue between Turkey and EU continues. In this regard, to further enhance Turkey-EU cooperation for securing and diversifying energy supplies and for ensuring competitive energy markets, “High Level Energy Dialogue” was launched on 16 March 2017 and a “Joint Declaration” was published on 17 March 2015. At the Turkey-EU Summit held on November 29, 2015, it was agreed to arrange the next meeting in the first quarter of 2016. The second Ministerial level meeting was held in Istanbul on 28 January 2016. A Press Statement was released.

Following the European Council Decision on October 15, 2015 to re-energize the accession process, studies for updating the draft screening report have been initiated in November 2015 and the studies for the finalization of the technical aspects is ongoing. 





 Project Year/Number

 Project Title

 Beneficiary Institution

 State of


 Improvement of the Conditions for Cross Border
 Electricity Trade in Turkey in Compliance with the
 Best Practice in EU

 Turkish Electricity



 Rehabilitation of the Frequency Control Performance
 of  Turkish Power System for Synchronous
 Operation with UCTE

 Ministry of Energy and
 Natural  Resources



 Structure and Capacity Improvement of Turkish
 Electricity Transmission Corporation

 Turkish Electricity
 Transmission Company



 Harmonization of Transmission Code in line with

 Turkish Electricity
 Transmission Company



 Improving the Energy Efficiency in Buildings

 Ministry of Environment  and  Urbanization



 Enhancement of Turkish Energy Sector In Line With  the EU  Energy Legislation

 Ministry of Energy and  Natural Resources



Updated: 31/07/2017 / Hit: 69,612